Court Theatre

Court Theatre was founded in 1955 as an amateur outdoor summer theatre at the University of Chicago. Nicholas Rudall, a Professor of Classics at the University, established the theatre as a professional company in 1975. As Founding Artistic Director, Rudall first conceived Court’s mission of translating and adapting classic texts for contemporary audiences. Today, Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Court now serves 50,000 patrons and 4,000 high school students each season through its main stage productions and its community partner and education initiatives. Charles Newell, the Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, has led Court since 1994; Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre joined the theatre in 2018. In 2013, Court established the Center for Classic Theatre at the University of Chicago, dedicating the theatre to an expanded mission: curating large-scale, interdisciplinary theatrical experiences that fully access and utilize the extraordinary intellectual resources that surround the theatre. Dynamic collaborations with University of Chicago faculty and with community partners on Chicago’s South Side enable Court to re-examine classic texts in ways that pose enduring and provocative questions about the human experience. Court Theatre aims to make a lasting contribution to American classic theatre by commissioning new works—including new translations and adaptations—and by continuing to explore, expand, and re-define the canon of classic texts.