CHICAGO (March 10, 2022) Strawdog Theatre Company announced today it has shifted to a Free Theater Model, offering free admission to all of its productions. The move, guided by the company's mission toward equity, anti-racism and inclusion, allows Strawdog to continue serving current patrons while expanding its audience to include lower-income individuals and increase accessibility within the Chicago theater community itself. Advance reservations will be required.
Strawdog Artistic Director Kamille Dawkins comments, "This is an exciting new era for Strawdog as we continue to redefine what storefront theater and ensemble work means. Strawdog aims to be transparent and approachable to our community, and a Free Theater Model eliminates that invisible yet strong barrier of approachability because our theater is now accessible to people of all income levels. We also attract many patrons from the Chicago theater community, who oftentimes have low incomes but still want to experience and stay up to date on the art made by their peers and in their neighborhoods. We have eliminated that ticket price barrier but what we will not change is our commitment to deliver the high-quality, provocative, experimental productions you know, love, and have come to expect from Strawdog for over 30 years."
Strawdog will rely heavily on recurring contributions and donations to sustain its new initiative. To donate to Strawdog Theatre Company, click here. The Free Theater Model is also made possible largely in part by the support of grant foundations including The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and The Saints.
The Free Theater Model was first implemented on Strawdog's 2021 production ofHershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, which "sold out" by the second weekend of performances, underscoring the financial barriers that exist between art and audiences.
Strawdog's next production is the world premiere of On The Greenbelt, playing April 22 May 28, 2022 at Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave. in Chicago. A semi-finalist for the 2021 Blue Ink Playwright Awards, On The Greenbelt is a serio-comic play that jumps between past and the present, written by ensemble member Karissa Murrell Myers and directed by Jonathan Berry. Tickets reservations open Friday, March 25 atwww.strawdog.org .
About Strawdog Theatre Company
Strawdog Theatre Company was founded as a small ensemble based Chicago storefront theatre in 1988 by founders, Lawrence Novikoff and Paul Engelhardt. Since then, Strawdog has grown and redefined what storefront theatre and ensemble work means by elevating the craft of intimate storytelling through innovative collaborative work in all genres. Our ensemble and guest artists are encouraged to bring out of the box thinking to create worlds and immersive theater experiences in a little black box. As one of the oldest, most well-respected storefront theaters of Chicago, we foster career growth and artistic experimentation to theater artists of all disciplines. We make theater more accessible to the community by providing free admission to our productions. We give our ensemble the support to create exciting, new and unusual work in our late night, off night, mainstage and virtual spaces, garnering us a special non-equity Jeff Award for 30 years of provocative ensemble work.
Strawdog Theatre Company is supported in part by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, The Small Business Association and The Saints Grant Commission.