An Oral History of Chicago Theater, 1940 - 2020 | Newberry

An Oral History of Chicago Theater, 1940 - 2020

Led by Mark Larson
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Four sessions, Thursdays, February 11 - March 4

6 - 8 pm (Central Time)

Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet virtually via Zoom. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to

Seminar Description

We will explore the history of the Chicago theater scene and how it developed using photographs, artifacts from the Newberry archive, visits from special guests, audio clips, and more from the instructor’s interviews with the theater artists who made it happen, including Gary Sinise, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Harry Lennix, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Alan Arkin, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Ike Holter, and others. We will also talk about what may lie ahead for a once-thriving theater community, with drop-ins from a few Chicago theater artists and leaders.

Four sessions. Registration – $195

Mark Larson is the author of Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater, for which he conducted over 300 interviews with Chicago theater artists. He is currently working on a book entitled Edward Asner, Actor and Activist: A Composite Portrait.

Materials List


First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for this seminar.

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, January 13th. Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning January 7 at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.