Writers Theatre

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Writers Theatre
AddressNorth Shore of Chicago
Glencoe, Illinois
United States
OwnerMichael W. Halberstam
ArchitectStudio Gang Architects

Writers Theatre is a non-profit theatre company founded in 1992 and located on the North Shore of Chicago in Glencoe, Illinois. Michael W. Halberstam, the founder of the company, has been artistic director since its inception and Kathryn M. Lipuma has been executive director since 2007.


In 1992, Writers Theatre was founded in order to create an environment where the written word and the nurturing of artists were the foundation of all productions. Writers Theatre opened its first venue in the ante-room of a newly opened bookstore in Glencoe. Because of its growing reputation and audience, a second 108-seat performance space was opened in 2003 in The Woman's Library Club of Glencoe on Tudor Court. The company has produced more than 100 productions, including more than 20 world premieres.

In 2007, Writers Theatre debuted nationally with a New York premiere of Crime and Punishment adapted by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus,[1][2] which has received more than 30 subsequent regional theater productions.

In 2011, Lincoln Center Theater produced another work that began at Writers Theatre: A Minister's Wife, a musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Candida, conceived and directed by Halberstam, with music by Joshua Schmidt, lyrics by Jan Trannen and book by Austin Pendleton.[3][4][5][6]

In November 2013, Writers Theatre announced the launch of the On To a New Stage Campaign, a fundraising campaign with a $34 million capital project goal,[7] which includes a cash reserve, to establish the company's first permanent home in a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning Studio Gang Architects and Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander.[8][9] The new building was completed and opened to the public in February 2016. The inaugural production in the new building was Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, which opened in March 2016 to critical acclaim.[10][11]

Critical Reception[edit]

Writers Theatre has grown to become a cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called "America's No. 1 theatre company" by The Wall Street Journal, who said in 2008, "The best drama company [in the nation] is to be found not in New York, but in Glencoe,"[12] and in 2016 named Writers Theatre "Company of the Year," adding "The best regional drama company in America now has a home worthy of its shows."[13] The company, which plays to a sold-out audience of more than 50,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry. Its 2010 production of A Streetcar Named Desire directed by David Cromer was reviewed as "the most uniformly well-acted production yet seen" by The New York Times.[14] It has garnered numerous awards and accolades, including 113 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 26 awards. Artistic Director Michael Halberstam was named the Chicago Tribune's 2013 "Chicagoan of the Year" for Theater, received The 2010 Zelda Fichandler Award,[15] and in 2016 was honored for outstanding theatrical accomplishments and contributions to Chicago theatre by the Joseph Jefferson Awards,[16] and received an Award of Honor from the Illinois Theatre Association.[17]


  1. ^ Simmons, Paulanne. "A CurtainUp Review: Crime and Punishment". CurtainUp.com. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  2. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (9 November 2007). "Dostoyevsky's Homicidal Student, the 90-Minute Version". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  3. ^ Isherwood, Charles (8 May 2011). "'A Minister's Wife,' at Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater - Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  4. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Shaw's Candida Is Now Musical Minister's Wife by Pendleton, Schmidt and Tranen". Playbill. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  5. ^ Fragassi, Selena. "Review: 'A Minister's Wife' at the Glencoe Writers' Theatre". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Weekend: 'A Minister's Wife' comes to Findlay". The Courier. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  7. ^ Cullotta, Karen Ann. "New, architecturally-significant Glencoe theater should fit in downtown". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  8. ^ Kamin, Blair. "New Writers Theatre building in Glencoe has a flair for drama". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  9. ^ Connors, Thomas (19 July 2016). "Rooms of Their Own: A New Era for Writers Theatre". American Theatre. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  10. ^ Jones, Chris. "'Arcadia' brims with intelligence in Writers' bright new house". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  11. ^ Teachout, Terry (7 April 2016). "'Arcadia' Review: Highbrow Whodunit". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  12. ^ Teachout, Terry (27 December 2008). "Peripatetic Critic's Picks". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  13. ^ Teachout, Terry (14 December 2016). "The Best Theater of 2016: Away From the Great White Way". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  14. ^ Isherwood, Charles (18 June 2010). "Small Space, Big Egos: Something Will Explode". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Zelda Fichandler Award Past Recipients". Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Writers Theatre's Michael Halberstam to Receive Special Honor at 2016 Jeff Awards". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Awards of Excellence". Illinois Theatre Association. Retrieved 4 June 2017.