Things to do in Chicago for theater and dance fansMary Houlihan – For the Sun-Timeson June 24, 2021 at 9:46 pm

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.

Dingleberries photo attached; (l-r) Charles McNeely III and Laura Berner Taylor;
Interrobang Theatre Project
“Dingleberries” features Charles McNeely III (left) and Laura Berner Taylor.

Interrobang Theatre Project

What: Interrobang Theatre Project’s season closes with the online world premiere of Susan Chenet’s “Dingleberries,” directed by Georgette Verdin. The dark comedy, based on actual events, follows the story of a middle school theater teacher whose playwriting dreams begin to come true when a regional company selects her avant-garde play as its next production.

When: The play streams June 24-July 18

Tickets: $15


“American Bottom” director Neil Verma
Courtesy of Neil Verma
“American Bottom” director Neil Verma

A Red Orchid Theatre

What: A Red Orchid Theatre’s experimental audio book, “American Bottom.” Collectively conceived by Brett Neveu, Neil Verma (who also directs), Matthew Muñiz, Ele Matelan, Rich Sparks and Frankie Pedersen, the multi-disciplinary piece is inspired by the area of Southern Illinois called American Bottom. It’s the fictional story of a man who disappeared near the site of the Cahokia Mounds as told by the people who knew him.

When: streams through June 27

Tickets: $15


American Blues Theatre

Ada Cheng
Alonzo Zamarro Photo
Ada Cheng

What: American Blues Theater presents Ada Cheng performing her new work “Loving Across Borders” Cheng explores how one learns womanhood, love, and abuse in different sociopolitical and cultural contexts through personal stories.

When: 7 p.m. June 25

Tickets: $25 suggested donation


Summer in the Parks

What: Brightside Theatre and the Naperville Park District present “Summer in the Parks: The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein.” The free hour-long revue features tunes from the iconic composers’ musicals including “The King and I,” “South Pacific,” “Oklahoma,” “The Sound of Music” and more.

When: Performances are at 7 p.m. June 30, July 21 and Aug. 11

Where: Wagner Family Pavilion in the 95th Street Community Plaza, 3109 Cedar Glade Dr., Naperville.


Hubbard Street Dance

Hubbard Street Dancers Jacqueline Burnett, Alyssa Allen, and Alysia Johnson in Greener Grass by Jie-Hung Connie Shiau.
Film still courtesy of Kevin Michael Briggs
Hubbard Street Dancers Jacqueline Burnett, Alyssa Allen and Alysia Johnson in “Greener Grass” by Jie-Hung Connie Shiau.

What: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s season concludes with “Greener Grass,” a full company work choreographed and directed by former company dancer Jie-Hung Connie Shiau with original music by Jerome Begin and videography/editing by Kevin Michael Briggs. The piece is Shiau’s response to reports of “re-education camps,” used to forcibly contain Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other traditionally Muslim minority groups in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Zone. “Of course, I will never be able to fully understand the pain of the Uyghurs and Kazakhs,” Shiau says, “but I’d like to use my voice as an artist to draw attention to these issues and encourage people to take action.”

When: Performances livestream at 7:30 pm. June 24, 26 and 2 p.m. June 27.

Admission: free


Lucky Plush

Lucky Plush Productions is presenting and will perform among the lineup of “The Music of Now.”
Alan Epstein
Lucky Plush Productions is presenting and will perform among the lineup of “The Music of Now.”

What: The dance-theater ensemble Lucky Plush Productions, in partnership with the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, Links Hall and the Logan Center for the Arts, presents “The Map of Now,” an interactive digital festival that pairs the aesthetics of ‘80s retro video games with dance, theater, music and comedy. After creating their own avatar, participants navigate to and inside virtual recreations of the four venues where they click on icons for a variety of performances. Performers include BAPS, Donnetta Jackson + Bril Barrett, Chloe Johnston, Lucky Plush, Jeremy Owens, Darling Shear, Sam Trump, avery r. young, Sojourner Zenobia and more.

When: 7:30 p.m. June 25-26

Tickets: $5-$50


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


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


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