Chicago's iO Theater Closes Its Doors Permanently
According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago's iO Theater, which has been closed since March due to the current health crisis, has officially closed its doors permanently. Founder Charna Halpern explained that the decision was made because of financial struggles. "I'm 68 years old. It's scary for me," she said. "We're in a pandemic right now and there's no end in sight. Even if we were able to open at half capacity it was not going to work."
This news comes a week after artists started a petition demanding changes at iO- the first term being: "Decentralize theater decision making. Distribute power and give more power to BIPOC."
Widely considered to be the premier venue for long-form improvisational performances and classes, the iO Theater (formerly known as the ImprovOlympic Theater) was founded in 1981 by Charna Halpern and the late great improvisational teacher and director, Del Close.