Theatre Seven Chicago distributes ‘legacy gifts’

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Many theater companies close their doors with a trail of red ink behind them. A rare exception is Theatre Seven of Chicago, which earlier this year announced it would be disbanding and is now disbursing its remaining funds  — about $14,700 — to mostly small to mid-size arts organizations that, in its own image,  deal in Chicago-focused storytelling.

Theatre Seven will issue “legacy gifts” of between $400 and $2,700 to 10 Chicago arts organizations in advance of its closing this month. The recipient institutions, which will create Chicago stories or bolster Chicago playwrights in the coming year, include Oracle Theatre, Albany Park Theatre Project, 2nd Story, She Crew, Sideshow, Adventure Stage Chicago, Timeline, Stage Left Theatre, Pavement Group and Broken Nose Theatre.

In a prepared statement, Brian Golden, Theatre Seven’s managing artistic director noted:“These 10 organizations create dynamic work that explores and reinvents Chicago stories, and each plays a vital role in allowing our city to see itself on stage. We believe a vibrant, locally oriented theater scene is a necessary component of healthy civic life, and these companies embody that ideal.”

Here is a closer look at the recipients:

Oracle Theatre ($2,500), to cover artist stipends on the spring remount of its hit play “The Jungle.”

Albany Park Theatre Project ($2,500), to support Learning Curve, an immersive, site-specific performance about public education in Chicago.

2nd Story ($2,250), to offer full scholarships to 25 percent of all educational participants in 2014-15.

She Crew ($2,016), to fund all participant meals for the entire 2015 summer session.

Sideshow ($1,500), to commission a set-in-Chicago play as part of The Freshness Initiative.

Adventure Stage ($1,400), to strengthen evaluation mechanisms for outreach program, Neighborhood Bridges.

Pavement Group ($800), to support its upcoming production “Buddy Cop 2.”

Timeline Theatre ($800, to support its play development program, Playwright’s Circle.

Stage Left Theatre ($600), to support general operations.

Broken Nose Theatre ($400), to support general operations.

NOTE: From 2007 to 2014, Theatre Seven of Chicago’s mission was to transform the way Chicagoans engage with their city and to be the premier center for the creation, development and showcase of theatrically based Chicago stories. The company produced 16 full productions and four evenings of Chicago-focused, multi-author storytelling, including “The Chicago Landmark Project,” “We Live Here,” and “Yes, This Really Happened to Me.” Theatre Seven earned nominations for four Jeff Awards, three Black Theatre Alliance Awards and won the 2012 League of Chicago Theatres’ Emerging Theatre Award. And the company worked with more than 300 artists during its lifespan.

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