The Griffin Theatre Company originated in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood in a factory loft the company renovated. In July 1992, the Griffin relocated to Andersonville and renovated the historic Calo Theater. Seven years ago the Griffin vacated its space in Andersonville after thirteen years. Despite being displaced from its longtime home it was always a major goal for the Griffin to have a permanent home. That goal was reached in early 2011 with the city of Chicago selling to the Griffin an abandon police station at 1940 West Foster Avenue near Damen Avenue in the Edgewater neighborhood for one dollar. The Griffin plans to begin construction sometime in 2015.
Over the last twenty-five years the Griffin has provided a wide range of work including world and mid-west premieres of acclaimed scripts, critically lauded productions of Shakespeare and original adaptations of novels. Many of the Griffin’s 100 plus productions have appeared on Chicago area critics “Best of the Year” lists. These productions included, Time and the Conway, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, Ash Can Alley, Shakespeare’s Dog, Much Ado About Nothing, The Art of Success, Women and Wallace, The Downside, Romeo and Juliet, Loving Little Egypt, Independence, Letters Home, Port and recently, Punk Rock & Spring Awakening. The following productions have been awarded the theatre communities, mark of excellence, Jeff Awards for Independence, Time and the Conways, The Constant Wife, The Wild Swans, Riding the Dolphin, The Robber Bridegroom, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging and Punk Rock. The Griffin also produced the west coast premiere of Riding the Dolphin in Los Angeles in 1996 and its world premiere production of Henry and the Second Gunman was optioned by Miramax Films.
Children’s programming at the Griffin brings young people original productions of award-winning children’s literature. Productions over the last twenty-five years have included the world premieres of Little Brother, Be More Chill, No More Dead Dogs, Sleeping Ugly, Frindle, Romeo and Juliet are Alive and Well and Living in Maple Bend, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and The Flying Trunk. The Griffin’s national touring company brings these same shows to children throughout the United States. Tours have included such prestigious venues as Cleveland Playhouse Square, Tennessee Center for the Performing Arts in Nashville, and the Cerritos Center for the Arts in Cerritos, California. In addition, the Griffin tours its hit adult production of Letters Home. This past fall the Griffin completed a nineteen city tour of the United States which included stops in Utah, Missouri, Washington, Minnesota, North Carolina, Georgia, New Hampshire, Alabama and Florida. Additionally, the Griffin has brought it’s repertory of plays for young audiences to the Metropolis Center for the Performing Arts in Arlington Heights—expanding it’s audience to include the far north and northwest suburban area of Chicago.