image001 (2)This summer, The Gift Theatre debuts an annual artist-friendly fundraiser it’s calling The Season Release Bash, targeting friends and colleagues in the theater community. Attendees of this spirited party in the old-school style of early Gift fundraisers will be the first to hear Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton reveal The Gift’s 2015 season. Entertainment is provided by scrappy honky-tonk band The Lawrence Peters Outfit, and food trucks will be on hand to supply vittles. The Gift’s inaugural Season Release Bash takes place Sunday, June 29, 4 – 10 p.m. at the Fischman Liquors and Tavern Back Lot, 4780 N Milwaukee Ave. $25 tickets – available at, 773-283-7071, or at the door – include unlimited beer courtesy of Left Hand Brewing Co.

“A major goal this year has been to get into a regular groove on our Development efforts,” said Thornton. “With this inaugural party, a major fundraiser and three ‘Come Closer’s a year, we’re making great strides in offering various levels at which folks can support The Gift.”

The affordable Season Release Bash joins the Gift’s roster of annual fundraisers including three “Come Closer” performances that invite guests to meet and talk with actors and creatives after the show and the annual Gala. Guests subscribing on June 29 receive access to a special five-show package deal offered on Brown Paper Tickets that night only: see the two remaining shows of 2014 (Othello and Bethany) as well as all three shows of 2015, all for $125. Subscribers also take home swag from Left Hand Brewing Co.


Drink. Dance. Release the season.

Sunday, June 29, 4-10 p.m. @ Fischman Liquors and Tavern Back Lot, 4780 N Milwaukee Ave

Features food trucks and live music from The Lawrence Peters Outfit

$25, includes unlimited beer from Left Hand Brewing Co.; VIP Canopy Tables for eight people: $300

Tickets available at (773) 283-7071 or

Sponsored by Left Hand Brewing Co. and Fischman Liquors

About The Lawrence Peters Outfit

The Lawrence Peters Outfit is a scrappy honky-tonk band from Chicago, boasting a mutt pedigree as long as any you’ll find in the city’s country music scene. The group’s sound is deep-rooted in generations of country music tradition, with debts owed to Webb Pierce, Jimmy Martin, Hank Williams Sr., Harlan Howard, Dwight Yoakam and Ola Belle Reed. Lawrence Peters sings and plays snare drum, leading the band through his finely crafted originals, and cherry-picked classics. The Outfit includes Matt Gandurski on lead guitar, Dave Sisson on rhythm guitar and Josh Piet on upright bass.

About The Gift Theatre

The Gift Theatre is dedicated to telling great stories on stage with honesty and simplicity. Previous productions include: Mine, Vigils, TEN 2013; Natural Gas’ Jugband Christmas; Dirty; Oh, The Humanity (and other exclamations); Fact & Fiction; Absolute Hell; TEN; Cloud 9; Northwest Highway; Night and Her Stars; Get Behind Me, Santa!; Lonesome West; Suicide, Inc.; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Almost, Maine; Santa’s Great American Depression Holiday Show! (2009 & 210); Summer People; The Ruby Sunrise; Talk Radio; Stop/Kiss; Natural Gas; Streamers; Wit ;The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; White People; Three Sisters; The Beauty Queen of Leenane; Blithe Spirit; 365 Days/365 Plays; The Halloween Show; Long Day’s Journey Into Night; The Glass Menagerie (Remount: Theatre on the Lake); The Good Thief; The Clearing; Hurlyburly; The Glass Menagerie; The Pavilion; A Young Man In Pieces; Language of Angels; 6; County Fair; The Countess; Alcatraz (Abbie Hoffman Festival); Orestes 2.0; Boys’ Life. The theater also sponsors the giftED Ensemble, a rigorous two-year afterschool course for creative and motivated high school students on Chicago’s Northwest side, and the literary program/Salon Series giftLIT.


The 2014 Season began in January with TEN, The Gift’s annual kickoff celebration of ten-minute plays curated by artistic director Michael Patrick Thornton and associate artistic director Paul D’Addario. The season kicked off March 27 with the Chicago premiere of Melissa Ross’s dysfunctional family comedy-drama Thinner Than Water, directed by Gift Ensemble member John Gawlik (2013 Jeff Award-winner for When the Rain Stops Falling at Circle Theatre).Director Jonathan Berry (Dirty) returns for The Gift’s first Shakespeare production together; Othello runs July 10-August 31 and is dramaturged by Shakespeare scholar Michael Petersen, PhD. The season closes with the Chicago premiere of Laura Marks’ new shocker Bethany, directed by Marti Lyons, September 25-November 23. Subscriptions for the entire 2014 season, which includes two Chicago premieres, are available for as little as $75. The Gift subscribers (“Gifters”) receive admission to three shows, free parking at Gale Street Inn, free admission to allWednesday night “Natural Gas” improv shows and invitations to special subscriber-only special events. Subscribe at or call 773-283-7071.

The Gift Theatre is conveniently located at 4802 N. Milwaukee in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood, and is easily accessible by the CTA Blue Line, the Lawrence and Milwaukee Avenue buses and the Kennedy Expressway. For more information about The Gift Theatre’s productions and programs, visit