Lifeline Theatre
6912 North Glenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL  60626-3412
(773) 761-4477
(773) 761-4582
Executive Director:
Ms. Allison Cain
Web Site:

Like most artists and arts organizations, Lifeline just wants to change the world. We pursue the change we seek through the stories we tell on stage -- hoping to inspire, to provoke and to illuminate our shared humanity. We join forces with our neighborhood schools, businesses and organizations and work as active partners to improve our corner of the universe. Shortly after its inception in 1982, Lifeline began to specialize in new work, particularly literary adaptations. Though the names in our artistic ensemble have changed over our 26 years, we have maintained a diversity of disciplines within the ensemble, comprising actors, directors, designers and writers. A team of differing opinions and different areas of expertise, with a long history of new script development, we are proud of our reputation as a forge for new work. Lifeline is a dynamic part of the social fabric of Rogers Park, as well as being an important part of the Chicago theater scene. We have made Rogers Park our home since 1985 and are committed to this neighborhood. Lifeline is at the center of the developing Glenwood Avenue Arts District. Our presence here has sparked the development of renovated artists studios, art galleries, new music venues and other theaters moving to the area. Lifeline has received close to 100 Joseph Jefferson awards, citations, nominations and After Dark awards, including a special Joseph Jefferson Citation honoring our 25-year contribution to Chicago theatre.

Mission Statement:
Lifeline Theatre specializes in original literary adaptations, using imaginative, unconventional staging to portray sprawling stories in an intimate space. Lifeline is committed to promoting the arts in its Rogers Park neighborhood and is an anchor of the Glenwood Avenue Arts District. We aspire to create art that is relevant to our culturally diverse, increasingly youthful neighborhood.

Current Program:
Lifeline now serves over 17,000 people each season with a 3-play MainStage Season and a 3-play KidSeries season. Our Student Matinee Program serves an additional 2,500 students annually with special weekday performances and extensive study guides. Our Artist Residency Program works with local schools to place professional artists in the classroom to enrich the curriculum using creative drama techniques, enhancing student learning and encouraging students and teachers to think creatively and work cooperatively. In 2008-09 we offered 19 in-school, 16 session, one-hour residencies and two 10-session, one-hour residencies for Kindergarten 5th grades. and one after school program for 1st -5th graders, once a week for 16 weeks. 714 students and 26 teachers were served with a total of 1,205 students, parents, and teachers were served in our education programs. We also provided 76 one-on-one training meetings with K-5 teachers and two Half-Day Peer Reflection Workshops for 12 teaching artists. Our On-Site Classes included a mime workshop on Columbus Day, a break dance workshop on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and a puppet workshop on Presidents Day (15-20 students each). Lifeline Summer Camp served 32 children and in Community Events, our Stories Come Alive program at the Chicago Public Library, Rogers Park Branch served 125 people. Our Community Days offered six free weekend performances to families from our Library events and our residency schools. Our childrens programming has received much recognition and in 2007 Mayor Daley recognized our seventeen years of work partnering with Kilmer Elementary School with a special award presented to Lifeline Theatre and Kilmer school principal, Miguel Trujillo. Lifeline is also active in the promotion of our Rogers Park neighborhood and in lending a hand to smaller theater companies that are joining us on the block. This past spring-summer, Lifeline expanded its shuttle service, which runs between our theater and a remote parking lot, to include patrons of nearby Theo Ubique and BoHo Theatre as well. We have also partnered with our neighbor theaters to create the Rogers Park Flex Pass, which encourages the buyer to sample all the Rogers Park Theaters in the form of a subscription to one of each of our shows. Neighborhood restaurants have joined in by offering Flex Pass holders discounts at their establishments. Lifeline has been instrumental in creating the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest, partnering with our neighbors to put together a two-and-a-half day city festival that includes three outdoor performance stages and almost 100 artists exhibiting along Glenwood and Morse Avenues.

Grants Since 2007:
YearProgram AreaAmount
2013Arts & Culture$8,480.00
2012Arts & Culture$8,000.00
2010Arts & Culture$15,000.00
2009Arts & Culture$10,000.00
2009Arts & Culture$10,000.00
2008Arts & Culture$30,000.00
2008Arts & Culture$10,000.00
2007Arts & Culture$30,000.00