The Chicago Tribune recently had a story with the headline Tough times for commercial shows in Chicago that hit home for us. The story, by Trib theater critic Chris Jones, talks about a variety of theater productions which have closed this year. Blame the rush to get tickets for Hamilton and the Cubs for the major drop-off in Chicago theater goers this year, Jones says.
“Tough times for a business that is very important to a city with so many socially conscious artists,” Jones writes. His article was focused on for-profit theaters in the city. But the 2nd Act Players, a not-for-profit theater in the suburbs, has been feeling the fallout from this year’s drop in theater ticket sales as well.
We’re only a week away from the opening of our fall show, The Institute, coming of age during the Vietnam War, and advance ticket sales are below the levels we’ve seen for our previous fall productions. We’re doing our part to address that — we’ve reached out to veterans’ groups and high schools which we think would be interested in seeing and discussing our play because it focuses on four high school boys coming of age during the Vietnam War.
But we also need a little help from our friends. We’ve developed a loyal audience in our first three years, many of whom have come to every show we’ve done. We would not still be here without you and we thank you profusely.
We need your help again, though. Please go to our ticket site and book your tickets now for The Institute which runs weekends from Oct. 21 through Nov. 13. (If you run into any technical glitches there, let me know immediately and I will get them fixed.)
At least six of our 12 show dates are on days when the Cubs will not be playing in the league championship series or the World Series, so if you’re a Cubs fan, come see our play and cheer on your team too! We may have a Sunday conflict or two, but remember our Sunday shows are matinees, over by 5:30. The ball games will be at night, after NFL games are largely done, so you can catch our play and still be home to root on the Cubs.
If you’re a White Sox fan, come any day, you’re always welcome too! We’re in our new theater home at Northminster Church in Evanston, come see it and the work we’ve done to prepare it for our performances.
This play is a very personal story for me and holds many parallels to the divided mood of the country today, so it will be a highly relevant, and entertaining evening or afternoon for you. Join us, buy your tickets today and support not-for-profit suburban theater.
John N. Frank
2nd Act Players