Dear Chicago Ensemble Patron,


As 2010 gets underway, we thought it might be a good idea to catch up with you and let you know what's on the horizon for WCE, and also to offer you an overview of what 2009 was for our Company.  We often get caught up in the day-to-day running of the organization, and forget to celebrate what we've accomplished.

As you may be aware, we chose not to renew our lease at the El Centro Theatre.  While we are extremely proud of the work we did in the space (2008's SWEETEST SWING IN BASEBALL, ASSASSINS and MISS WITHERSPOON and 2009's THE GRADUATE, YENTA UNPLUGGED, TENNESSEE IN THE SUMMER, BIG, ANITA BRYANT DIED FOR YOUR SINS and THREE TALL WOMEN), we want the next chapter of WCE's evolution to be a definite step up.  We feel that our loyal patrons and supporters deserve to see our work in a space that we are proud of, and that will enhance the audience experience.

We are still working to formulate a plan for 2010-2011.  It's obviously challenging to plan a season without a space, but we are moving forward with putting together a "Season On The Move" - possibly doing 2 or 3 shows in different spaces, while we continue to look for a suitable theater space.   We definitely have some wonderful plans up our sleeve, and as soon as we begin locking in performance spaces, we will let you know.

We are so proud of the work we have done over the last few years, and so grateful to you for your ongoing support.  As we move into our 29th year, we know things will look different for us.  But we know that whatever change comes our way, we can count on you for your patronage. Thanks for our featured sponsor American Washing of Chicago for a generous donation to keep our theater going!

Thank you so much -- we look forward to seeing you soon!



Les Hanson and Richard Israel

Co-Artistic Directors

Chicago Ensemble Theatre




Gradudate Parents

We kicked off our 28th season with THE GRADUATE, directed by Jules Aaron, produced by Bill Tigue, and starring Ben Campbell, Michelle Exarhos, Jerry Lloyd, Kelly Lloyd, Chris Muto, Sara J. Stuckey and Bill Tigue.  We were thrilled to present this wonderful stage adaptation in our intimate space.

3TW Postcard Half Size
BIG - THE MUSICAL opened in May and was a great success both critically and financially.  BIG was directed by Richard Israel and produced by Ben Campbell, and starred Company members Sterling Beaumon, Johanna Kent, Larry Lederman, Lisa Picotte,Darrin Revitz, Sara J. Stuckey and guest artists Ashely Arnold, LJ Benet, Joey Castanon, Will Collyer, Coby Getzug, Frank Romeo, Alex Scolari,Jake Wesley Stewart IV, and Kailey Swanson.  The show received excellent reviews including a "Go!" from the L.A. Weekly and a Critic's Choice from the L.A. Times.  The show ran for 12 weeks, including a 4- week extension.  In addition, Will Collyer received an Ovation nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Musical.

3TW Postcard Half Size

ANITA BRYANT DIED FOR YOUR SINS opened in August and was a critical and box office smash.  Written by playwright Brian Christopher Williams, the show was directed by Richard Israel and produced by Julie Smith.  ANITA starred Company members Madelynn Fattibene, Sean Owens, Tony Pandolfo, Jan Sheldrick and Sara J. Stuckey and guest artists Nick Ballard, Wyatt Fenner and Nick Niven.  The show ran for 11 weeks, including a 4-week extension.  ANITA received excellent reviews including a "Go!" from the L.A. Weekly, Critic's Choice from the L.A. Times and Critic's Pick from Backstage.  In addition, the show has been nominated for a GLAAD award (the ceremony is in March) and Wyatt Fenner, Tony Pandolfo and Jan Sheldrick have received L.A. Weekly nominations for Outstanding Performances.

3TW Photo Resized
THREE TALL WOMEN opened in November and was a beautiful production that we are extremely proud of.  Directed by Michael Matthews and produced by Brook Carlson, the show starred Company members Leah Myette, Eve Sigall and Jan Sheldrick and guest artist Michael Geniac.  3TW received excellent reviews and we were extremely proud to bring this beautiful rendering of Albee's classic play to our audiences. 


 During the run of THE GRADUATE, WCE Company member Carla Barnett produced a midweek production of TENNESSEE IN THE SUMMER, which was the kickoff show of our member-generated midweek series.  The production was directed by Justin French and starred Carla, Dan Alemshah and Danny Araujo.  TENNESSEE IN THE SUMMER was received very well and provided a great opportunity for our actors to take on difficult material.

We also were proud to present the premiere of Annie Korzen's YENTA UNPLUGGED.  This one-woman show was a bonus for our subscribers and was a great opportunity for Annie to try out some new material.

WCE Logo from web