Skip to main content

Northwestern University Theatre in June

S.I.T.E. Festival Production and Johnny Mercer Songwriters Concert, among events

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A vacant building on Howard Street, Evanston’s first craft brewery and an 18-hole public golf course are sites for the three off-campus productions in the S.I.T.E. Festival, co-presented by Northwestern University’s Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts -- formerly known as the Theatre and Interpretation Center. The plays will run through June 7.

Tickets are still available for “Thou Proud Dream,” based on Shakespeare’s “Henry V” at “Canal Shores” Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course, at 1030 Central St., in Evanston. However, “Far Away” by British playwright Caryl Churchill, performed at 727 Howard St., and Chicago playwright Brett Neveu’s “American Dead,” to be performed at Evanston’s first microbrewery, Temperance Beer Company at 2000 Dempster St., are SOLD-OUT

The Wirtz Center will be the site of the final performance of August Strindberg’s “A Dream Play,” part of Northwestern’s MFA Collaboration Series, which runs through June 1.

The American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University will host a public concert June 28 of music by emerging professional songwriters who participated in this year’s Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project. The weeklong intensive for young songwriters in all genres of music is held annually each June on the University’s Evanston campus. The highly competitive program attracts applicants from around the world and invites young songwriters and songwriting teams to spend a week in residence and free of charge with three award-winning professional master teachers -- Andrew Lippa, Craig Carnelia and Lari White.

The School of Communication’s department of performance studies will present an evening of three PhD. public recitals in June, a graduation requirement.

The following events are open to the public and will take place in venues on or near Northwestern’s Evanston campus, as noted. Where applicable, ticket discounts are available for groups of eight or more. For more information, phone (847) 491-4819 or visit the Wirtz Center website


S.I.T.E. Festival at various Evanston locations. The S.I.T.E. (Surprising Intersections of Theatre in Evanston) Festival features three unusual productions presented in non-traditional theatre spaces located in or on the edge of Evanston -- a vacant building on Howard Street, Evanston’s first craft brewery and an 18-hole golf course. The May 23 through June 8 theatrical event, designed to directly engage Evanston community members, is a joint collaboration of Northwestern University’s Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, the City of Evanston, the Temperance Beer Company and the Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course. Open to the public, the festival’s three plays are “Far Away” by British playwright Caryl Churchill, “American Dead” by Chicago playwright Brett Neveu (both are sold out) and “Thou Proud Dream,” co-written by Northwestern MFA student director Damon Krometis and Northwestern alumna Jenni Lamb. Casts for all three productions will feature Northwestern undergraduate students along with several guest professional actors from Chicago. The festival is the brainchild of Northwestern’s Michael Rohd, assistant professor of theatre at the School of Communication and founding artistic director of Portland Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre, which has earned a national reputation for participatory theatre. Holders of the $25 Festival Pass (no longer available) are guaranteed a reservation to each of the three S.I.T.E. Festival productions. The pass also is an exclusive ticket to a June 8 end-of-festival party at Temperance Beer Co. Individual tickets are available in advance at the Wirtz Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282. 


“Thou Proud Dream,” adapted from Shakespeare’s “Henry V” by director Damon Krometis and Northwestern alumna Jenni Lamb, guides audiences on an outdoor walk through the “Canal Shores” Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course at 1030 Central St., in Evanston. Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, May 30; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1; 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 3; 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 4; 8 p.m. Thursday, June 5; 8 p.m. Friday, June 6; and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 7. Hoping for inspiration for his highly anticipated homecoming speech, Iraqi war veteran Leroy turns to his favorite war story, “Henry V.” But something within him wants to tell a different war story -- his own. Northwestern graduate students Shawn Ketchum Johnson, Maya Fein and Carolyn Sullivan will use the 18-hole public golf course to create the scene of a classic tale cast in the light of our modern, warring world. Since audience members will be engaged in walking during the outdoor production, they should wear comfortable shoes. Tickets are $10 for general public and $5 for Northwestern students with valid WildCARD IDs. Day-of tickets are subject to availability at the door, $10 cash only. More information is available online


National Theatre Live is the National Theatre's groundbreaking project to broadcast “the best of British theatre” live from the London stage to cinemas across the United Kingdom and around the world. Launched in 2009, NT Live broadcasts have been experienced by more than 1.5 million people in 500 venues around the world. 

