MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions

MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions / Meet the 2016 Recipients

TimeLine Theatre Company

Chicago, Illinois
Published February 18, 2016
Image of TimeLine Theatre Company

33 Variations, 2012; Photo: Lara Goetsch

Using history to bring new dimensions to today’s most pressing issues

TimeLine Theatre Company produces plays rooted in history that are designed to both provide a window into our past and new perspectives on current social and political issues.

A Raisin in the Sun, 2013; Photo: Lara Goetsch

The company stages shows in its 99-seat theater rented from a church. Its productions have explored everything from the AIDS epidemic to the war in Vietnam, to international arms negotiations and recent financial scandals. Creating an intimate immersive theatre experience is one of the ways it brings history to life and invites its audiences to consider what our past experiences can teach us about our present circumstances.

TimeLine Theatre also brings theater and history education to Chicago Public Schools with its Living History Education Program. The curriculum is designed to teach theatre skills while fostering the capacity to think creatively, make connections, and understand history and the world at large. More than 3,000 students from eight Chicago schools have actively explored theatre and history since the program began in 2006.

TimeLine has managed its growth carefully, creatively meeting audience demand by occasionally expanding its productions to alternative or additional spaces to reach more people.

TimeLine Theatre will use its $625,000 MacArthur Award to establish a reserve fund and upgrade its technology.

Enron, 2012; Photo: Lara Goetsch

Spill, 2015; Photo: Lara Goetsch

Arts & Culture in Chicago, Arts & Culture

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Twitter: @TimeLineTheatre

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The Award, which recognizes exceptional nonprofit organizations that are engaged in the Foundation’s core fields of work and helps ensure their long-term sustainability, provides each organization with $200,000 to $1 million.