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  Civil War 150th Anniversary


Across the next five Aprils, City Lit Theater will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War with a series of productions—most of them world premieres—that will explore the events, issues and legacy of the war

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Coming Soon:


Confederates in the Attic

Adapted by Terry McCabe

April 2014

World premiere stage adaptation by McCabe of Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Horwitz's 1998 national best-seller Confederates in the Attic, a book of non-fiction journalism in which the author tours the old Confederacy and, through a series of personal encounters, examines the collective memory of the South and the Civil War's lingering impact on political and cultural divisions in America today.

Future Productions


The Bloodhound Law

by Kristine Thatcher

April 2015


For decades, many escaped slaves settled in Chicago to raise families and start businesses.This ended in 1850 when Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which essentially authorized slave hunters to kidnap any African-American and claim him or her as an escaped slave.The Bloodhound Law will focus on the night black and white abolitionist Chicagoans descended in a fury on the Chicago Commons Council meeting to protest Senator Stephen Douglas's—and the Council's—support for the Act.


Past Productions


The Copperhead

by Augustus Thomas

Directed by Kathy Scambiatterra

April 8 - May 15, 2011

A lost gem from the early days of American realism, Thomas' play follows an Illinois man from the early days of the war through the turn of the 20th century, as he carries the weight of his town's disapproval for his Southern sympathies.


Click here to read the script!






Opus 1861

Developed by Elizabeth Margolius

and Terry McCabe

Directed by Elizabeth Margolius

April13- May 13, 2012

Set in present-day Afghanistan, Opus 1861 focuses on a group of American soldiers who find strength and solace in the songs of the Civil War. Over the course of twenty songs, McCabe and Margolius create a musical theatre experience that explores the ties between past and present.


Comrades Mine:

Emma Edmonds of the Union Army

Written by Maureen Gallagher

April 12-May 19, 2013

Set during the Civil War, Comrades Mine tells the real-life story of Emma Edmonds who entered into the Civil War disguised as a man and fought for two years. During the war she worked as a field nurse, a spy, a soldier, and a courier under the name Franklin Thompson.

For more information on the Civil War and historical preservation

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