Best 2014-2015 College Productions In Chicago

Chicago has plenty of world-class theaters where one can catch a performance of a Shakespearean play or the debut of a new play from an unknown playwright. But have you ever considered seeing a theatrical production staged at a college or university in Chicago? Luckily, the city's college scene has a theatrical season that is just as robust as the professional theaters in town. Don't forget to purchase your tickets in advance.
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'The Phantom Tollbooth'
Merle Reskin Theatre
DePaul University
60 E. Balbo Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 922-1999
Dates: Now through Nov. 15, 2014
This may sound unreal to anyone who has commuted on I-294, but tollbooths can be magical. This fall, you and your child can take in a production of Norton Juster's classic novel "The Phantom Tollbooth" staged at DePaul University's Merle Reskin Theatre in Chicago's South Loop. Are you planning on taking your child to the play? Then heads up, as the play is considered appropriate for children seven years of age and older. Several daytime performances are scheduled during the week, making this production ideal for a field trip. Veteran director David Catlin brings the classic tale to life in this production.

'The Laramie Project'
Ethel M. Barber Theater
Northwestern University
30 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
(847) 491-7282
Dates: Oct. 24 – Nov. 2, 2014
The heartfelt and powerful play "The Laramie Project" kicks off the 2014-2015 theatrical season of The Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts at Northwestern University. The play, which is based on interviews conducted in the town of Laramie after the murder of Matthew Shepard, was written by Moise Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project. The production is directed by Northwestern University faculty member Rives Collins, who has previously directed the plays "The Secret Garden" and "Once upon a Mattress," among others. Tickets can be purchased in advance.
'Fiddler On The Roof'
Performing Arts Center
Harper College
1200 W. Algonquin Road
Palatine, IL 60067
(847) 925-6000
Dates: Nov. 14 – 23, 2014
The classic play "Fiddler on the Roof" comes to Harper College, with a run right before the holidays. Sing along to the musical's iconic songs, including "Sunrise, Sunset," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" and "If I Were A Rich Man." The play is directed by faculty member Kevin Long, who has previously directed plays at Harper College. If you'd like to discuss the play or learn more about Harper College's production, then stop by for complimentary coffee with the director on Sundays at 1 p.m., before the show begins that afternoon.  
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'The House Of Bernarda Alba'
Newhart Family Theatre
Loyola University Chicago
1020 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 508-8400
Dates: Nov. 14 – 23, 2014
What can happen when a family of five daughters is plunged into mourning for eight years? The play "The House of Bernarda Alba" shows the ramifications of what can happen. The play was written by Federico Garcia Lorca and has Ann Shanahan at the helm as the director. Shanahan is a faculty member of Loyola University Chicago and has directed numerous performances at the university level, including "Hedda Gabler" and "Loves Labours Lost." The performance scheduled for November 21 will feature ASL interpreters; prior to that performance, contact the box office for seating arrangements. The theatre is located in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood and is accessible by public transportation.

'Monty Python's Spamalot'
Madison Street Theatre
Concordia University Chicago
1010 W. Madison St.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 488-4313
Dates: April 16 – 26, 2015
Calling all Monty Python fans. If you want to see the comedy group's hit "Spamalot," then grab your coconuts and head over to Concordia University Chicago for a performance. While you think you might know the legend of King Arthur, you likely haven't heard it told quite this way. The comedy kicks off in April of next year and features plenty of hilarious songs that you'll likely find yourself singing well after the performance has ended. The play will be directed by faculty member Andrew Pederson.
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Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in "-er." She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at