Things to do in Chicago for theater and dance fansMary Houlihan – For the Sun-Timeson June 18, 2021 at 2:14 am

Chicagoans can find a range of plays, musicals and dance shows at local theaters large and small. Our guide has the latest on what’s on stage in the city.

Welcome to our highlights of events and entertainment on stage at Chicago’s theaters. From local productions to Broadway hits, our guide has the latest on shows in the city. Bookmark this page and check back for updates and ticket information.

Steppenwolf Theatre

Joan Marcus/WP Theater
Donnetta Lavinia Grays in “Where We Stand”

What: The final entry in the Steppenwolf NOW virtual season is “Where We Stand,” a storytelling tour-de-force about community and accountability written and performed by Donnetta Lavinia Grays. Through poetic verse and music, the drama challenges our ability to forgive and our ideas of mercy and who might deserve it. The filmed play captures a performance originally presented at Baltimore Center Stage co-produced with WP Theater.

When/tickets: A $75 ticket includes all six of the productions in the NOW series available online through Aug. 31


Goodman Theatre

What: The Goodman Theatre’s “Live” series, which brings together technology, videography and stage production, continues with Adrienne Kennedy’s “Ohio State Murders.” Directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene, the drama is the story of a student who arrives at Ohio State University in 1949 and soon discovers there is no safe haven in academia. Years later she returns as an accomplished author to speak about her work and unravel a chilling mystery.

When: Livestreams at 7:30 p.m. June 17-18, 2 and 7:30 p.m. June 19 and 2 p.m. June 20.

Tickets: $25


Writers Theatre

Michael Halberstam
Kamal Angelo Bodden in “Ride Share”

What: In Reginald Edmund’s “Ride Share,” a co-production of Black Lives, Black Words and Writers Theatre, everything in Marcus’ (Kamal Angelo Bolden) life is going smoothly until he’s laid off from his job. To make ends meet, he becomes a ride share driver. Edmund says the drama, directed by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, “takes us on a journey into the depths of the Black male experience in America.”

When: Streams June 23-July 25

Tickets: $40-$100


Marian Pabón

Javier Del Valle
Marian Pabón in “Sola en la Pandemia está Cañón”

What: The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance presents “Sola en la Pandemia está Cañón (Being Alone in a Pandemic Is Hard),” actor and comedian Marian Pabón’s new one-woman comedy about the madness of surviving the pandemic.

When: Performed in Spanish at 7 p.m. June 19

Where: Joe’s Bar, 940 W. Weed

Tickets: $25. Visit

Ensemble Español

“Algazara”; photo by Dean Paul
“Algazara” by Ensemble Español

What: Ensemble Español celebrates its 45th anniversary with three outdoor performances. The program features the world premieres of Wendy Clinard’s “Tangos de Granada” and Nino de los Reyes’ “Farruca” and “Solea,” and two audience favorites: Jose Barrios’ “Algazara” and company founder Dame Libby Komaiko’s “Zapateado.”

When: Performances are 7:30 p.m. June 18-20

Where: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts parking lot, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie.

Tickets: $32-$42. The June 19 performance also will be livestreamed ($20) and available on demand through June 26.


M.A.D.D. Rhythms

What: M.A.D.D. Rhythms partners with the Harold Washington Cultural Center (2701 S. Martin Luther King Dr.) and Bronzeville businesses for its annual Juneteenth celebration. The in-person afternoon event includes dance, DJ and live music, food, workshops, raffles, art and children’s activities.

When: 1 p.m. June 19 The in-person afternoon event includes dance, DJ and live music, food, workshops, raffles, art and children’s activities.

Tickets: Admission is free


Court Theatre

What: Court Theatre presents an online staging of Owen McCafferty’s “Titanic (Scenes from the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry, 1912),” directed by Vanessa Stalling. The drama tells the story of the sinking of the HMS Titanic using verbatim testimonies from a court investigation of the wreck that probe the causes of the catastrophe, the value systems that enabled it and if indeed it was actually preventable.

When: Streams on-demand June 14-July 11

Tickets: $20-$30. Visit

Summer Nights with Northlight

What: Summer Nights with Northlight is a cabaret series held at Evanston restaurants to benefit Northlight Theatre. The performers are Alexis J. Roston and Kelvin Roston Jr. (June 10, Good to Go Jamaican, 711 W. Howard), Linda Solotaire (July 27, Sketchbook Brewing Company, 4901 Main, Skokie) and Heidi Kettenring (Aug. 24, Peckish Pig, 623 W. Howard).

When: Performances times are 6 p.m.

Tickets: $60 includes light dinner and select drinks. Visit

Labyrinth Arts and Performance Collective

What: Labyrinth Arts and Performance Collectivepresents “Emerge,” a new cabaret series featuring music, drag performance, comedy and spoken word First up at 10 p.m. June 11 is the retro blues trio Improper Behavior featuring vocalist Sharon Waltham, guitarist Keith Fort and upright bass player Gregory Redfeairn.

When: every second Friday of the month

Where: Porkchop, 1132 W. Grand

Tickets: $20. Visit

Ghostlight Theatre

Levi Denton-Hughes as Soledad in “It’s Poppin’”; credit: Ghostlight Ensemble
Ghostlight Ensemble
Levi Denton-Hughes as Soledad in “It’s Poppin’” at Ghostlight Ensemble.

WHAT: Ghostlight Theatre’s “Make/Believe,” its annual festival for young audiences, takes place virtually this year. Featured are six new short plays that run the gamut from “Sunshine and the Sea of Lost Things,” about a child with no memory lost at sea to “It’s Poppin’,” about a balloon afraid of soaring through the clouds, to “Splash of Magic,” about a young Black girl trying to conquer her fear of swimming.

WHEN: The festival streams live at 2 p.m. June 5-6 and on demand to July 4

TICKETS: $1-$10


Chicago Dance Month

Ariel Dance Chicago. Photo by Philamonjaro
Photo by Philamonjaro Studio
Ariel Dance Chicago

When: May 29-June 24

What: June is Chicago Dance Month and it kicks off on May 29 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Presented by See Chicago Dance, the free live event features performances by Aerial Dance Chicago, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Mandala Arts and The Seldoms. The celebration continues with pop-up performances (3 p.m. Saturdays June 5-Sept. 4, Navy Pier), a park-wide dance “scavenger hunt” featuring an eclectic group of artists (4:30 p.m. June 9, 30 in McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing) and a virtual event with more dance performances (6 p.m. June 24). All events are free. Visit

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