“King Lear” by William Shakespeare, 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Academy Award winner Sam Mendes (“James Bond: Skyfall,” “American Beauty”) returns to the National Theatre to direct Simon Russell Beale (“Timon of Athens,” “Collaborators”) in the title role of Shakespeare’s tragedy. An aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which one most eloquently praises him. Single tickets are $20 for the general public; $16 for Northwestern faculty and staff (phone and in-person only); $10 for full-time students (who must present a valid ID at Will Call)
. Group rates are $18 for general public groups of 8 or more; or $8 for full-time student groups of 8 or more. Call the Wirtz Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or visit Theatre and Interpretation Center.


MFA Collaboration Series, “A Dream Play” by August Strindberg, 8 p.m. Friday, May 30; 2 p.m. Saturday, May 31 and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 1, Wirtz Center’s Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theatre, 1949 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. Caryl Churchill’s spare and resonant version of Strindberg’s “A Dream Play,” is directed by MFA candidate Aaron Snook, tells the story of a young woman from another world who visits earth to see if life is really as difficult as people make it out to be. Characters merge into each other, locations change in an instant and a locked door becomes an obsessively recurrent image. Strindberg's 1902 play is an amalgam of Freud, Alice's “Wonderland” and Strindberg's own private symbolism. Tickets are $10.  


The Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project -- “Songwriters In Concert,” 8 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. This one-night-only concert will feature the new work of emerging songwriters from around the country. All genres of music -- folk, pop, music theatre, American roots, alternative/indie rock, rhythm and blues, Afro-soul, bluegrass and country -- will be represented. This year’s participants are Mike Brun, Shannon Campbell, Georgia English, Trish Hosein, Michael Jade, Andrew MailletLauren Marcus, Madeline Myers, Jess Nolan, Alexander Sage Oyen, Kyle Scherrer, John Anthony Shahor, Mark Sonnenblick and Blake Whyte. For more, visit Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project.

Chosen from a highly-competitive pool of applicants, this year’s participants will work with Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Andrew Lippa; Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Craig Carnelia; and three-time Grammy winning singer and songwriter Lari White. For bios, visit Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project. Single tickets are $10 to $30. For more on the Mercer Project, visit Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project.


Performance Studies Ph.D. Recitals, 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 6, at the Wirtz Center’s Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Individual solo presentations created and performed by doctoral students Eddie Gamboa, Shoniqua Roach and Ashlie Sandoval will be staged. • Gamboa’s “How to Have Sex in an Academic: One (Musical) Approach” is a performance-based exploration of the fears that surround our sexuality and the ways in which scholars have dealt with those fears. • Roach’s “Acts of Abjection" is a black feminist solo performance that engages sound, movement and monologue as provocations to (re)consider the sociopolitical, economic and discursive conditions that at once foreclose and enable black female liberation. • Sandoval’s "Auditioning for Freedom: Practices in Abandonment, Panic, Fear, and Fatigue” is a movement pieces inspired by Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law.” It takes place at the doorway to freedom and explores the consequences of leftist institutions’ increasing reliance on corporate paradigms and business strategies. Admission is free. 


A three-year construction project under way on the southeast end of the Northwestern University Evanston campus has closed the Arts Circle Drive to traffic. Free parking for evening and weekend events remains available, but the project will impact handicapped parking and patrons requiring special access to Evanston campus theaters. For more information, visit Theatre and Interpretation Center for more information. 

Editor's Picks

Back to top