Theatre and MAPH and Chicago

Ben Brownson, a MAPH alum from this past year – writing on Oscar Wilde’s Salome, has kindly written up a post about theatre here at the University and around Chicago.  He is  the Assistant Box Office Manager at the Court Theatre here on campus, and his plays have been workshopped, most recently, by the Chicago Dramatists.

Hello MAPHers.  My name is Benjamin Brownson and I am a MAPH
alumnus who is interested in and passionate about theatre.  I
thought I’d take a few minutes to share some pertinent info
about theatre in Chicago and some of the opportunities you have.
The first is Court Theatre.  Court Theatre is a professional
theatre in residence on the U of C campus.  It is affiliated
with the University, but it is a professional and stand-alone
theatre.  In fact, it is one of the largest and most respected
theatres in Chicago—the Wall Street Journal has called it “the
most consistently excellent theatre in America.”  You’ll be
seeing The Mystery of Irma Vep as a part of Core in November,
but I encourage you to check them out before and after.  For
one thing, they do good work—I saw four of the five shows they
did last year and they were excellent.  But perhaps even more
important to you is that as a U of C student you can get a
phenomenal discount.  While tickets usually run from around
$30-$60, with your U of C ID you can buy single tickets for
$10 in advance, $8 for a subscription (3 or more), and $5 if
you rush the box office an hour before the show and they have
any left.  It is absolutely the cheapest way to see a show at
Court, and I highly recommend you take advantage of it.  You
can find more information about the theatre, the season, and
purchasing tickets at

Second, the University of Chicago has a surprisingly vibrant
theatre community.  It exists in two parts: TAPS (Theatre and
Performance Studies) and UT (University Theatre).  The former
is the department, the latter is an organization.  They put on
shows of all sorts, from readings to workshops to plays to
musicals, all year.  Auditions are held the first week of each
quarter for the entire quarter’s productions.  There will be
an informational meeting about the performing arts on
Thursday, September 24th, 1pm – 2pm in the Francis X. Kinahan
Third Floor Theater in the Reynolds club 24th, if you have any
questions or want to find out more about theatre at the
University you should check it out.  You can also fine more
information at and

Third, as I’m sure you already know, Chicago is one of the
best cities in the country in terms of its theatre life.  Take
advantage of it.  Your student ID will get you discounts at
just about any theatre, from the small, young storefront
companies all the way up to the Goodman and Steppenwolf.  If
you ever wanted to check out a world-class theatre scene, now
is the time.  The League of Chicago Theatres has great website
at  There you’ll find pretty much
every show that’s playing in the city, links to all the
theatres, ticket information, special events, and a lot more.
They also run HotTix, a discount ticket seller that might
have tickets for those few shows that don’t have a student
discount.  It’s a good place to start if you’re looking to see
some theatre around the city.

Hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea of where to start if
you’re looking to check out some theatre.  I really do
encourage you to do so.  It’s good to get out of Hyde Park
once in a while, and there is some truly fantastic work going
on every weekend.  If you have any questions about anything
regarding theatre in the city, I hope you’ll drop me an email,
whether it’s to ask me if I know anything about a particular
theatre company or can recommend a show or whatever, I would
love to hear from you and talk theatre.  It’s what I do.
Either way, I hope you get out there and enjoy what Chicago
theatre has to offer.

benjamin brownson

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