**Please note that City Lit Theater Company is requiring all audience members to be fully vaccinated in order to attend. Masks are required for all audience members in accordance with the city mandate. Read our full statement here.


September 10, 2021 - October 24, 2021

Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30PM

Sundays at 3:00PM

Plus 2 Monday performances on

Oct. 11 & Oct. 18 both at 7:30PM

Click here for more info.

A world premiere adaptation of THIRTEEN DAYS by Robert F. Kennedy, his memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  On October 16, 1962, long-range Soviet missiles carrying nuclear warheads aimed at the United States were discovered in Cuba.  For the next thirteen days, President John Kennedy maneuvered his way through conflicting counsel from his advisors, some of whom urged a military response likely to bring on World War III, ambiguous and sometimes deceitful information from the Soviet Union’s representatives, and ever-shifting facts on the ground. 

City Lit has received permission from the Kennedy family to insert as dialogue into our script excerpts from recently-made-public transcripts of JFK’s strategy sessions during the climax of the Cold War, the thirteen days the world came its closest to nuclear war.  As with City Lit’s acclaimed production last season of Archibald MacLeish’s J.B., the roles in THIRTEEN DAYS will be played by a diverse ensemble of women.  All the characters in the book are white males; none of the actors onstage will be.​

*If you already purchased tickets to the original run, please contact the box office at boxoffice@citylit.org or 773-293-3682 to reschedule to any performance you want.

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Celebrate City Lit's favorite holiday.....

Banned Books Week

Please enjoy and feel free to share our dramatic reading of excerpts from all 10 most frequently challenged books of the year!

Announcing Season 41

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The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains

by Owen Wister

adapted by L.C. Bernadine and Spencer Huffman

directed by Terry McCabe

January 7 - February 20, 2022

(Previews Jan. 7 - 15)

A world premiere adaptation of THE VIRGINIAN: A HORSEMAN OF THE PLAINS by Owen Wister, the novel that originated the archetype of the American cowboy.  Never named, rough-hewn but soft-spoken, living on the frontier between nature and civilization, the Virginian pursues his own singular code of honor.  On a ranch near Sunk Creek, Wyoming, the cowpuncher from Virginia  struggles to uphold this code in conflict with his deadly enemy, a former ranch hand turned rustler, as well as in his courting of the fiercely independent schoolmarm, whose own personal code is as strong as his.  City Lit’s adaptation will feature giant puppets as the horses in the story, a few of whom are important minor characters.

Emma's Child

by Kristine Thatcher

directed by Terry McCabe

April 15 - May 29, 2022

(Previews Apr. 15 - 23)

One of the great Chicago plays.  By City Lit's resident playwright, author of Voice of Good Hope and The Safe House, it won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and a half-dozen other playwriting awards when Terry directed the Chicago premiere at Victory Gardens twenty-five years ago.  A Rogers Park couple plans to adopt the child of Emma, a pregnant teenager.  What follows threatens their marriage and reshapes what they think of parenthood.

The Playboy of the Western World

by John Millington Synge

directed by Brian Pastor

July 1 - August 14, 2022

(Previews July 1 - 9)

Christy Mahon comes into Flaherty's tavern on the west coast of Ireland and claims to have killed his father with a shovel.  The locals are charmed by his boldness and daring, and he becomes a local hero--until the old man shows up.  The play's world premiere triggered three nights of riots in Dublin, and fistfights in the aisles when it transferred to New York.  City Lit's audience is much better behaved.

Aztec Human Sacrifice

music & lyrics by Kingsley Day

book by Kingsley Day and Philip LaZebnik

August 26 - October 9, 2022

(Previews Aug. 26 - Sept. 3)

It's the night before the beginning of the Aztec empire's new millennium, and the Chosen One--so named because he is to be sacrificed in order to make the sun rise next morning--has run off with the Emperor's daughter.  If he is not found, the sun will not rise and the world will end.  By the writers of the legendary Chicago musical comedy Summer Stock Murder.


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