Top local storefront theaters
Established in 1983 and run by the husband-and-wife team of Michael Menendian and JoAnn Montemurro, this non-Equity company is primarily known for its productions of mid- to late-20th-century chestnuts. Since 2002, Raven's made its home in a converted former grocery store on Clark Street in Edgewater; the complex's two spaces are also regularly rented to itinerant troupes.
Formerly known as Theatre Building Chicago, this four-theater rental house has been the incubator to countless storefront companies since the late 1970s. Newly renamed and under the new management of Lukaba Productions, its former annual tenant as producers of January’s Sketchfest, the venue continues to play host to productions by companies like Porchlight Music Theatre and TimeLine Theatre Company, sketch troupes and cabaret; a major renovation was completed in 2012.
Located since 1994 in a 60-seat shoebox at the end of a gangway behind a Bucktown restaurant (and a couple of steps through its kitchen), Trap Door has become a vital producer of contemporary and experimental European work, and regularly tours its productions to Europe.
The host of some of the city’s most dynamic and creative storefront troupes, Wicker Park’s Chopin is a resolutely funky venue that consistently draws young audiences. In addition to a rotating door for visiting European companies, many of them Polish, the Chopin is a regular host to innovative companies like the House Theatre of Chicago.