Chicago Dramatists

Out the Box 2021

Join us for our second annual Out the Box Festival, an event showcasing our BIPOC artists and their work. Saturdays in October will be dedicated to a new play by one of our BIPOC Residents orNetwork playwrights, along with a special guest reading of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, in collaboration with Mexico-based Bandera Blanca. Following each play, there will be dynamic live discussions surrounding not only the play itself, but also the current state of theatre as a whole.

These shows will be featured Saturdays at 2:00pm CT at You can read the descriptions for each performance below.

Oct 02 – Bandera Blanca presents Uncle Vanya

Opening the Festival we have a performance of Anton Chekhov’s classic Uncle Vanya sent all the way from Bandera Blanca in Mexico.

Oct 09 – Facing the Shadow by Shelia Payton

The year is 1859, two years before the outbreak of the Civil War. The Free Women of Color Literary Society is having its monthly meeting when the members are faced with a potentially life altering decision: whether to risk their families’ freedom to help a slave escape.

Oct 16 – Underdrown by Derek McPhatter

A queer black intellectual searches for a platform to tell his truth, even as environmental catastrophe transforms Chicago and the line between IRL and the virtual world blurs into the surreal. 

Oct 23 – Egyptian Bride by Fouad Teymour

Two storylines, separated by 3,000 years of history, each featuring an Egyptian Bride, are explored in a parallel intermeshed telling. Maia, a young Theban beauty, is selected by the God Hapy to be Bride of the Nile. Maissa, an archeology student recently arrived from Cairo to Chicago to wed Nayel, son of a ruthless business magnate from the Arab southside community, in semi-arranged marriage. The brides-to-be resist cultural pressure. Can established tradition be successfully upturned?

We Have a New Email System

We heard your comments regarding issues with receiving our newsletter and our emails being sent to spam, so we have moved to a new email system with a sleek new look. We have transferred over the old lists, but if you want to make absolutely sure you’re receiving our newsletter and getting up-to-date info on all of our events, use the form below!

Dear Chicago Dramatists Community — I’m writing personally to share with you our new look, logo, and imprint. Our Marketing & Media Team has been brainstorming since the sequester to rethink and update our CD image. Some of you may have noticed it at our recent gala La Nuit — A Night of Transformation (which if you missed, you can still see and donate here) — and what better way to start transforming than to revitalize the look, feel, and impact of our remarkable organization.

This new moniker both maintains our long heritage and propels us into a wider influential sphere. It speaks to our urban location, our diverse community, our mission to center the writer, and our courage to ask questions, both personal and political. As well it alludes to our 42 year history and all that we, as a mature and imbedded theatre commons, have weathered, embraced, and transformed during these dramatic modern times. Since my tenure as Artistic Director, CD has expanded its national and international reach.

We now serve artists and students across the nation through our online classes, reading series, and workshops. As well, international collaborations are currently brewing with countries such as Mexico, Poland, and Greece. Chicago Dramatists is growing up and out of its former incarnation, and it has been my greatest honor and pleasure to be at the creative helm of these expansions and transformations. 

So don’t be surprised as you start to see this new brand rolling out across all of our communications, media vehicles, and merchandise. CD has not only survived the pandemic, but are now stronger and more savvy for it. In good dramatic form, recent obstacles have forced us to break through any former comfort zones, and positioned us to serve our theater community  in new and exciting ways 

As always, we deeply appreciate, acknowledge, and rely on your continued support, interest, and advocacy. We are able to do the work we do because of people, patrons and artists like you. Cheers 

— Carson Grace Becker / AD Chicago Dramatists

Chicago Dramatists: COVID-19 Response

Due to circumstances regarding COVID-19, Chicago Dramatists at 1105 West Chicago Ave is currently closed, until further notice. For the time being, all classes and events will be held online. Additionally, we will not be having classes at The Literacenter until further notice. The Literacenter is actively keeping Chicago Dramatists appraised of the situation, as the quarantine continues. As soon as we are able, we will be back in the classroom.

As our phone line connects directly to the theater, please do not call during this time. Any questions and concerns should be sent to the staff via email. Click here to access a full list of contact information for the staff.

Send Us a Message

Get in Touch

Chicago Dramatists
1105 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
We are not currently accepting phone calls.

All classes and events will be held virtually until further notice.

All staff members are currently working from home, so for inquires please contact us via email.