This West Suburban theater was founded in 1985 as a production troupe that performed at schools and churches before moving into its permanent space (which is actually two theaters seating about 100 and 50, respectively).
The venue is extremely intimate, but the theater itself has a reputation for impressive staging and set design for such a small space. The lobby is small and utilitarian, with basic concessions (i.e. soda, coffee and cookies) offered by the ushers during intermission.
The theater encourages new artists and works (it produces at least one original work a season), and promotes theater as an art form incorporating many disciplines. Past productions have included Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Nighthawks based on the Edward Hopper play and some major operas, including an update of Puccini's La Boheme. In recent seasons, the venue has been home to such Chicago (and Midwest) premieres as Michael John LaChiusa's "The Wild Party" and the show "Thou Shalt Not."
The space is located near a series of bars and eateries up and down Madison, including actor hangout Horan's, and (if you're willing to travel quite a bit further west) Molly Malone's.
Centerstage Reviewer: Ed Rutherford