free theater in millennum park in Chicago this summer

Free Theater in Millennium Park in Chicago This Summer

Come on out to Millennium Park this summer and enjoy great FREE THEATER as part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre. The free series will feature nine local theatre companies performing throughout Millennium Park on select dates from July to October. The participating companies include: Aguijón Theater Company, Barrel of Monkeys, CircEsteem, Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Full Moon Jam Productions, Collaboraction Theatre Company, Emerald City Theatre, eta Creative Arts Foundation and Free Street Theater.

The companies have been commissioned for one-week residencies and will present site-specific theatre performances that engage the Park’s unique architecture, design and public art – with Wrigley Square, the Great Lawn and Cloud Gate Plaza serving as the stage.


free theater in millennum park in Chicago this summer


The Millennium Park Summer Theatre Residencies were made possible by the generosity of the Bayless Family Foundation. Additional support from the Millennium Park Foundation and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation Endowment at Millennium Park Foundation, in conjunction with the summer-long Family Fun Festival, will help to support theatre programs for families including daily, interactive drama workshops presented by Lookingglass Theatre July 22-26 at Chase Promenade North.


free theater in millennum park in Chicago this summer



July 18–20, Great Lawn

The Adventures of Peter Rabbit by Emerald City Theatre

Adapted by Emerald City artists from Beatrix Potter’s classic tale, this interactive theater experience introduces young audience members to Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck and connects these beloved characters to the backdrop of Millennium Park. Emerald City Theatre celebrates all of Chicago’s children through playful, professional and culturally-relevant artistic programs that motivate young people to creatively face the world. Recommended for families with children ages 5 and under.

July 26–27, Location TBD

Belly of the Whale by Chicago Dance Crash

An excerpt from Dance Crash’s upcoming production Lil Pine Nut, this hip–hop dance scene sees Pinocchio saving his father, Geppetto, after being swallowed by a giant whale. Chicago Dance Crash is an award-winning hip-hop/contemporary dance company known for retelling familiar stories in new and exciting ways. Recommended for families.

July 26–28, Cloud Gate Plaza


CircEsteem’s advanced performance youth troupe will bring the amazement and spectacle of the circus with juggling, acrobatics, clown performance and aerial arts on an 18-foot high aerial rig. The show includes collaborations with Chicago’s various circus schools (Aloft Aerial Circus Arts, MSA Circus Arts and Chicago Wheel JAM) as well as performances by some of Chicago’s most talented professional performers from Ringling Brothers B&B Circus, Midnight Circus and more. CircEsteem unites youth from diverse backgrounds and helps them build self esteem and mutual respect through the practice and performance of circus arts. Recommended for families.

August 5–10, South Boeing Gallery & Cloud Gate Plaza

Barrel of Monkeys

Follow the creation of this production from start to finish. Inspired by the beautiful surroundings of Millennium Park, writers of all ages are invited to work with Barrel of Monkey teachers in a series of one-hour writing workshops. The actors will then bring these stories to life through hilarious sketches, songs and dance presented in an open dress rehearsal and final public performance. Barrel of Monkeys is an ensemble of actor/educators who create an alternative learning environment in which children share their personal voices and celebrate the power of their imaginations. Recommended for families with children ages 7 to 17.

August 13, 14 & 17, Wrigley Square

La gran tirana: Descarga teatral (The Great Tyrant: A Theatrical Descarga) by Aguijón Theater Company

Inspired by the artistry and fascinating life story of Lupe Victoria Yolí Raymond, better known as La Lupe, the undisputed Queen of Latin Soul, this performance piece is an exploration of the artist in exile and how music connects her to her homeland. Aguijón Theater, Chicago’s longest-running Latino theater company, is dedicated to creating exciting and meaningful theatrical experiences through the cultural exploration, discussion and performance of Spanish-language and bilingual works.

September 16–21, Chase Promenade South

I Protest by eta Creative Arts Foundation

Composers, designers and directors from eta Creative Arts Foundation will work with young artists to give voice to moments from their own lives and find community in advocacy through video production filmed throughout Millennium Park. eta Creative Arts Foundation has enriched the lives of people on the south side of Chicago and throughout the world with the magic of theater, music, dance and visual arts.

September 17, 19 & 21, Cloud Gate Plaza

The Moonlight Parade by the Chicago Full Moon Jam

In an epic performance featuring fire dancing, circus arts, drumming and multimedia visuals, heroine Luna realizes that the power to overcome great obstacles exists in each of us – and is an unstoppable force when combined with others. The Full Moon Jam is in its 15th year bringing together a diverse community of fire performers, dance troupes, musicians and spectators from around the world at volunteer-run, free-to-attend gatherings that take place monthly throughout the summer.

October 4–6, Cloud Gate Plaza

The Book of Peace by Collaboraction Theatre Company

Collaboraction presents a collection from its 2019 Peacebook Festival and other performances, including original theatre, dance and spoken word about peace, created by Chicagoans from across the city and utilizing lights and video projections of Amanda Williams’ Color(ed) Theory photographs, moderated conversations, DJs and special guests. Collaboraction incites social change through original devised theatre and community engagement that cultivate knowledge, dialogue and action around Chicago’s most critical social issues.

October 6–12, Cloud Gate Plaza

Still/Here: Manifestos for Joy and Survival by Free Street Theater

Created by a multi-racial, multi-generational ensemble representative of Chicago’s diversity, this performance is an interactive and exuberant celebration of the city, inviting the audience to consider what the past tell us about the future of Chicago and to imagine the Chicago that could be – five years from now, fifty years from now, even five hundred years from now. Celebrating its 50th season, Free Street Theater has been at the forefront of the movement to create affordable, inclusive and innovative theater in communities across Chicago using public performance as a tool to challenge Chicago’s racial and economic segregation.

Weekdays, June 24–August 9, Family Fun Tent – at Chase Promenade North

Family Fun Festival and Lookingglass Theater

The Family Fun Festival presented by Millennium Park Foundation is partnering with Lookingglass Theater as part of the Year of Chicago Theatre and making the Park the place to be for kids of all ages. Every day, between June 24 and August 9 from 10am and 2pm, the festival will offer family performances and hands-on activities. Lookingglass Theater will be a weekly partner from July 22 to July 26 with a variety of workshops including puppet and mask crafts which children will then incorporate in an interactive drama workshop. This imaginative play allows children to explore tools of actors – the body, mind, and voice. Lookingglass Theater plans to engage children in different ensemble-based games and face painting. The Family Fun Festival is grant-supported by Lloyd A. Fry Foundation and presented by Millennium Park Foundation in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

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