See League of Chicago Theatres' Summer Theater Guide, Featuring Black Ensemble Theater, Goodman Theatre & More

Featured theaters include Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Mercury Theater and more.

By: May. 25, 2022
See League of Chicago Theatres' Summer Theater Guide, Featuring Black Ensemble Theater, Goodman Theatre & More

Chicago will continue to produce some of the most exciting work in the country this summer. Offerings from the city's more than 250 producing theatres include a wide variety of plays and musicals, as well as comedy, dance, and outdoor events.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions including a Summer Theatre Guide, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, Additionally, many summer shows will be available at Hot Tix (, Chicago's local, half-price ticketing service.

The following is a selection of notable work playing in Chicago throughout the summer:

New works and adaptations include:

Black Ensemble Theater continues its Season of Healing and Joy with the world premiere of Grandma's Jukebox, May 21-June 26.

American Idol favorites Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young star in the completely original, family-friendly musical, SKATES, May 24-August 28 in the newly-renovated Studebaker Theater inside the historic Fine Arts Building.

Goodman Theatre presents Life After, a luminous new musical that explores how we move through and live with loss, June 11-July 17.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents It Came From Outer Space, a new musical comedy adapted from the '50s cult classic sci-fi film, June 22-July 24 in the Upstairs Theater.

From Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award winner Elton John, Tony-winning director Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County, Steppenwolf Theatre), and Tony-winning producer Kevin McCollum (In the Heights, Avenue Q, Rent, SIX) comes the pre-Broadway world premiere of The Devil Wears Prada. Presented by Broadway In Chicago, July 19-August 21 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre.

Based on the true story of Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker, who formed the first political consulting firm in U.S. history, Campaigns, Inc. is a hysterical and jaw-dropping inside look at the underbelly of politics through the lens of two of the undeniable founders of "fake news." Presented by TimeLine Theatre Company, August 3-September 18.

Musicals include:

Kokandy Productions presents Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical, based on the hit film starring Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar, featuring fresh takes on familiar 90s jams from No Doubt, Britney, Backstreet Boys, TLC, and more. At the Chopin Theatre, June 9-August 7.

Theo Ubique presents Godspell, celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of this timeless tale of friendship, loyalty and love, based on the Gospel of St. Matthew, running June 10-July 31.

Metropolis Performing Arts Centre gives audiences a reason to rejoice with Sister Act, the musical smash based on the hit film, July 14-August 27.

It's a rollicking good time in sequins as Mercury Theater presents Priscilla Queen of the Desert, featuring hit songs like "It's Raining Men" and "I Will Survive," July 15-September 11.

Paramount Theatre presents the award-winning musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic novel memoir, August 3-September 18.

Notable comedies include:

The Second City presents Queer Eye: The Musical Parody, June 2-August 28. Follow everybody's fave Fab Five as they help an Average Joe manifest their full potential through aggressive self-love, laugh-out-loud comedy, and more songs than you can handle, henny! The Second City's 110th Revue also continues performances throughout the summer.

City Lit Theater presents one of world's classic comedies, The Playboy of the Western World, July 1-August 14.

In the comedy game show Are You Smarter Than Your 8th Grade Nun? contestants are quizzed on subjects like history, geography, arithmetic, science, civics, and a few more! Answer too many questions wrong, and you'll end up in Purgatory. Presented by Nuns4Fun Entertainment at the Greenhouse Theater Center, July 1-August 7.

Dramatic works include:

Director Jessica Fisch brings her deft touch for storytelling to Athena, a fast-paced, engaging portrait of two high-achieving young women, simultaneously rivals and allies, pushing each other to be the best, at Writers Theatre, thru July 10.

Celebrate the power of female friendship with Steel Magnolias at Drury Lane Theatre, June 10-July 31.

Secrets bubble to the surface when Victory Gardens Theater presents the regional premiere of cullud wattah, written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Lili-Anne Brown, June 11 - July 17.

Steep Theatre presents the Midwest Premiere of Eboni Booth's Paris, an off-beat workplace comedy that explores the impacts of race and economics on the wage-earners of rural America, performed at Steep's new home at 1044 W Berwyn Ave, June 11-July 23. The company will also present the U.S. Premiere of Simon Stephens' Light Falls, a haunting tale of resilience, hope, and the impossibly strong bonds of family, July 2-August 14 at Theater Wit.

Steppenwolf Theatre presents Choir Boy, June 16-July 24. Written by Oscar-winning ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), this Tony-nominated play - threaded throughout with soul-stirring a cappella gospel hymn - is the story of a young gay black man and his battle between identity and community.

In a cutting translation of the classic Antigone, the title character places personal allegiance before an unjust city law, a tenacious act that ultimately triggers others into a cycle of destruction. Presented by Redtwist Theatre, June 23-July 31.

Goodman Theatre presents Madeline Sayet's Where We Belong, June 24 - July 24. This solo piece explores an indigenous theatre-maker's journey across geographic boarders, personal history and cultural legacies; in search of a place to belong.

American Blues Theater presents August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Fences, July 1-August 6 at Theater Wit.

Two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig tells the poignant story of his own parents' unlikely courtship during World War II, in Dear Jack, Dear Louise, at Northlight Theatre, July 7-August 7.

Other notable works include:

Lookingglass Alice returns for a circus-infused trip down the rabbit hole and deep into your heart, thru July 31 at Lookingglass Theatre.

Paramount's BOLD series continues with Hand to God, the Tony-nominated, darkly humorous horror shocker (with puppets!), May 25-July 10 at the new Copley Theatre in downtown Aurora.

The Joffrey Ballet presents Don Quixote, a family-friendly, fresh interpretation of this revered ballet classic, full of bravery, fantasy, and love, June 2-12 at the Lyric Opera House.

Using trap music, fashion shows and the backdrop of the French Revolution, The Story Theatre's Marie Antoinette and the Magical Negroes reimagines the myth of the lost monarchy and puts it into the hands and mouths of Black people, June 30-July 17 at Raven Theatre.

Albany Park Theater Project marks two milestones - its 25th anniversary and first live performance since February 2020 - with Homecoming, a program of beloved creations from 25 years of honoring our immigrant community's real-life stories, July 6-23.

Haven Chicago presents Nikki Lynette's multidisciplinary afrogoth musical Get Out Alive, featuring her personal journey with mental health, July 8-August 7 at The Den Theatre.

Relive the classic tale The Wizard of Oz, with this one-hour musical adventure for all ages, July 8-August 7 at the Marriott Theatre.

Outdoor theatre and multiple venue events include:

Free Street Theater's 57 Blocks is an immersive and interactive performance, that brings together the company's two youth ensembles, and connects audiences to both of its spaces by way of a bus ride, June 1-18.

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks summer tour returns! Neighborhood artists, musicians, and dancers will be taking center stage in collaboration with a team of Chicago Shakespeare actors. This fun-for-all-ages, multilingual performance will travel to neighborhood parks and green spaces across our city, July 14-23.

Midsommer Flight returns to the parks after two summers off to celebrate its 10th anniversary presenting outdoor Shakespeare with A Midsummer Night's Dream, July 15-August 21.

Oak Park Festival Theatre presents Shakespeare's romance play The Winter's Tale, July 14-August 20 in Austin Gardens in Oak Park.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, Available half-price tickets will be listed at

Chicago theatres prioritize safely gathering. Patrons are encouraged to confirm current protocols at each theatre. Shows and protocols are subject to change.

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 6 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. Each year Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. For more information, visit

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.