Chicago Theatre Week 2016 Reached Record Audiences

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unnamed (22)Chicago Theatre Week, an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago, reached record audiences during the fourth year of the program. Over the span of Chicago Theatre Week, February 11 – 21, 2016, 106 participating organizations sold more than 10,500 total value-priced tickets to 124 different productions.

During the fourth annual Chicago Theatre Week, which is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago, visitors and residents had the opportunity to sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout Chicagoland, featuring 666 individual performances between February 11 and 21. The Theatre Week ticket offers went on sale January 5, 2016 at ChicagoTheatreWeek.com. The program successfully brought in new theatregoers with an average of 63% of the Theatre Week attendees being new to the theatre they attended.  Theatre Week 2016 also saw a record number of visitors from outside Chicago, with 17% of Theatre Week patrons coming from beyond 50 miles of the city, including 40 states, Canada, England, Scotland, and elsewhere.

“This is a week that brings attention to theatre and is a true celebration of the work that is created and produced here year round. It is a vital annual happening that puts theatre in the spotlight and reminds us that—even in the dead of winter—Chicago’s theatre scene is important, vibrant, and exciting,” comments Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “Theatre Week, with tickets on sale for comedies, dramas, musicals, and the entire range of Chicago productions throughout our city, offers the perfect opportunity for people to check out a new company.”

“Cultural tourism is a critical component to achieving Mayor Emanuel’s goal of increasing annual visitation to 55 million by 2020,” said Melissa Cherry, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Cultural Tourism for Choose Chicago. “Chicago Theatre Week remains instrumental in bringing visibility to Chicago’s acclaimed theatre scene. It shows real consumer interest in the rich array of Chicago theatrical productions including touring and pre-Broadway productions, world premieres, intimate shows in small theatres, new musicals, and old favorites.”

The League of Chicago Theatres also hosted a series of FREE audience engagement events atTheatre Week Central, located in the historic Water Works Building, 163 East Pearson in Chicago.  These free, public events were presented as part of Theatre Week to help audiences further engage with Chicago’s extraordinary range of theatrical offerings. Events included two lunchtime Showcases featuring short performances and artist chats; a Staged Reading of Stage Left Theatre’s The Body of An American by Dan O’Brien, directed by Jason A. Fleece; and Playwrights at Work, which allowed passersby to watch 14 playwrights at work potentially creating the next great Chicago play in real time.The League also helped to organize free, public Theatre Week tours of the Belmont Theater District and the Glenwood Avenue Arts District.

The League of Chicago Theatres’ 2016 Chicago Theatre Week was supported by Choose Chicago,Sheraton Grand Chicago, dana hotel and spa, and Filini Bar and Restaurant. 2016 Media Partners included ABC 7 Chicago, Chicago Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Verifone Media, and 93-XRT.

About Chicago theatre

Chicago theatre is a leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that 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. In the 2014-2015 season, Chicago theatre companies produced more than 100 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year, Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.

About the League of Chicago Theatres

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website,www.chicagoplays.com.  Half-price tickets are available year-round at www.hottix.org.  Additional information about Chicago Theatre Week is available at www.chicagotheatreweek.com.