American Blues Theater

Rating: 4.98 stars   52 reviews 1,262

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: Chicago IL 60610 USA

Mission: American Blues Theater illuminates the American ideas of freedom, equality, and opportunity in the plays we produce and the communities we serve.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 80-0448191
www.americanbluestheater.com
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

American Blues is an incredible organization. Not only do they make amazing art, they do so with endless amounts of heart: I've never known another theater organization to be so invested in serving the community. The partnerships American Blues fosters with other nonprofits are wholly unique and leave a lasting impact. I'm proud to be associated with American Blues and highly recommend it.

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Rating: 5 stars  

American Blues Theater is an exemplary organization. Not only do they make sure to go above and beyond for all of their constituents, they also treat everyone like a part of the family. I am proud to be affiliated with American Blues and highly recommend that anyone who has a love for the theater check them out!

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Rating: 5 stars  

This is one of the best non-profits out there. I know that my donations will be well spent and put to good use. Their productions are always wonderful, and their "Ripped: The Living Newspaper" brings current social issues to the stage in a powerful way. Even beyond top-quality productions, they use their funds to help other non-profits and educational organizations such as the Chicago Public Schools for free. And for each production they make a concerted effort to connect to the community in various ways, including identifying a charitable organization to partner with. This all makes me feel good about how my donations are being used to help others.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Some of my favorite experiences in the theatre have been the performances we've done of "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Hank Williams" for the visually impaired - being able to bring Bedford Falls and Montgomery Alabama to life for them with only our voices and our instruments is an inspiring reminder of the power of theatre to transcend all barriers and connect us all, and just one small example of American Blues' dedication to community outreach.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As a teaching artist, I've worked with American Blues to take Arts Education into Chicago Public Schools(CPS) that otherwise wouldn't get programming. American Blues serves these schools at no cost to the schools. I can't think of many, if any other theaters in the city at all, that offer programming like The Lincoln Project.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the pleasure of working with this company in various capacities since 2005. Their commitment to producing stellar art while making everyone feel included in the process can not be matched. I've always been made to feel "part of the family" since day one.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I just saw Collected Stories and had to come write another review. The show was amazing and the fact that they are also doing outreach combined with the production to help other non-profits blew me away.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have had the pleasure of working on over 10 productions with this company. They treat their artists with so much respect and dignity - truly a collaborative experience!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Watching this company grow and serve Chicago has been a great pleasure! Their talent is matched by their integrity.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

American Blues Theater combines the performing arts with service to reach the Chicagoland public. The partnerships are truly valuable and affect patrons in life-changing ways.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

American Blues Theater is one of the most thoughtful, inspiring and artistic ensembles in Chicago and I am grateful to have been a member for many years. Audiences are considered family, cast and crew are treated with respect and the ensemble and board do more than co-exist - they work together. All levels of the organization "click" to create great theater.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Not only are their productions fabulous, but ABT's heart is in the right place, helping other organizations in need. I have no qualms about recommending this company to friends, family, people off the street.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

For many years, I have acted, fundraised, sound designed, wrote music, and cleaned toilets as part of this fabulous organization. American Blues Theater is a group of no-nonsense, hard working, down to earth people. Committed to producing an exceptional theater experience & partnering with social and service organizations to make the world a better place - I'm proud to be part of it.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Live theater is an extraordinarily personal medium and requires an enormous amount of soul-bearing and honesty from the actors who tell the stories, the artists creating the set, sound, costume and set designs, the playwrights, directors, stage managers, technicians and even from the audience members experiencing the production. The American Blues Theater ensemble has soul. It has heart. Its productions are honest and compelling. And in recent years, it has one of the most admirable missions to date - telling the stories of the working person while partnering with social and service organizations for each production. Supporters of this theater company are rewarded with not just a unique and intimate theater experience, but they're helping American Blues give back to the community through raising awareness, running food and book drives, and providing free tickets to groups that otherwise could not afford the theater experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing members of audience groups such as Mercy Home for Boys and Girls and Veterans from the VA Hospital attend a live theater performance for the very first time is thrilling. It is a great gift to watch someone's eyes open to a new art form for the first time and to know that our theater provides such audience members with this experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Grow its budget to a size to support a paid administrative staff. Currently, it's 100% volunteer.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As a member of Chicago's artistic community, I am grateful to consider myself a member of the American Blues Theater family. Not only is the organization's art work excellent, but ABT stands as a powerful role model to other theatres and non-profits in that it offers consistent service to the community as an ensemble.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

American Blues Theatre is my favorite theatre in Chicago. Committed to excellence, their productions are consistently first-rate.

Most appealing to me is their noble mission which resonates in each production as they pursue the heart and soul of the American experience by giving voice to the working class, the salt-of-the earth.

The ensemble is strangely egoless. They have a genuine love for the work. It always comes first. It is central. Such values give way to artistry that is honest, poignant, and straight from the heart. That is exactly what I look for in a theatrical experience. Go ABT!!! You're the best!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Fulfilling theatrical productions.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fund their marketing so that more people could find out about their stirring productions.

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