The 2011 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award: The New Colony

Congratulations to The New Colony, the winner of the 2011 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award. The New Colony will receive a $5,000 award, along with consultation with the Broadway In Chicago executive team to create and support a marketing package valued at over $64,000 that includes advertising in the Chicago Tribune and Time Out Chicago.

The award was created in 2007 to encourage, support and promote emerging theaters in Chicago that have demonstrated great ability and promise, artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility in business practices. The New Colony has been selected by a majority vote of their peers – member companies of the League of Chicago Theatres.

The New Colony is a non-profit devised-work theatre company formed in 2007 in Chicago, IL. Currently at work on their 9th full-length world premiere production, they’re bringing together the Chicago traditions of improvisation and theatre to create a continuously fresh slate of bold new works that speak honestly about the world as we live in it. They make their unique play-building process 100% open to the public so that they can invite audiences into the collaboration and they develop all content using their own collaborative devised process. Starting with nothing more than a concept or brief outline, The New Colony draws from the ensemble’s areas of expertise and begins each project by developing all of the moving parts before anything is put on paper. As a result, the plays and musicals feel very much alive, like living conversations between the actors and the audience. The irresistible, spontaneous energy of the work helps attract a non-traditional theatre audience and serves their mission to expand Chicago’s theatre-going community. They are producing brave new theatre for a brave new world. Visit thenewcolony.org to see how you can get involved.

“The New Colony’s commitment to create new work and engage in conversation with non-traditional theatre audiences is an absolutely vital part of the success of Chicago’s theatre community,” says Eileen LaCario, Vice President of Broadway In Chicago and Chair of the League of Chicago Theatres.

“This is insanely humbling and a tremendous honor for such a young company,” says The New Colony Artistic Director Andrew Hobgood. “But it only confirms our belief that Chicago is the home of original theater. When a company that only produces world premieres can receive this kind of support from our city and theater community – you know you’re working somewhere exciting. And we’re thrilled that this award will help us find more ways to introduce Chicagoans to new theater. We can’t thank Broadway In Chicago, the League of Chicago Theatres, their members and our community enough.”

“We are pleased to honor The New Colony with the 2011 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award,” says Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “Their enthusiasm, talent and commitment to original work exemplify the spirit of this award and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at our annual Gala on May 16.”

Applications for the award were accepted from January through February. Eligible companies must be a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, have been incorporated at least 3 and no longer than 10 years, and have demonstrated artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility, community leadership and potential for future growth.

A nomination committee comprised of Chicago theatre administrators, artists and educators reviewed the applications and selected five finalists. The 2011 finalists were 16th Street Theater, Theater Wit, Theatre Seven of Chicago and Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre.

The finalists were presented before the entire League membership for a vote in March and April. The award recipient was determined by majority vote from the entire League membership. Each member company is permitted to cast one vote towards the finalist of its choice. The House Theatre of Chicago, Silk Road Theatre Project, the side project and Steep Theatre are previous recipients of the award.

The award will be presented at the League of Chicago Theatres annual Gala. This theatrical celebration will take place Monday, May 16, 2011 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the JW Marriott Hotel, 151 W. Adams.

Tickets are available for $300 per person, and all proceeds benefit The League of Chicago Theatres which promotes, supports and advocates for theater in Chicago. To purchase tickets, or for sponsorship opportunities and participation information, visit http://www.chicagoplays.com or call 312-554-9800.

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