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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

American Blues Theater

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: American Blues Theater explores the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves.

Community Stories

86 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Madalyn C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve seen a couple of shows at American Blues Theater and really loved it! The actors were great and visited with the audience before and after. The environment was homey and everyone working there made an effort to make your experience great.

Stacie M.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve seen multiple shows at American Blues Theater and have been impressed every time. Great actors, great character developement, and great stories.

Donor

Rating: 5

The American Blues family cares about its community and it shows! American Blues uses art to inspire, teach, serve and entertain. The plays and community service are thoughtfully chosen to stretch the imagination, reveal important lessons, and impact a diverse group of people. Chicago is better because Blues is here!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

American Blues Theater is a great company. They reliably produce fabulous shows with culturally relevant topics that keep theater goers entertained and engaged. I love this non-profit!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had nothing but fantastic experiences with this theater. Both the artistic work they create as well as their community outreach have had a strong impact on me.

Ever since I saw their production of Little Shop of Horrors, I knew I had found a place where I could return again and again. Subsequent shows such as DUTCHMAN/TRANSit, The Columnist, and most recently, Six Corners, have always transported me, and left me deep in thought for hours after the final curtain. On many of these occasions, I have stayed for the post-show talk-backs featuring community partners who have never failed to give greater insight to the world in which the plays live, and who often offer a chance for the audience to become involved in the organizations they represent.

I have also had the pleasure of volunteering at their annual gala, where I have been treated to stories of their clients served in Chicago Public Schools through the Lincoln Project. This program has transformed the lives of so many, and I look forward to the day when these students step into society as conscientious citizens, and potentially even artists in their own right.

I couldn't recommend American Blues more highly!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family is a huge fan of American Blues Theater. Their productions are always phenomenal.

Client Served

Rating: 5

American Blues Theater is the best small theater in Chicago. Their productions are exceptional and community service initiatives robust.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love this theater and loved The Buddy Holly Story!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I saw The Buddy Holly Story. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen. Great actors and singers! Very high energy!

Samantha K.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I watched the show Buddy- The Buddy Holly Story and enjoyed the theater. I would go back to see another show.

Cynthia J.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had a fantastic time at the American Blues Theatre! The play I attended was wonderful. I felt like I was actually a participant in the play, instead of just observing the play.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have truly fallen in love with this theater company and the consistently great art it produces throughout the year. I've only been aware of them for the past 2 years, but I try not to miss any of their productions. I've found their productions to be both very accessible as well as thoroughly engaging and thought provoking, a perfect combination to bring my friends and associates to that have not had the opportunity to partake in a lot of great theater. Forever a fan!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with American Blues Theater for the last year. Blues welcomed me with open arms during Little Shop of Horrors, and I have been eager to continue my freelance work with them over the last season. The staff and artistic team is top notch and I am proud to work alongside them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I’ve been associated with the American Blues Theater for about a year now. I have met some of the most wonderful, talented, warm and embracing professionals ever in my career. The American Blues Theater is a proud group of artists, putting on high quality theater steeped in telling American stories that make you laugh, sing, cry, cheer and sometimes allows you to sit back and reflect. The shows are timely and relevant, and their attention to detail is on par with other medium to large theater groups in Chicago. Crowd pleasing and customer service is a focus of this group on top of the quality art. I am impressed with their community outreach to the Chicago Public School system and their community service and it’s great to see them make a positive impact on the children of some of the more challenged neighborhoods in Chicago. I am extremely proud to be associated with the American Blues Theater and I look forward to working with them for many more years as they seek to grow and expand their brilliance in Chicago.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the honor and privilege of volunteering for and with the wonderful people of American Blues Theater and have loved every minute. It has been so rewarding to see the ways the company uses the theater arts in such beautifully philanthropic and socially progressive ways.
In my discussions with other members of the theater community in Chicago over the last year, I have heard only glowingly positive opinions about both the people and the shows put on by American Blues, and I can certainly agree with every word of praise. I'm excited to see what else is in store for and from ABT in the future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a great staff and group of actors. I saw a show this winter. Was treated great and totally enjoyed the night.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have the pleasure of being an artistic affiliate with American Blues. Each show that I get to be a part of is so much fun. The team has a great, positive energy and they genuinely care about the cast and crew as well as their patrons. They make you feel right at home and put forth top notch performances every season.

Board Member

Rating: 5

What a jewel in Chicago's crown, American Blues Theater is! Every show is produced to highest standards; superb acting, great story telling and powerful messaging. I look forward to every new show with great anticipation and almost always go to see each one at least twice.
How fortunate we are to have this wonderful theater company in our community.
(And I love the new venue at Stage 773, too.)

Board Member

Rating: 5

American Blues Theater is emblematic of the best parts of Chicago.

American Blues Theater has rekindled my love of theater. I was a theater kid in high school. Other academic and professional pursuits sidelined that passion. Upon attending my first American Blues Theater production, I felt I had become part of something special. I am now lucky enough to be a member of the American Blues Theater Board of Directors.

I can attest, from the inside-out American Blues Theater's demand for authentic, honest, meaningful art is unwavering. We have made a priority of respecting artists, staff, audience members, volunteers, students, and ensemble members. That respect shows through our exceptional efforts in community education and outreach. It is also reflected in the priority we place on paying artists and staff in a fair and equitable manner.

In addition, our artistic development team has an uncompromising dedication to quality art. In a densely talented theater town, like Chicago, it is difficult to stand out. More important, in Chicago, mediocre theater is quick to find a death. Here, at American Blues Theater, its accessible, truthful, and thought-provoking art has a well-earned place among Chicago's theater community.

Finally, American Blues Theater is a collection of good people. We care about theater. More important, American Blues Theater uses the power of art to affect meaningful change and empower segments of our population who may feel like their voice has been discounted or, worse, ignored. American Blues Theater's Lincoln Project, Ripped, and Blue Ink projects all work to develop talent at various levels of ability. These projects and the plays American Blues Theater produces reflect the ethos of Chicago.

Elyse D.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

American Blues Theater creates art with heart! This is an organization that cares about its employees and does great work in the community.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.