Wirtz Center to participate in tenth annual Chicago Theatre Week


Photo courtesy of The Wirtz Center

The Ballad of Mu Lan is one of two productions from The Wirtz Center that are participating in Chicago Theatre Week. Its first official performance will be on February 24.

Kaila Nichols, Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor

From Feb. 17 to 27, Chicago Theatre Week returns for the first time since 2020 with in-person performances. This year, the lineup includes several partnering productions putting on shows that range from musicals and comedies to family theatre.

Now in its 10th year, the annual celebration of Chicago area theatre is a collaboration between the League of Chicago Theatres and Choose Chicago. The return to in-person performances is a way to support and celebrate Chicago theatre, said Debb Clapp, League of Chicago Theatres’ executive director.

People can also take advantage of the low ticket prices and a wide range of performance genres, since Chicago Theatre Week boasts discounted tickets for $30 or less.

“Chicago Theatre Week 2022 is the perfect occasion to support and celebrate Chicago’s resilient theatre industry,” Clapp said in a press release. “We have been hearing time and time again from theatre patrons how excited they were to see their first show after a long hiatus during the worst months of the pandemic.”

Glenn Eden, chair of Choose Chicago’s board of directors, echoed this statement in the same press release. He said that Chicago Theatre Week is “more important than ever as we celebrate the reopening of live theatre.”

The Wirtz Center at Northwestern will participate this year with its productions “Something Rotten!” and “The Ballad of Mu Lan.” There will be 10 performances between the two shows.

According to Pete Brace, the Wirtz Center’s marketing and development manager, shows participate in Chicago Theatre Week if they happen to be scheduled during that time. He also said it’s a great opportunity to increase the visibility of shows produced at NU.

“We allow our students to be seen by those that regularly attend theatre throughout Chicago,” Brace said. “We benefit by them sharing the word and awareness about the good work that our students do here at NU.”

Last year’s Chicago Theatre Week featured 113 theatres online and encouraged viewers to donate the money they would’ve spent to support local theatres.

Brace added that this year’s theatre scene is different, considering many NU productions made their return to in-person audiences.

“We are also thankful that we’re able to have in-person audiences gather safely,” Brace said. “That is really what the community of theatre is all about, for people to have that unique experience each and every night of our performance, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide that.”

Annie Xia contributed to reporting

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Twitter: @kailanichols07

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