The Den to Open New 200 Seat Theater: The New Home of The Hypocrites, August 2014
The Den Theatre is pleased to announce its expansion into a new street-level theater space set to open in late summer as the new resident home of The Hypocrites. The fully adaptable, 6,000 square foot space will feature seating for up to 200 patrons, a bar and other amenities in Chicago's popular Wicker Park neighborhood. Anchored by The Hypocrites' full season, programming will also include an annual Den Theatre production and availability for other companies. The new theatre will open at 1329 N. Milwaukee Ave., directly below the Den's existing five performance spaces at 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Future plans include marquee signage, valet parking, a nearby parking lot and elevators to the 2nd and 3rd floors making the entire building accessible to people with disabilities. The space is made possible through the generous support of Michael and Mona Heath.
The Hypocrites' will inaugurate the new space in August 2014 with the world premiere of ALL OUR TRAGIC, an unparalleled twelve-hour theatrical adaptation that combines all 32 surviving Greek tragedies into a single epic narrative, adapted and directed by Founding Artistic Director Sean Graney. For tickets and additional information, please visit www.the-hypocrites.com.
"This new mainstage space allows us to bring The Den Theatre's storefront aesthetic to a much larger audience while maintaining its intimacy, versatility, and creativity," comments Artistic Director Ryan Martin. "Thanks to almost miraculous timing, the perfect space and the perfect partners came together! Megan Wildebour of The Hypocrites and I began talking about a venue that could accommodate their growth and creative needs. Dedicated theatre patrons Michael and Mona Heath were looking for a focused way to support the Chicago theatre community that they know and love. The perfect collaboration was born, and we've all been working together for almost a year to bring this new space to life. I'm honored to be working with Michael and Mona, who I see as not just financial backers, but as true partners, confidants, advisers, and friends. I feel equally honored to be working with Megan, Halena Kays and The Hypocrites, and deeply appreciate their total confidence and belief in this project from the beginning. We all share the same vision of a hyper flexible theatre surrounded by a bustling, positive environment that is welcoming and accessible to all. I look forward to seeing what the Hypocrites and other companies do with the myriad possibilities of our new space and invite their feedback so we can continue to grow and evolve," adds Martin.
"While The Hypocrites are extremely grateful and fond of our longtime residence at the Chopin Theater, we knew we had outgrown the lovely basement studio," comments The Hypocrites Managing Director Megan Wildebour. "We've been searching for the perfect fit for our ever changing audience configurations and a place to call home. I have passed that empty clothing store at 1329 N. Milwaukee and daydreamed about turning it into a huge blackbox theater. It felt like fate to discover that Ryan was thinking the same thing. We quickly started to make it a shared goal to become the resident company when The Den's plan came to fruition. I've also always admired Ryan's ambition to create a venue where audiences and artists want to hang out after a production and what strength it adds to our vibrant Chicago theater community. Through partnerships this past year with Steppenwolf and The Mercury, we hoped to prove we could make a production work at any location and expose new audiences to our work. We truly believe The Den is a game changer for storefront theater - and we're thrilled to be a part of the ride," adds Wildebour.
In a joint statement, Michael and Mona Heath commented, "As devotees of Chicago storefront theatre, we are constantly amazed by the ingenuity and dedication of the actors, designers, directors and other theatre artists. Our main goal with this project was to help eliminate barriers to artistic innovation and achievement by providing an affordable and highly flexible performance venue that can accommodate the wildly fertile imaginations in Chicago's storefront theatre community. The Hypocrites epitomize the daring and diverse programming that we hope to encourage, and we have been delighted to have them on board in helping shape the resulting space and becoming its anchor tenant. And in Ryan Martin and the Den Theatre, we happily found an ideal partner with the vision and drive to realize our shared dream. We hope that audiences will enjoy the life-enriching impact of Chicago storefront theatre in the comfortable and welcoming environment at the newly expanded Den."