Green Line Performing Arts Center:
Arts + Public Life's Green Line Performing Arts Center is a vital new theater venue and rehearsal space to support the arts across Chicago’s South Side, and serves as a platform for artistic expression and public gatherings, contributing to the cultural and economic vibrancy of the Washington Park neighborhood.
The center establishes another much-needed professional theater venue on Chicago’s South Side for incubating and supporting South Side performing artists and theater ensembles, along with programming to train residents with interests in theater design and production. Designed by Morris Architects Planners in collaboration with Theaster Gates, a UChicago faculty member, artist, and founder and former director of Arts + Public Life, the Green Line Performing Arts Center continues the growth of the Arts Block, a vibrant collection of cultural and commercial spaces on historic Garfield Boulevard across from the newly renovated CTA Green Line Garfield Station in Washington Park.
The high-tech facility is housed in a renovation of four storefront buildings, which at various points in history have been jazz and entertainment venues, including a restaurant with a live orchestra, a series of music clubs, and most famously Rhumboogie, a nightclub owned by boxing great Joe Louis. At 6,600 square feet, the center includes the E&A Theatre, a black box venue with seating for more than 80 people; the Harris Studio, a separate rehearsal and performance space; Bergman Family Green Room, DelGiorno Lobby, and an outdoor courtyard for public programs and exhibitions including outdoor film screenings.
Green Line Performing Arts Center offers professional training opportunities and employment pathways for residents of Washington Park and the greater South Side through stipend-based training in technical theater, including sound, lighting, and scenic design, and front-of-house and back-of-house management.
By the first anniversary of Green Line Performing Arts Center’s opening on November 10, 2018, APL had hosted 6,867 attendees at 80 programs and events. 51 of those engagements were produced by APL and 29 by community arts organizations or independent artists. In November 2019, APL launched its new Performance Residency program with Theater Company-in-Residence Fehinty African Theater Ensemble. Comedy, storytelling, staged readings and puppetry were new disciplines programmatically explored during Year One of the Green Line Performing Arts Center.