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. Five years ago the Griffin vacated its space in Andersonville after thirteen years and is completing its negotiations on its agreement with the city of Chicago to purchase an abandon police station in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. The Griffin plans to renovate and transform the building into a state of the art theatre facility that will become its permanent home.
Over the last twenty-four 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. Each year the main-stage offers 3 full-length productions and 1 children’s production. 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, Be More Chill, Loving Little Egypt, Independence, Letters Home and most recently, Journey’s End. The Griffin is the recipient of 35 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for theatre excellence in Chicago. The company 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. The Griffin also tours its hit adult production of Letters Home. This past fall the Griffin performed the production at Connecticut’s prestigious and fabled Westport Country Playhouse.
Children’s programming at the Griffin brings young people original productions of award-winning children’s literature. Productions over the last twenty years have included the world premieres of The Whipping Boy, Sleeping Ugly, Frindle, Catherine Called Birdy, Romeo and Juliet are Alive and Well and Living in Maple Bend, and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. The Griffin’s national touring company brings its two most popular productions—The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales and Frindle to young people throughout the United States each year. Tours have included such prestigious venues as Cleveland Playhouse Square, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach Florida, Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville and the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Last year the Griffin Theatre had the pleasure to perform its touring productions for over 100,000 young people and adults.