On Stage

Adventure Stage Chicago creates productions that respect the identity, intellect, and imagination of our student audience, and we strive to inspire the same in our teaching audience. We also prepare a free online Learning Guide for each performance, which includes theme questions, vocabulary, classroom activities, recommended resources, and more. We also offer discounted tickets for educators to attend one of our weekend performances, so if you can't make it with your class give us a call at 773.342.4141 and mention you are an educator to reserve your tickets.

Current Season  Field Trips

In the Classroom

Adventure Stage Chicago supports classroom teachers and students through our in-school residency, Neighborhood Bridges which turns classrooms into storytelling spaces where teachers can use stories to rejuvenate their practice, and where young people are empowered to become the storytellers of their own lives.

Neighborhood Bridges

Neighborhood Bridges is a nationally recognized literacy program using storytelling and creative drama to help children develop their critical literacy skills and to transform them into storytellers of their own lives. Our skilled teaching artists animate learning and transform classrooms into communities where students think independently and work collectively. The emphasis of Neighborhood Bridges is on social and individual transformation. Our program helps young people explore conflicts and questions found in today’s diverse, changing society. It challenges young people to identify the roots of social problems, examine their own feelings, and propose solutions.

"The Neighborhood Bridges experience pushed me to participate more and share my ideas. Now I think I am more confident in participating in class and sharing my views.”- Student Participant

During the residency, students see a professional Adventure Stage performance at the Vittum Theater. At the conclusion of the program, they will return to the Vittum Theater and take the stage themselves to perform their own created work for other residency classrooms. Our program provides In-Classroom Professional Development for teachers. This hands-on experience in creative drama & critical literacy discussion directly supports the work done in the classroom. This co-teaching model is an innovative way to rethink PD for teachers. With each partnership, schools receive Common Core aligned residency hours with a professional teaching artist. Supporting materials such as learning guides, prompt books, lesson plans, and supplies are also provided.

Neighborhood Bridges was developed by The Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis.

In the Community

Adventure Stage Chicago’s Trailblazers is a unique mentorship program that places young people aged 11-15 with mentors who are professional theater artists. Its participants guide the program’s content. Responsibility for the program’s success is placed in the hands of its students with thoughtful guidance from its professional mentors.

Adventure Stage Chicago is part of a larger social service organization. For over 120 years, Northwestern University Settlement Association (Northwestern Settlement) has nurtured, inspired and educated families in the West Town community. With over 70 programs and services, Northwestern Settlement changes lives through education, social services, and the arts.

Adventure Stage Chicago is honored to be part of an organization with such deep and meaningful ties to the people of its community. We are also dedicated to serving our neighbors through a number of programs that aim to engage the entire Settlement and West Town community in the artistic process.



Adventure Stage Chicago’s TRAILBLAZERS is a FREE and unique mentoring program that places young people (11-15) with mentors who are professional theater artists. Student participants guide the program’s content with thoughtful assistance from its professional artist mentors. In addition to creating original performances throughout the year, Trailblazers go on field trips, camp in Wisconsin, stretch their creative muscles with exposure to different forms of theater, and learn to work collaboratively in a supportive environment.

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), 24 Chicago youth are taking part in a free, 8-week summer camp with Adventure Stage at Rowe Elementary School. Trailblazers will learn to work as an ensemble to devise an original piece premiering August 12 with two performances at the Vittum Theater. Camp will culminate with a week at Northwestern Settlement’s House in the Wood in Delavan, WI.

ASC has also been awarded a grant from Allstate Insurance Company in support of our Trailblazers youth mentorship program. The donation expands the Trailblazers program to double its capacity of young artists to be mentored in the 2016-2017 school year.

If you are interested in joining Trailblazers as a student participant or a teaching artist, please contact Christian Helem, Community Engagement Coordinator.


Community Crossings

Previously known as Story Circles, ASC is re-launching its new works process as “Community Crossings,” which can take 12-18 months over four stages from commission to production. The first stage is comprised of discovery sessions, wherein school, youth, and community groups will work with the playwright to inform the writing process. The drafting stage comes next, wherein the playwright synthesizes the community’s input with his or her own ideas to create an original story. The designing stage will see members of the creative and production team incorporate community stories into the world of the play that will ultimately be realized on stage. The sharing process will present this original work to public audiences and other stakeholders. Community partners will have the opportunity to revisit the plays at different stages of the process before attending a performance at the Settlement’s venue, the Vittum Theater..

The premise of Community Crossings draws on the history of oral storytelling and its timeless qualities: a group of people gathered together to share personal stories of hardship and triumph, to caution against danger and impart the wisdom of lived experience.  For us, it is an opportunity to listen and learn something about the community.  What is important to those who are gathered there?  What are their fears, concerns, hopes, and dreams?  For the audience, our aim is to provide them an opportunity to feel like artistic stakeholders in the final production of the play.