One of Chicago theatre’s greatest losses to the COVID-19 pandemic may be reversed. Mercury Theater Chicago intends to reopen, having restructured for the future.
Key in this restructuring: a new artistic director: Christopher Chase Carter. Carter, a Mercury alum (Little Shop of Horrors, Hair), hails from Michigan and began his theater career in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he attended Grand Valley State University on scholarship. In 2005, Carter studied at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles. He continued his studies at the Edna Manley School in Kingston, Jamaica which inspired him to establish the Christopher Carter Arts Scholarship for underprivileged artists. Recently in Chicago, Carter has collaborated on the world-premiere musical Skates and is preparing to choreograph Children of Eden. He has been nominated and received the Joseph Jefferson Award, the Black Theater Alliance Award, Broadway World Award, the Black Excellence Award, and the Grand Rapids ‘Grand’ Award.
During the months ahead, Carter will layout his exciting new vision for the future of Mercury Theater Chicago. “Mercury Theater Chicago will offer a platform for artists of all backgrounds to tell stories unapologetically,” states Carter. “We will create art that represents the world in which we live. I am determined to create a safe and fair environment while focused on equality and inclusivity. We look forward to welcoming and supporting a new generation of artists. At Mercury Theater Chicago, we hear you and we see you. I am excited about the evolution of performance and artistry in this ever-changing great city. And I am excited to reveal our ambitious season in the coming months.”
For his part, Executive Producer Walter Stearns says, “When we closed, we shut down every expense with the hope that someday we would be able to re-open in better times. By conserving resources along with federal support and refinancing, we have been given the opportunity to remake theater into something better for the future. I am extremely excited for the new ideas, vitality and passion brought by our new artistic leadership.”
Mercury Theater Chicago is committed to opening when it is safe to do so, pending a new agreement with Actors’ Equity Association.
Friends of Mercury Theater Chicago can support this vision by purchasing Gift Certificates. Gift Certificates are available in any amount and may be used towards theater tickets, concessions, and cocktails. Purchase at www.MercuryTheaterChicago.com
About Mercury Theater Chicago
The beautifully renovated Mercury Theater Chicago is in the heart of the Southport Corridor at 3745 North Southport Avenue, within a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques just steps from Wrigley Field. A delightful destination, Mercury Theater Chicago is a live-theater seating 280 people, adjoining Venus Cabaret Theater (seating 80).
The building that houses the Mercury opened in 1912 as a silent film nickelodeon, named The Blaine Theatre after actor and former Senator and Secretary of State James G. Blaine. The Blaine became obsolete when talking pictures became popular nationwide in 1928. The building served a variety of uses until 1994, when it was purchased by theater producer Michael Cullen and transformed into a live theatre, named the Mercury Theatre.
In 2010 the building was sold again and reopened as Mercury Theater Chicago under the direction of Walter Stearns, a veteran theater director and producer. Mercury Theater Chicago is thrilled to be part of the city’s vibrant theatre community, boasting record-setting long runs, employing hundreds of artists and recognized with dozens of award nominations. Visit www.MercuryTheaterChicago.com.