Chicago Dramatists has been providing a space for artists to develop new work for over forty years, and we have pushed ourselves to not only overcome the pandemic, but strive to make a more diverse, artist-driven theatre community.

Last year we launched our brand new event series Out the Box to showcase our BIPOC artists and their work. Every Saturday in October was dedicated to a new play by one of our BIPOC Resident or Network playwrights along with discussions surrounding their plays and the current state of theatre as a whole.

We are returning this October with our second annual Out the Box Festival, and we need your support. As is Chicago Dramatists’ long term policy, all artists receive compensation for their time and talent. As such we are asking for sponsors for each event to help cover production costs and bring new work by BIPOC voices to life.

Below you’ll find the dates and descriptions for each of this year’s performances along with what it would cost to become their primary sponsor.

Oct 02 2:00pm CT – Bandera Blanca Presents Uncle Vanya – $500

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 2:00pm CT – Facing the Shadow by Shelia Payton – $350

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 – $250

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 – $300

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?

These shows will be featured Saturdays at 2:00pm CT at twitch.tv/chicagodramatists, so even if you’re not able to sponsor at this time, we highly encourage you to come and witness this magnificent work for yourself.

If you are interested in sponsorship, please reach out to grust@chicagodramatists.org to arrange payment and provide your organization’s information. As well, you can visit www.chicagodramatists.org or text “Give” to (872) 201-1077 to donate at any time.

Thank you so much for your continued support of Chicago Dramatists and of new work. We’ll see you at the show!