Nothing Without a Company is planting theatre around Chicago to empower self and community through immersive and revolutionary acts of art in site-specific and reclaimed environments.
In the summer of 2005, a group of friends and collaborators from The Theatre School at DePaul and Columbia College Chicago decided to expand site-specific theatre (wherein the show takes place in the actual location the characters in the play inhabit) into Chicago’s north side. The result became As it is/Like it Was, a two-part dramedy inside a Lakeview apartment. The show extended to a sold-out 5-week run. Nothing Without a Company has since pushed theatre into bars, apartments, street corners, parks, alleyways, garages, and backyards, and has been on the forefront of immersive theatre in Chicago, allowing the audience to be a part of the play and to choose their own adventure.
Nothing Without a Company incorporated as a non-profit in 2008, and in the twelve years of its existence has produced over 22 full-length shows with some of the best up-and-coming writers, directors, actors, and designers in the Chicago theatre community. Nothing Without a Company gained touring experience in 2006 with Ike Holter and Evan Fillon’s Vaudeville Vs ATL, at the Push-Push Theatre in Atlanta for a two-week run.
Nothing Without a Company’s shows directly reflect the community they’re produced in: Lakeview, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Edgewater, and Uptown. Ideally, the company strives to produce shows in as many diverse Chicago neighborhoods as possible.
Nothing Without a Company brings both new and already well-loved theatre works to the Chicago community in non-traditional spaces. Non-traditional forms of presentation allows for more audience engagement than traditional staging, as well as more contact and participation with the surrounding community, which might not otherwise have exposure dramatic works, and free and accessible events.
-Co-Artistic Director Hannah Ii-Epstein
Creating theatre in non-traditional spaces and environments throughout different neighborhoods in the Chicagoland area.
Providing a safe environment for artists to allow them to experiment, grow, and create.
Developing productions that represent our diverse community, advancing the work of LGBTQIA+ people and people of color as artists. We strive to make programming broadly accessible (including ASL interpretation, physical space, and pay-what-you-can performances) in the hopes of highlighting marginalized voices in other communities and artistic spaces.
Placing the audience into a space that feels like they are in the environment and in the scene with the characters.
Revolutionary acts of art:
Encouraging artists to explore innovative concepts and methods in every production.
A production in which a non-theatrical space is utilized as the location of the performance. (i.e. a play set in a bar is performed in a bar)
Spaces used in ways that are not typically or originally used for art or theatre.