By Carey Purcell
09 May 2014
The 6,000-square-foot space will feature seating for up to 200 patrons, a bar and other amenities in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.
The theatre will be home to the Hypocrites' full season, and programming will also include an annual Den Theatre production and availability for other companies.
The new space will be inaugurated in August with The Hypocrites' world-premiere production of All Our Tragic, a 12-hour theatrical adaptation that combines all 32 surviving Greek tragedies into a single epic narrative. All Our Tragic is adapted and directed by founding artistic director Sean Graney.
"This new mainstage space allows us to bring The Den Theatre's storefront aesthetic to a much larger audience while maintaining its intimacy, versatility, and creativity," artistic director Ryan Martin said in a statement. "Thanks to almost miraculous timing, the perfect space and the perfect partners came together! Megan Wildebour of The Hypocrites and I began talking about a venue that could accommodate their growth and creative needs. Dedicated theatre patrons Michael and Mona Heath were looking for a focused way to support the Chicago theatre community that they know and love. The perfect collaboration was born, and we've all been working together for almost a year to bring this new space to life."
"While The Hypocrites are extremely grateful and fond of our longtime residence at the Chopin Theater, we knew we had outgrown the lovely basement studio," added the Hypocrites' managing director Megan Wildebour. "We've been searching for the perfect fit for our ever changing audience configurations and a place to call home. I have passed that empty clothing store at 1329 N. Milwaukee and daydreamed about turning it into a huge blackbox theater. It felt like fate to discover that Ryan was thinking the same thing. We quickly started to make it a shared goal to become the resident company when The Den's plan came to fruition. I've also always admired Ryan's ambition to create a venue where audiences and artists want to hang out after a production and what strength it adds to our vibrant Chicago theater community. Through partnerships this past year with Steppenwolf and The Mercury, we hoped to prove we could make a production work at any location and expose new audiences to our work. We truly believe The Den is a game changer for storefront theater – and we're thrilled to be a part of the ride."
The new theatre will open at 1329 N. Milwaukee Ave. For tickets and additional information, visit the-hypocrites.com.