Free Street Theater Collection

Institution: Chicago Public Library - Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-747-4300
Date: 1967-1999
Extent: 67 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Free Street Theater's existence as an independently thriving "theater of the people" was primarily the vision of the late Patrick Henry. It was Henry that brought the theater to life, sustained it through difficult financial constraints, and provided it with its enduring mission: to bring theater to the streets and to people of all ages, social and economic groups. It took theater out to the communities, did not charge admission, and created productions on contemporary themes, engendering better communication among races, social strata, and age groups. Free Street's focus on outreach drew not only the regular theater-goer, but also - and most successfully - the 90% of the population that did not normally attend theatrical performances.

Scope and Content Note:
Documents the history of Free Street from its inception in 1968, through the 1980s and its highly acclaimed production, Project!, to its present day commitment to addressing teen and social issues through plays and musical productions. Collection consists of 6 series: administrative files, budget files, programs and shows files,. touring files, touring files-sites, and the records of Free Street's senior company, Free Street Too.

Related Material: None