Thank you, Chicago.
We are so fortunate to be the recipients of the 2012 Emerging Theatre Award, presented by the League of Chicago Theatres and Broadway in Chicago. We’ve been nominated for the award three years running, and are so, so honored to be this year’s winner – and we share the award with all the 200+ artists whose work has been on the T7 stage since 2007.
There’s a lot we’re excited about today: starting with a $5,000 cash prize (much appreciated and much needed) and a marketing package and consultation from Broadway in Chicago that will help us reach a larger audience interested in our work. Cassy and I will also have the opportunity to accept the award at the League’s annual gala where the other honorees are Charles Newell from Court as well as Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane. I know I’m excited to both A. tell Nathan that my girlfriend will always love him more than me, and B. talk about our work for a brief moment in front of some seriously committed Chicago theatre supporters.
But truly, the most exciting element of today’s great news is knowing that the award was voted on by our colleagues at Chicago theatres across town. We place a high value on community at Theatre Seven. We try to tell important stories that, whether they’re set in Chicago or not (and many are), invite an audience to consider the essential issues facing our city today. And whether those plays celebrate or critique the Chicago experience, this company is organized around the principle that local stories matter, and that great art is both a product of and creator of strong communities. So to be honored in this way by our colleagues across the Chicago community is incredibly rewarding, touching and boo-ya exciting.
Chicago theatre is a diverse, robust, supportive, wonderful community. Theatre Seven and the other fantastic finalists for this award, 16th Street Theater, Sideshow Theatre Company, Red Tape Theatre and The Music Theatre Company, are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the diversity, power and artistry offered in this city. We’re going to use this award to deepen our commitment to strengthening our community by telling stories that matter to Chicago today, and supporting the artists that tell them. Please join us, and let’s all keep making great art together!
Managing Artistic Director, Theatre Seven of Chicago