CHICAGO – Greenhouse Theater Center is pleased to announce the launch of Young People’s Theatre of Lincoln Park (YPT), a new company offering both high-quality Theater for Young Audience (TYA) productions (professional actors performing for children and families), along with performance opportunities for children of all ages and backgrounds. Housed in the historic Greenhouse Theater Center in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, YPT will announce its inaugural 2020-21 season in the Spring of 2020. Randy White, who most recently directed GTC’s critically acclaimed production of Midsummer (A Play with Songs), will serve as the theatre’s Managing and Artistic Director. As part of its mission, YPT will commission and develop new works and offer educational opportunities for young people.
Managing/Artistic Director Randy White has directed extensively in New York City and at regional theatres across the country. He most recently was the Founding Artistic Director of Cardinal Stage Company in Bloomington, Indiana, where he inaugurated the company’s extraordinarily successful TYA Cardinal for Kids series.
White notes. “As we prepare for our inaugural season, YPT is focused on partnering with community organizations, parents, educators, and local business leaders to provide thrilling and transformative theatre experiences for children from Lincoln Park and surrounding neighborhoods. These community partners will make it possible for local children of all ages – from toddlers to teenagers – to experience and participate in a wide range of transformative theatre experiences.” White adds, “We look to our community for our Board of Directors. YPT seeks community leaders, business partners, engaged parents, impassioned educators, established theatre professionals, and all who are inspired by the idea of building a passionate new children’s theatre company in the heart of our community.”
About the Managing/Artistic Director
Randy White and family recently relocated to Chicago from Bloomington, Indiana, where he was founder and artistic director of Cardinal Stage Company. The company grew quickly under Randy’s leadership and in less than a decade was one of Indiana’s largest and most successful arts organizations. Randy directed many Cardinal productions, including West Side Story, August: Osage County, Next to Normal, The 39 Steps, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, King Charles III, The Grapes of Wrath, etc. Randy was especially gratified to work with nearly 100 extraordinarily talented Chicago actors and theatre designers while at Cardinal.
A champion of children’s theatre, Randy inaugurated Cardinal’s extraordinarily successful Cardinal for Kids series. Fiercely devoted to the success of the TYA series, Randy directed many Cardinal for Kids’ shows, including A Year With Frog and Toad, Junie B. Jones, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Oliver!, The Diary of Anne Frank, Shrek–the Musical, Annie, Charlotte’s Web, and several commissioned works. The Cardinal for Kids’ series reached over 7,500 South-Central Indiana children, including thousands of kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Randy has also directed in New York and at major regional theatres across the county. In NYC, he developed and directed Theatreworks USA’s Max and Ruby, a children’s musical that played off-Broadway before touring nationally. He also directed the 15-month off-Broadway run of Glen Berger’s Underneath the Lintel, assisted on Disney’s The Lion King, and was resident director at New Dramatists. Regionally, Randy has directed at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Portland Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and numerous other theaters across the country.
As a theatre educator, Randy has directed and/or taught at Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University, University of Minnesota/Guthrie, University of Alberta, Fordham and NYU Tisch. He also taught for several years at NYC’s American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
In Chicago, Randy directed The Wizard of Oz at the Children’s Theatre of Winnetka and Curious George and Knuffle Bunny (January 2020) at Northbrook Theatre. For the Greenhouse Theater, Randy directed Truman and The Birth of Israel and was recently nominated for Best Director by Broadway World Chicago for his critically acclaimed production of Midsummer (A Play with Songs). Randy holds an MFA in directing from the University of Alberta in his native Canada.
Greenhouse Theater Center will continue to provide a home for its resident theatre companies, engage in co-productions and offer space to Chicago’s many itinerant performing arts entities.
This winter, Greenhouse Theater Center is home to several family-friendly productions including Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish –The Musical (November 19 – December 29, 2019) and The Land of Forgotten Toys – A Christmas Musical (November 27 – December 29, 2019), a co-production with CPA Theatricals, Inc. For tickets and additional information, visit greenhousetheater.org.
About Greenhouse Theater Center
Greenhouse Theater Center (GTC) is a producing theater company, performance venue and theatre bookstore located at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.
GTC began its producing life in 2014 with the smash hit and Jeff Award-winning Churchill, followed by 2016’s much-lauded Solo Celebration!, an eight month, 16 event series highlighting the breadth and depth of the solo play form. In 2017-18, the Greenhouse presented its first full subscription season, including Machinal (4 stars from Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones and nominated for seven Jeff Awards), a remount of the Jeff Award-winning Rose and the Chicago premiere of Birds of a Feather.
As a performance venue, the Greenhouse complex offers two newly-remodeled 198-seat main stage spaces, two 58-seat studio theaters, a newly-built 44-seat cabaret space, two high-capacity lobbies and an in-house rehearsal room. GTC also houses Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre bookstore, located on the second floor the complex. GTC just completed a $400,000 renovation which includes the addition of upstairs restrooms, new stage risers, lighting grids and LED lighting, a new wider staircase, renovated offices and rehearsal rooms, new storage and additional sound-proofing throughout the building.
The Greenhouse Theater Center’s mission is first and foremost to grow local theatre. GTC seeks local theatre companies and artists to partner on co-productions, offering partners a multitude of resources including an equitable split of production costs, production manager, full-service box office and front-of-house staff, artistic consultation, marketing and public relations support and a full-service bar with concessions. For additional information, call General Manager Derek Van Tassel at (773) 404-7336, ext. 13.