Oracle Productions has named Vanessa Stalling its new artistic director, the company announced this morning. What’s more, Oracle officially announced its relocation from its longtime storefront home at 3809 N Broadway in Lakeview to North Center. The company has been completing a new buildout on the building at 1802 W Berenice most recently occupied by Signal Ensemble Theatre (and by Breadline Theatre before that).
Oracle, which has offered free admission to all its shows since 2010 under a plan it calls Public Access Theatre, will have increased capacity at the new space, with a 99-seat mainstage (up from 44 at the previous space), a second cabaret-style space that can seat up to 45, and a more accommodating, 800-square-foot lobby.
Oracle’s storefront on Broadway will be spared the wrecking ball that’s taking out the longtime homes of Strawdog Theatre Company and Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. on the same block, but the company says it’s being temporarily taken over to serve as a construction office for the new development up the block. It's the final blow to the block’s long standing as a storefront theater hub.
The new building will open in August with the premiere of Kristiana Rae Colón’s good friday. Stalling will choose a final production for 2016, with a complete 2017 slate to come.