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Study reveals impact of storefront theaters
2019-11-29

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The Chicago-based Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation ( the Foundation )—an organization that offers unrestricted grants to Chicago theater companies with budgets under $1 million—recently surveyed its small-theater grantees to reveal the large impact they make in Chicago.

Forty-one of Chicago's approximately 250 theaters participated in the Foundation's survey, representing a significant percentage of the city's storefront theaters.

Insights from the recent study include the vast size of combined audiences at small theaters in the city: Approximately 267,400 audience members were served last season alone. Also, more than one-third of the 170+ total productions produced by the surveyed venues last season were world premieres.

Theater grantees in the study included A Red Orchid Theatre, About Face Theatre, Artemisia Theatre, Babes With Blades Theatre Company, Broken Nose Theatre, Chicago Tap Theatre, City Lit Theater Company, Congo Square Theatre, eta Creative Arts Foundation, First Floor Theater, First Folio Theatre, Free Street Theater, Griffin Theatre Company, Interrobang Theatre Project, Irish Theatre of Chicago, Lifeline Theatre and Lucky Plush Productions

They also included Midsommer Flight, The Neo-Futurists, Pegasus Theatre Chicago, Piven Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Pride Films and Plays, Raven Theatre, Red Tape Theatre, Redtwist Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Rough House Theater, Shattered Globe Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Steep Theatre, Strawdog Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, The Artistic Home, The Gift Theatre, The Plagiarists, Theatre Y, Third Eye Theatre Ensemble, Trap Door Theatre and Walkabout Theater.

The Foundation supports land conservation, artistic vitality and regional collections for the people of the Chicago region and the Lowcountry region of South Carolina.


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