Halcyon Theatre was founded in 2006 to connect people, transform our borders and ascend toward a more just union. Our artistic philosophy is driven by a continuing belief that at every point of human history where there has been an explosion of artistic creativity, it has happened when different cultures and traditions have met and learned from each other. From the outset, our casts and production teams have been committed to diversity as a company, onstage, and in season planning.
In 2008, we launched the Alcyone Festival, dedicated to producing woman playwrights, which would go on to become a hallmark of the company and the cornerstone of all its subsequent seasons. 38 plays by women from across the globe have been produced in the Alcyone Festival, only 2 had previously been seen in Chicago.
In addition to mainstage productions and the Alcyone Festival, Halcyon's work also has included the Ceyx Series, a global variety show. As an extension of our mission, Halcyon also provides a platform for artists to grow and reach their full potential: including an exploratory performance lab, along with writing workshops and labs. We also help artists and groups with web development, advising and other services to help others build a platform to grow. We introduce Chicago theatre companies to artists they may not know, and connect projects with companies who are a good match.
Beginning in 2008, Halcyon produced standalone productions in a variety of spaces around the city, while creating a home base in Albany Park.
Around 2011, we realized the company we were building didn't match the work we were doing, so we began to pivot and create a new organizational structure for the company. We needed to be more agile, adaptable and versatile to match our onstage work. We had lost our way, and lost focus of what our mission was driving towards.
We renewed our commitment to our mission and values and began to transform both the structure of the company and the people that make up the company. Step one was rebuilding the personnel driving the company; step two was rebuilding the artistic work; step three was rebuilding the organization to support our work.
In 2012, the company expanded to create an Artists-in-Residence Program. Theatre artists audition and interview for a year long residency. They learn and work alongside the company members, helping to develop their own artistic voices and also helping to grow the organization.
The company’s artist-in-residence program has paid dividends as former Artists-in-Residence have become Company Members as well as working with other theatres across the city in a wide array of roles—including as Artistic Directors of culturally specific theatres.
In 2013, the company also established a new yearly fundraising Gala, Night of Flight, which honors three community members with the Iris Award. Our annual budget has since doubled in each of the past three years.
After rehearsing at the Christ Lutheran Church for two years, in 2013 Halcyon became the theatre in residence there, transforming their space into a flexible theatrical venue for performances.