Sears Theater Fever
Sears, Roebuck and Company, once famous for its catalogs, has underwritten this living catalog of off-Loop theater. Organized by the League of Chicago Theatres, Sears Theater Fever is a weeklong showcase on city and suburban stages designed to energize current lovers of theater and recruit new ones. Kicking off the promotional event is a one-day sampler this Saturday of performances and participatory activities, ranging from improv game sessions and "do it yourself" Shakespearean scenes to puppetry workshops, stage-combat exercises, and audition seminars. The event takes place at six different venues, with two to five different activities every hour at each one. The range of participating companies is remarkably extensive--from neighborhood-based fringe troupes such as the Free Associates improv group to the casts of downtown touring musicals--and their presentations range from kid friendly to some deemed "not suitable for younger or more sensitive viewers." Over the following week, Sears Theater Fever will sponsor free tickets to nearly 50 local productions; a complete list is included in a brochure available during Saturday's kickoff events. This is a bold approach to stimulating local theater; one hopes it will lead somewhere more productive than the place most Sears catalogs ended up. Saturday, February 28, from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Goodman Theatre, 200 S. Columbus; the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; the Second City, 1616 N. Wells; Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted; the Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont; and Northlight Theatre's space in the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. All events Saturday are free; consult the Sears Theater Fever listing in this section for a detailed schedule of activities. For general information, call 312-977-1066. --Albert Williams
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): As We Like It: Shakespeare in Your Face theater still.