From Hull House to Second City, Ensemble-Made Chicago documents a distinctively democratic way of making theater

A new book by Chloe Johnston and Coya Paz Brownrigg makes a persuasive case that devised performance is in Chicago’s DNA.

In its $5.5 million venue on the Mag Mile next door to Water Tower Place, Lookingglass Theatre Company produces big-budget, movement-based spectacles, often adapted from literary sources. Meanwhile in Andersonville, in a ramshackle walk-up space above a former funeral home, the Neo-Futurists perform intensely personal, artifice-free stories that get updated every week, staged by the seat of their collective pants.…

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