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 Chicago’s largest theater for young audiences, reaching children 0 – 15-years-old through its three pillars of work: artistic, education, and outreach. Serving an average of over 60,000 children and their grown-ups annually, the company has created over 100 productions in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and Downtown Chicago.

ECT also builds skills in children through its yearly camps, classes, and residencies – the largest theater arts education program in Chicago, serving over 64,000 students to date and an average of 200 schools annually.

ECT’s signature outreach program, One Fund supports increased literacy among Chicago’s children by providing a free play and free companion book to underserved Chicago Public Schools students. In 2018, ECT provided 95,000 free books to CPS students in Kindergarten – 3rd grade as part of a partnership with Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House book series.

ECT’s lead supporters include AMITA Health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, KPMG, Illinois Arts Council, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, and The League of Chicago Theatres and ComEd’s Powering the Arts program.

Company Snapshot

Company Snapshot

Emerald City class

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 50 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 underserved CPS students 

Annual Budget: