The Hypocrites move to an expanded Den Theatre

The Den will open a new street-level mainstage space on Milwaukee Avenue

The Den Theatre

The Den Theatre

The Den Theatre in Wicker Park will expand from its current two floors to three this summer, with the Hypocrites becoming a resident company anchoring a new 6,000 square-foot space at street level at 1329 N Milwaukee Avenue.

The Den currently occupies space on the second and third floors of the building, with five smaller performance spaces. The new flexible first-floor space, to be converted from a vacant furniture store, will allow for seating for up to 200 patrons and will include a bar (separate from the existing second-floor lobby bar) and other amenities. Plans are to inaugurate the new theater with the Hypocrites' marathon staging of Sean Graney's All Our Tragic in August. With financial support from backers Michael and Mona Heath, the Den's future plans include installing elevators to make the entire space fully accessible.

The Hypocrites had been in residence just down the street at the Chopin Theatre for several years, but felt they were outgrowing the basement studio space there, says managing director Megan Wildebour. The Den Theatre opened in 2011 on the second floor at 1333 N Milwaukee Avenue, soon expanding into the third floor as well. The Den produces its own shows as well as serving as a rental space for such companies as Seanachaí Theatre, Pavement Group and Akvavit Theatre. Last fall, I named the Den the "best place to find your next favorite theater company" in Time Out Chicago's 2013 Best Awards.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)