For 41 years, Chicago Dramatists has supported playwrights at all levels of development – from apprentices to the craft to masters. Workshops, readings, classes, and special programs, provide opportunities for beginning and established dramatists to develop their work, expand their professional affiliations, showcase their plays and collaborate with actors, directors, and audiences during the creative process.

In 2019 we called upon your support to help us stabilize during a major transitional period, and the outpouring of love for new play development went above and beyond our expectations. Thanks you to we've been able to bring back mainstays of Dramatists such as the Saturday Reading Series while also establishing new programs like our education outreach. As we enter a new year and new era for the company, we are asking for your help to make sure we roar into the 20's and kick off a true Decade of the Dramatists. To do this, our goal is to raise $100,000 by August that will go toward improvements to the theatre space, updates to the staff, and a major boost to the events you've come to excpect.

Your donations will allow us to:

  • Upgrade our theatre's technical system to improve our lighting and sound.
  • Complete work on our basement restoration project.
  • Increase our staff size and hourly wages.
  • and more!

 But we won't be leaving you empty-handed...

On the way to reaching our $100,000 we have established subgoals of increasing increments. Each of these goals will provide us the funding needed to make our next planned improvements to the company, and these improvements will be showcased in a series of events titled Our Living Legacy.

Our first event will take place on February 29th at 5:00pm and is entitled Leap Forward. This event will be an opportunity to come to the theatre, learn more about how the campaign will work as a whole, and ask questions. Drinks and hors d'ouerves will be provided and the evening will culminate in a brief reading of new work. Leap Forward is open to anyone interested and is completely free! Register here today!

Our Living Legacy sub-goals are listed on the bottom of the page so you can get a sense of what amazing events we'll be able to hold following your donations. In addition to these fun thank yous we will be having two BIG fundraising events to boost the campaign: The Celebrity Playwrights Event and La Nuit D'Amour Dramatique.

Keep an eye out for when those events are announced and open for registration!

From all of us at Chicago Dramatists thank you so much for your continued generosity and support. We hope you're as excited for what 2020 and the decade beyond have in store as we are.

Our Living Legacy Goals:

  • $25,000: At $25,000 we will have an event entitled The Playwrights Auction in early April and will only be open to members of the community that have donated to the campaign. At the auction we will have a selection of our resident playwrights up for bid. The highest bidder for a playwright will get to comission them to write a ten minute play about anything you would like, and these plays will be showcased at an event at the end of May. There will also be other exciting things up for auction like a script lab, signed scripts, and more!
  • The Celebrity Playwright Event will take place on April 25th and all ticket purchases and sponsorships will go to the campaign.
  • $50,000: At $50,000 will have an event entitled Take to the Screens in June. By this point, your donations will have helped us improve our technical systems and allow us to put in a scrim and projector, so we will be hosting a weekend long film festival that everyone who has already donated above a certain amount will be provided tickets to (additional tickets will be purchasable once the event is live on our site).
  • $75,000: At $75,000 we will have an event entitled Theatre on the Move in July. By this point, you donations will have helped us repair and beautify both the Russ Tutterow Theatre and our basement rehearsal rooms, so we will have three shows going on at the same time--one in the theatre and one in each rehearsal room--that you will be invited to travel between and experience.
  • La Nuit D'Amour Dramatique will take place on August 1st and all ticket purchases, sponsorships, and auction bids will go to the campaign. The intention is to reach our $100,000 goal by the end of the night, but the campaign will not officially close until August 14th.