A new nonprofit group calling itself "Friends of Chicago's Neighborhood Theatres" is seeking to promote Chicago theater using online videos written and performed by local talent.
The first such video features actor Marc Grapey performing a monologue by playwright Robert Koon about Chicago's love of outdoor dining. The background image of a lakefront café fades to reveal Grapey on a bare theater stage, as actor Mary Beth Fisher's narration encourages us to seek out the city's hundreds of theaters.
Spearheaded by playwright Penny Penniston, Friends of Chicago's Neighborhood Theatres intends to promote a new video across social media every two to three months; future videos have been written by Nambi E. Kelley, Mia McCullough, Tom Mula and Penniston. The group's website, chicago-cityofstories.org, features links for finding shows and reviews and theatergoing tips.