Green Line Performing Arts Center, the latest addition to the Arts Block, is a vital new theater venue and rehearsal space to support the arts across Chicago’s South Side, and serves as a platform for artistic expression and public gatherings, contributing to the cultural and economic vibrancy of the Washington Park neighborhood.
The center establishes another much-needed professional theater venue on Chicago’s South Side for incubating and supporting South Side performing artists and theater ensembles, along with programming to train residents with interests in theater design and production. Designed by Morris Architects Planners in collaboration with Theaster Gates, a UChicago faculty member, artist, and founder and former director of Arts + Public Life, the Green Line Performing Arts Center continues the growth of the Arts Block, a vibrant collection of cultural and commercial spaces on historic Garfield Boulevard across from the Green Line’s Garfield stop in Washington Park.
The high-tech facility is housed in a renovation of four storefront buildings, which at various points in history have been jazz and entertainment venues, including a restaurant with a live orchestra, a series of music clubs, and most famously Rhumboogie, a nightclub owned by boxing great Joe Louis. At 6,600 square feet, the center includes the E & A Theatre, a black box venue with seating for more than 80 people; the Harris Studio, a separate rehearsal and performance space; and a lobby and outdoor courtyard for public programs and exhibitions including outdoor film screenings.
Green Line Performing Arts Center will offer professional training opportunities and employment pathways for residents of Washington Park and the greater South Side through stipend-based training in technical theater, including sound, lighting, and scenic design, and front-of-house and back-of-house management.
In its inaugural season of programming, the theatre will host the GreenLight Series, illuminating the varied performing arts disciplines and inviting audiences to experience a rotating sample of storytelling, music performances, comedy, theater, and dance works presented by artists.