Season 6 in Public Access Theatre™

Our 2016 Season of Public Access Theatre™ aspires to be the most accessible season to date, offering thought-provoking entertainment to everyone who attends Oracle’s free performances and events. Our audience members are from all walks of life, so we are committed to creating free art that speaks to the diverse experiences of our patrons as well as provide services that make our programs accessible and supportive for people of all types and abilities: certain performances will feature participatory talk backs, captioning, ASL interpretation, and audio described performances with touch tours. All of these programs give audiences the opportunity to connect with artists and share their opinions and experiences. To ensure the company integrates accessibility and inclusion into its core values, Company Member Havalah Grace has been appointed Director of Accessibility. She will work with every department at Oracle to deepen our commitment to Public Access Theatre™ and support our ability to include more voices at the table. We are grateful for the support of the Chicago Community Trust as well as inspiration and mentorship from the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium, The Chicago Inclusion Project, and ADA 25 Chicago.

Below is a synopsis of all of our programs and events.

Over 130 nights of Public Access Theatre™.
Admission is free to everything.


Oracle’s 2016 mainstage season features a revisionist takes on a classic play, and a world premiere from an important local playwright, each of which will expand Oracle’s challenging discourse on the key issues of race, gender equality, and class. Season 6 also presents the directorial voices of two emerging Chicago directors, Monty Cole and Tara Branham.

Regular performance schedule for mainstage plays is as follows:
Friday, Saturday and Monday nights at 8PM
Sundays at 7PM

Graphic Design by Evelyn DeHais

Graphic Design by Evelyn DeHais

by Eugene O’Neill
directed by Monty Cole
January 23 – March 12, 2016

Director Monty Cole makes his Chicago debut with THE HAIRY APE, directing an ensemble of six African-American men in the portrayal of the many characters in O’Neill’s harrowing, expressionistic critique of class stratification. Yank is the master of his world, shoveling coal on an ocean liner. But when a wealthy woman descends to see life on the lower decks, their encounter propels Yank from the close confines of the engine room and onto the streets of New York City, where he seeks validation, belonging and revenge. Cole’s charged staging will capture the caged mind of a young, black man yearning to belong.

The ensemble features Oracle Company Member Tony Santiago. He is joined by Julian Parker, Bradford Stevens, Rashaad Hall, Michael Turrentine, and Breon Arzell. Rasell Holt is understudy.





Graphic design by Jennifer Pagán

Oracle Productions in collaboration with
Kristiana Rae Colón and Tara Branham presents

good friday
a world premiere play by Kristiana Rae Colón
directed by Tara Branham

August 13 – September 17, 2016
Friday, Saturday, and Monday nights at 8PM
Sunday nights at 7PM

In academia’s hallowed halls, five women debate millennial feminism when gunshots shatter the safety of their discourse. As tweets stream across the campus feed, the body count grows. And then the shooter enters the classroom. At the intersection of gun violence and slacktivism, in a #yesallwomen world, what is the real cost of revolution?



Kristiana Rae Colón, Playwright


Still from Hoop Dreams, courtesy of Kartemquin Films

Still from Hoop Dreams, courtesy of Kartemquin Films

Oracle and Rebuild Foundation present
an evening of short films from the production team of the acclaimed 1994 documentary + a screening of Hoop Dreams at Black Cinema House

Hoop Dreams Shorts screening
March 31, April 1 & 2 at 8PM
Oracle Theatre | 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago

Hoop Dreams screening
April 3 at 4PM
Black Cinema House | 7200 S. Kimbark, Chicago

All performances at Oracle are wheelchair accessible.
The screening of  Hoop Dreams at Black Cinema House will be presented with Open Captioning.

Oracle Productions and Rebuild Foundation’s Black Cinema House are thrilled to present vital new work from the creative team that brought audiences across the globe this seminal classic. Screenings taking place on March 31, April 1 and 2 at Oracle Theatre (3809 N. Broadway, Chicago) will include short films from Hoop Dreams’ own Frederick Marx, Susanne Suffredin, Peter Gilbert, and Leo Gilbert, with work featuring the likes of Hoop Dreams subjects William Gates and Arthur Agee as well as Drinking Buddies director Joe Swanberg. In addition, Oracle and Black Cinema House will host a screening of Hoop Dreams on April 3 at Black Cinema House (7200 S. Kimbark, Chicago). Arthur Agee and Susanne Suffredin will join us for talkbacks following the films on select evenings. We are delighted to showcase the craft of incredible local filmmakers telling essential stories connected to our Chicago community.

Oracle is Chicago’s Award-Winning Free Theatre

Oracle’s mission is to provide everyone everywhere access to the arts. This year, Oracle’s premiere of THE JUNGLE received 2 Jeff Awards for Best Adaptation (Matt Foss) and Best Original Music in a Play (Nicholas Tonozzi and Sam Allyn). In 2014, Oracle received 5 Jeff Awards for THE MOTHER, including Best Ensemble and Best Production. In addition, members of the League of Chicago Theatres awarded Oracle with the 2014 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award. This advocacy makes a bold statement about Chicago’s theatre community: they, too, believe everyone everywhere should have access to the arts.

Since Public Access Theatre™ launched in 2010, we have provided free performances to over 25,000 people locally and internationally, worked with over 500 artists, and collaborated with over 60 different organizations. Oracle has seen exponential growth through Public Access Theatre™.

In 2015, Oracle partnered with organizations such as the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Black Cinema House to bring important cultural events to new audiences around Chicago for free. We extend a grateful “Thank You!” to all of these organizations that have helped us connect with new communities and expand our mission.

Don’t miss any of the exciting programs and performances in 2016!