Company Overview


Emerald City Theatre celebrates all of Chicago’s children through playful, professional, and culturally relevant artistic programs that motivate young people to creatively face the world.


About Emerald City Theatre

Photo: Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat

Emerald City Theatre (ECT) is one of Chicago’s most-attended nonprofit theater companies reaching children 0 – 13-years-old through its three pillars of work: artistic, education, and outreach.

Serving over 80,000 children and their grown-ups annually, the company has created nearly 100 productions at the Apollo Theater in Lincoln Park, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, and its very own Little Theatre – the nation’s first facility dedicated to Theatre for the Very Young – in Lakeview.
ECT also builds skills in children through its yearly camps, classes, and residencies – the largest theater arts education program in Chicago, serving over 62,000 students to date and 200 schools annually.

The company’s outreach initiatives make ECT programs available to any child of any household income level by providing free plays and companion books to children in under-served neighborhoods. To date, over 53,000 students have been served, including, in March of 2016, all 30,000 CPS second grade students in a ground-breaking partnership with author Mary Pope Osborne, Random House Children’s Books Publishing and KPMG – Family for Literacy.

Company Snapshot

Company Snapshot

Emerald City class

Artistic Performance Locations:

  • The Apollo Theater in Lincoln Park
  • The Broadway Playhouse on the Magnificent Mile
  • Emerald City’s Little Theatre in Lakeview

Annual Attendance:

  • 50,000+ children and their grown-ups at weekend performances
  • 30,000+ students and teachers receive reduced-price tickets
  • 7,000+ students receive free tickets through ECT’s One Fund program

Educational Camps & Classes Locations:

  • 3,000+ annual registrants
  • Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and Lincoln Square summer camp locations
  • 200+ schools served in 40 of 50 city wards

Emerald City Theatre’s One Fund Program:

  • 53,000+ students served since 2011
  • ECT’s One Fund provides a free performance and a free companion book to qualifying CPS students from low-income homes

Annual Budget: