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Discover the vibrant performing arts scene at Northwestern’s Wirtz Center Chicago!

Our newest venue! Conveniently located in Abbott Hall on Northwestern’s Chicago campus, Wirtz Center Chicago is an exciting space for new shows and masterful collaborations. Open since fall of 2021, Wirtz Center Chicago’s state-of-the-art facilities regularly attract professional works by visiting artists and ensembles. This key city theater is also the home of collaborative Northwestern initiatives such as the programs and MFA in Acting program and the Black Arts Consortium.

Located just off Lake Shore Drive, minutes from the Loop, with free parking steps away from the theater door, Wirtz Center Chicago is one of Chicago’s most accessible performance spaces. Plan to join us for cutting-edge, innovative programming by local and visiting artists, scholars and theatre makers.

Your seat is waiting!

Wirtz Center Chicago Fall 2024 

Select Upcoming Productions

All performances listed below take place in the 
Wirtz Center Theater (Room 203)  Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for Performing and Media Arts, Chicago Campus
Abbott Hall
710 N. Lake Shore Drive

OCTOBER 4 & 5, 2024

Written and performed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant
Directed by Steven Sapp
Friday, 10/4 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10/5 at 2 p.m.

New York City has always been a gathering and trading place for many Indigenous peoples, where Native Nations intersected from all four directions since time immemorial. It was a place to gather and sometimes to seek refuge during times of conflict and struggle. Borst-Tarrant’s family first came to New York City in the late 1800’s from Virginia and bought a house in Brooklyn and raised four generations. This story is about how they as a family had to keep tradition alive. The survival of genocide, relocation, the boarding school system and the outlaw by the United States Government that they could not practice their cultural traditions. The story is about her family’s triumph of will, dysfunction, historical trauma through laughter. Her personal tapestry of stories being brought up in Brooklyn in a Mafia run neighborhood when they were the only Natives on the block. And this is just one Tipi Tale of the city.  This program is made possible in part through funding from the Astere E. Claeyssens Artist-in-Residence program.


In association with Pivot Arts and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE)
OCTOBER 10- 12, 2024

Written and performed by Chloe Johnston
Directed by Coya Paz
Thursday, 10/10 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, 10/11 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10/12 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Grace is an interactive performance and a deeply personal look at artificial intelligence, games, technology, and the people who make them. It is an investigation of how we interact with natural language processing programs everyday–and how they will never love us back. It is about identity and how it is constructed in person and online. And it’s about what happens when your voice travels around the world in ways you never imagined.


American Musical Theatre Project and the Wirtz Center Chicago present
OCTOBER 18-20, 2024

Music by Jaime Lozano
Lyrics by Jaime Lozano & Florencia Cuenca
Book by Georgina Escobar
Directed by Florencia Cuenca
Friday, 10/18 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10/19 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, 10/20 at 2 p.m.

Rising musical theater composer and 2023 Jonathan Larson Award winner Jaime Lozano comes to AMTP to continue development of this new state-fair concert musical about stories of disappeared women from the borderlands. Told through the lens of Mexican folklore and music, writers Jaime Lozano, Florencia Cuenca, and Georgina Escobar explore the strategic erasure of female voices in the fight to end gender-based violence and the disappearance of women and girls. From the missing, to the socially invisible, to the forgotten, Desaparecidas takes place in a classic and timeless Mexican state fair (a Palenque) where the audience will experience a special appearance by some stories of the missing.


OCTOBER 25 & 26, 2024

By Reginald “Dwayne” Betts
Friday, 10/25 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10/26 at 2 p.m.

Alone in solitary confinement, a teenager called out to the men in the hole with him: “Somebody, send me a book!” Moments later, Dudley Randall’s The Black Poets slid under his cell door. Those pages, in that funky and desperate place, were the start of the teen’s transformation into a poet, lawyer, and promoter of the rights of prisoners. Now, 23 years after his release from prison, Reginald Dwayne Betts explores the experience and lingering consequences of having a criminal record in a solo theater show based on his poetry collection, Felon. Betts, who recently received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, advocates for literacy in prisons and is the founding director nonprofit organization Freedom Reads, which delivers books to inmates and brings contemporary writers and artists together with incarcerated audiences.


Additional program offerings will be announced in the Fall as details are finalized.