The 2nd Act Players — who we are

The 2nd Act Players is the North Shore’s best-kept theater secret. We’ve been producing new works for the stage since 2013, featuring more than 40 new actors in those shows.  We’re the place to come to see stories about how people deal with major 2nd acts in their lives such as divorce, heart disease, war, and caring for an aging parent, to name just a few of the topics we’ve tackled.

We looked at issues revolving around the Vietnam War in our production of the new play “The Institute”

The 2nd Act Players evolved out of classes taken at the Actors’ Training Center in Wilmette, Ill., and at the Piven Theatre Workshop to become a vibrant showcase for new works of the stage and new talent. In the eight years since it began, it had produced plays dealing with divorce, heart disease, love and death, the Vietnam War and the assimilation of immigrants into mainstream American culture.

Our mission is to foster emerging talent through performances that explore 2nd acts in people’s lives.

Del and Faye Del and Faye

The creative bonds formed in our first class grew as others have joined us along the way to form a unique creative family that spans multiple generations and is united by our love of theater and performing.

Loren Seidner and Chris Johnson in Loren Seidner and Chris Johnson in “Talking with My Dad.”

John N. Frank and Caolyn Calzavara in our 2013 production, New Year's Eve at Grandma's House. John N. Frank and Caolyn Calzavara in our 2013 production, New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House.

We seek to tell everyday stories and simple truths in unique and entertaining ways.

 The 2nd Act Players in 2015 incorporated as a not-for-profit Illinois-based theater company and has obtained 501c3 status from the Internal Revenue Service.

The Boys in the Basement, our fall, 2016 production, played to near sold-out houses.
The Boys in the Basement, our fall, 2016 production, played to near sold-out crowds.
It produced John N. Frank’s play, The Institute, coming of age during the Vietnam War  in November, 2016 and again for staged readings at the location that inspired it, New York City’s Xavier High School, in January 2019. It’s done two new playwright showcases, a #MeToo Play Festival in 2018 and will be spotlighting plays with strong female characters during 2019.




The 2nd Act Players, after years of being a pop-up theater, now has a permanent home in the Northminster Church in Evanston, the former home for 35 years of the Northminster Players.

The Covid pandemic sent the 2nd Act Players online where it streamed its 2020 and 2021 seasons.

16 thoughts on “The 2nd Act Players — who we are

  1. I think your plays must be at Piven Workshop, which I think is on Noyes. If your address and phone are somewhere on this page, I didn’t see them. If they’re not on this page, then no wonder you’re a secret.

  2. Hi there I was trying to submit short play The Sister Portal through your website, but it doesn’t give me a way to attach my script. I thought maybe the submission button would take me to that step, but it just sent my information and title but not the play.

  3. I already got that email but it was corrupt. When I tapped to open it, it instantly disappeared. I tried everything but always the same result. What to do please?

    1. I need an email address to send the 10 Minute Play (regarding 2020 and 2021….covid, encouragement, supportive, etc) to you. The deadline for February is Jan 15. I need the email address asap. It isn’t the One Act play info I need.

  4. Do you accept summer interns? I’m a stage management student in the chicago area and I’m looking for a summer internship

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