Writers Theatre began in 1992 located in the back room of the Books on Vernon bookstore in Glencoe as a 50-seat theatre. Over the years the company grew in popularity by producing work of the highest artistic caliber along with their reputation for commitment to the word and the artist. By 2003 the company needed to grow physically in order to accommodate the audience, influx of artists eager to participate in breadth of work the Writers Theatre produces, so a second 108-seat theatre was included at the Woman’s Library Club building. This year the theater marks largest growth with the biggest price tag – Writers Theatre completed their new 36,000 square foot theatre center that will also serve as an architectural landmark on the North Shore.
Writers Theatre new space opened on February 2, 2016, featuring two theatres in a stunning building designed by Studio Gang Architects, led by principal Jeanne Gang. A $34 million fundraising campaign was mounted to create two intimate performance spaces under one roof. The theater center offers improved patron and artist amenities, rehearsal and production spaces and is located on the site of the former Woman’s Library Club and developed in partnership with the Woman’s Library Club and the Village of Glencoe.
“Writers Theatre now has a home to enhance the spoken word and create meaningful dialogue between the actors, audience, and the greater community through live performance,” said Gang. “The building exhibits this collective of values through form and craft, itself becoming a lantern for the community and transforming the future of Writers Theatre.”
“Studio Gang has created a home for us that not only expands our creative possibilities but actually blows them wide open,” says Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. “Jeanne Gang and her team’s profound understanding of this company has provided the perfect home for the word and the artist.”
“Our new theatre center allows the company to take its place alongside the nation’s leading dramatic institutions,” says Board President Christopher S. Pfaff. “While Writers has long been recognized for its world-class art and artists, an amazing group of supporters with a shared belief in the mission has come together to support those artists and that artistic vision. On behalf of On to a New Stage Campaign co-chairs Elaine and Richard Tinberg and Gillian and Ellis Goodman, along with the Writers Theatre Board of Trustees, I thank all of those who contributed so generously, and thank our entire Chicagoland community for their unwavering support of this project.”
During February and early March, the center will host a series of special opening events introducing the space to the audience who has supported the company over the years as well as the community and new patrons who are not yet familiar with Writers Theatre’s work. The first production in the new space is Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” directed by co-founder and Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam, it will appear in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre beginning March 16. For tickets and information about upcoming events 847-242-6000.