Chicago Acts Together Week – Chicago Theatres Raise Awareness and Support

ayson Lee, Penny Slusher, Aurora Real de Asua

October 19-23, 2020

As theatregoers in Chicago and across the world are missing the start of the traditional theatre season this fall, Chicago theatre companies are joining together to ensure that theatre survives and thrives in Chicago. Chicago Acts Together Week, October 19-23, 2020, is an online campaign of ideas, activities, and actions for Chicagoans to show their support and advocacy for the theatre industry.

Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres comments, “The shutdown caused by the pandemic has been especially hard on the theatre community. Theatres were some of the first businesses to close and will be among the last to re-open. In the meantime, it is vital that we garner much-needed support for Chicago’s theatre industry and individuals through advocacy, visibility, financial support and by voting.”

An overview of the week’s initiatives is below. More information is available.

We Will Be Back

Monday October 19, 2020

Chicago Acts Together Week kicks off with a special “We Will Be Back” social media video blitz.  Also, look for “We Love Chicago Theatre” posters in theatre, home, and business windows across Chicago.

The company of An American In Paris. Adam Blaszkiewicz

Share the Love

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Even while we are apart, the spirit of Chicago theatre lives on. Chicago theatre companies and fans are asked to share a photo from their last theatre experience—in the audience, on the stage or behind the scenes and tag #ChicagoActsTogether and @ChicagoPlays.

Make Your Vote Count
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Voting is essential in helping to create the future of the arts. Due to the pandemic, voting looks a little different this year. A list of resources is available to make each vote count by helping people to create a voting plan, check the voting deadlines, and encourage friends and family to do the same. The League of Chicago Theatres’ site shares information and deadlines for early voting, voting by mail, and voting on election day for Illinois plus surrounding states for friends/family.

Blake Hawthorne, Dwight Neal (Front), Vincent Jordan, Hannah Mary Simpson, Jasmine Bomer

Additional resources are available on the American Blues Theatre’s “Our Home, Our Vote” page,  TimeLine Theatre’s The Journey From The Jungle To “The Swamp”: A Conversation Inspired by Campaigns, Inc. will stream on Wednesday, October 21 at 7:30pm at Timelinetheatre.

Make Your Voice Heard

Vote shirts , American Blues Theatre

Thursday, October 22, 2020

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the theatre industry. Relief for theatres and arts workers is imperative to the survival of the theatre industry. The League of Chicago Theatres provides resources to enable Chicagoans to make their voice heard by contacting local officials and advocating for support for the theatre community.

On October 22, Chicago Acts Together Week encourages Chicagoans to tell local officials how important theatre is, by writing a unique and personal letter or making a phone call. Use the Arts Alliance IL Legislator Lookup to find out who your local officials are and how to contact them to:

  • Advocate for additional stimulus payments to help artists and theatre workers who are struggling financially due to COVID-19 and its effect on the theatre community
  • Advocate for additional unemployment benefits and extended benefits for artists and theatre workers who have lost their jobs
  • Advocate for national and state relief funding for arts organizations
  • Include a personal story about how theatre has impacted you and its importance to your city and state
Chicago Shakespeare Theatre 2021 Season

Theatre supporters are also asked to support the Be An Arts Hero campaign and encourage Congress to pass the DAWN ACT in support of Arts workers across the country.

Support a Theatre

Friday, October 23, 2020
Theatres are working tirelessly to stay connected with audiences during this time. A comprehensive list of upcoming performances and classes are on ChicagoPlays.com and HotTix.org

On October 23, Chicago Acts Together Week encourages people to purchase a ticket or make plans to attend an online performance, buy a subscription or membership, or donate to their favorite non-profit theatre.

About Chicago theatre 

Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theatres to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. Last year alone Chicago theatre companies produced more than 100 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.   

Dickerson-Despenza, Brown, Nguyen, McLeod

The League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement

Theatre is essential to the life of a great city and to its citizens. The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres, which leverages its collective strength to support, promote and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry. Through our work, we ensure that theatre continues to thrive in our city.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres websites,  ChicagoPlays.com and HotTix.org.

Photos are courtesy of Cathy Taylor

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