The Raven Theatre company purchased the newly-shuttered Granville Certified Supermarket in the late 1990s, transforming and reopening it, in 2000, as its current home, a two-theater facility enhancing the cultural life of a modest stretch of Clark Street between Andersonville and Rogers Park.
Raven Theatre has been quietly garnering awards since its 1983 inception, specializing in American classics from household names like Albee, Mamet, Miller and Tennessee Williams. In Chicago's hyper-competitive theater community, Raven staked out a niche in sleepy Edgewater at an intimate storefront before moving to its spacious, attractive current home.
The massive display windows are the only hint of the building's former life, as Raven has truly made this space its own. A stable of cost-conscious resident companies like Dog and Pony Theatre and Infamous Commonwealth have been lured by the 60-seat West Stage's quality tech resources and great sight lines. To accommodate Raven's productions in the deep 150-seat East Stage, West Stage curtain time is typically 8:30, a challenge for early risers and a deterrent for some tenants, but a post-rush hour relief for patrons who drive.
Centerstage Reviewer: Justin Sondak