CHICAGO – MCL Chicago Management and the Studio BE, NFP Board of Directors have determined to cease operations of the MCL Chicago performance venue (3110 N. Sheffield Ave.) effective March 1, 2018. Full programming will continue in the space through January 31 at which time the MCL creative team will take a hiatus to focus on its creative goals and assemble the next strategies to implement them.
“It has been an incredible honor to see all the amazing talent develop and come through the space,” says Managing Director Michael Shepherd Jordan. “We founded MCL in response to
the rise in popularity of music comedy in Chicago. We fully believe that music improv and music comedy has established its credibility as an equally individual artform within Chicago’s illustrious
MCL Chicago was founded in July 2014 when the physical space was rebranded from Studio BE, a children’s theatre and education venue at that time. MCL’s mission was to create and foster exceptional live music comedy. In four short years MCL’s production history includes world debuts of seven original musicals and the Chicago debuts of 26 new musical works through its Premier Premieres! new musical festival and community partnerships. The theater also hosted 32 musical sketch productions, 34 musical improv ensembles and 12 concerts or cabarets in the space. It has been home to multiple fundraisers for the Chicago community and
nation. MCL has showcased countless stand-up, burlesque, opera, dance, and many other incredibly talented and award-winning artists in the Chicago comedy community. MCL has many core beliefs at the center of its non-for-profit charter, and one of those is to treat performers with a mutual respect and to honor their talent.
“We believe artists are valuable and deserve to be fairly compensated, even when performing improvisation, musical or comedy,” says Director of Finance & Music Director Stephanie
McCullough. Executive Producer Alex Garday adds, “we have worked to create that as an industry standard, and have learned that our founding premise is absolutely true. You can, and should, pay your performers a share of the net profit of a production and demonstrate respect for their talents through more than just stage-time. We hope that this continues across Chicago.”
“We are incredibly grateful for the contributions of our community both on and off stage, and we are proud to have been a part of so many artists’ journeys,” says Development & Outreach Director Cat McDonnell. “We are thankful to everyone who has set foot inside our doors and, though they will be difficult to close, we know that MCL’s impact will outlive any physical space.”
Over the next five months, the MCL team invites Chicago audiences to join in celebrating the talents that will be part of its stage, which include:
● “Rookie of the Year The Musical” (Thursdays, Sept. 7-Oct. 26)
● “Picture It! A Golden Girls Musical” (Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 15-Oct. 7)
● Private Dicks: The Improvised Musical Noir (Tuesdays, Sept. 19-Oct. 31)
● Gotcha Covered: All-Stars! (Saturdays, Oct. 14-21)
● Gotch Her Back: A Fundraising Female Variety Show (2nd Monday of the Month)
● “Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas: A Die Hard Christmas Musical” (Fridays and
Saturdays, Nov. 17-Jan. 13)
Additional short run productions are coming into the space as well. Tickets and information for all performances are on the MCL website.
ABOUT MCL CHICAGO
MCL Chicago creates and fosters exceptional live music comedy. It expands the power of comedy, of theatre, and of the Chicago community at large through music, performance, and community outreach. Operating since 2009 in the Belmont Theatre District, MCL Chicago is a venue for comedians, performers and improvisers of all trades, offering a variety of self-produced work and that of visiting companies.