Our community includes thousands of artists, educators, students, and audience members. Court Theatre is now the largest performing arts organization on the South Side of Chicago. Your support enables us to produce seasons filled with fresh interpretations of classic texts. And your support enables us to empower our students in classrooms across the South Side. This is our community, reaching far outside the walls of the theatre. We ask that you show your support today. Your gift ensures these partnerships, programs, and productions will be available for years to come.

Help us continue the work of creating ambitious productions with lasting impact. Please click here to make your gift that allows us to grow courageously. The impact of your support is substantial. Your gift is an investment in excellence onstage, in your neighborhoods, and in your schools. 

You can also:

  • Give by Phone: (773) 834-3563 
  • Give in Person or by Mail: 
    5535 S. Ellis Avenue 
    Chicago, IL 60637
  • Make a transfer of stock
  • Please note: you will be redirected to the University of Chicago's website.

For more information, contact Lauren Sheely, Development Assistant, at (773) 834-3563 or via email.

Donor Benefits:

As a thank you for your donation, you will receive the following benefits to reward, acknowledge, and engage you with Court Theatre. (All invitations are for two.)

ASSOCIATE - $150 – $249

  • Yearlong donor recognition in the Court Theatre program
  • Subscription to members-only e-newsletter
  • Complimentary parking at all Court productions
  • Dine at one of Court’s partner restaurants to receive a special offer when you display your Court tickets the day of your performance

CONTRIBUTOR - $250 – $499
All the benefits above, plus:

  • Invitation to Court’s annual Season Preview event
  • Invitation to five First Rehearsal events: experience this unique opportunity when the cast and crew gather discuss the script and designs.
    • Bonus: you can bring your friends!  Invite up to two guests to one First Rehearsal during the season.

SUPPORTER - $500 – $999
All the benefits above, plus:

  • Invitation to one Opening Night performance and celebration

LEADER - $1,000 – $2,999
All the benefits above, plus:

  • Invitation to all five Opening Night celebrations
  • Complimentary Opening Night subscription to all five productions. Tickets are non-transferable to another performance or guest and will be distributed at the reception.

PRODUCERS’ CIRCLE - $3,000 – $4,999
All the benefits above, plus:

  • Invitation to three exclusive Producers’ Circle dinners each year featuring Court Theatre’s artists and University of Chicago scholars
    • Another bonus!  Invite up to two guests to one Producers’ Circle dinner during the season.
  • VIP seating at Court’s annual Season Preview event
  • Ticket concierge services provided by Development staff
  • One voucher valid for two tickets to a Court Theatre show to share with your friends
  • Invitation to celebrations and exclusive University of Chicago events as a member of the University’s Chicago Society, a leadership annual giving society

BENEFACTOR - $5,000+
All the benefits above, plus:

  • Invitation to exclusive events, such as a salon-style event featuring intimate conversations with visiting artists or dinner with the Artistic Director focusing on Court’s artistic vision
Photo of Porgy and Bess (Michael Brosilow).

Court Theatre would like to thank its institutional partners for their leadership and generosity in support of classic theatre.


Paul M. Angell Family Foundation


The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

The Julius N. Frankel Foundation


Prince Charitable Trusts

Rechnitz Foundation


The Rhoades Foundation


Adams Street Partners

Henry Crown and Company

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The Saints

Sidley Austin LLP

Corporate Sponsorship Benefits: Court Theatre’s corporate partnership packages allow you to reach a diverse and highly engaged audience, as well as to support the future of classical theatre on the local and national stage. In return for this important investment, corporate sponsors enjoy high-profile recognition with Court’s audience, attendance at special events, and employee discounts for productions.

For a complete list of Corporate partnership opportunities and benefits, please contact Erin Kelsey, Assistant Director of Development for Institutional Relations, at 773-834-0941 or via email.

Listing as of November 1, 2016

Planning Your Estate

Planning your legacy thoughtfully is of significant importance for you and your family. No matter your net worth, a current will and other estate planning documents are instrumental to providing security for you and your family’s future.

Making a legacy gift in your will, also referred to as a bequest, is a simple way to make a gift to Court Theatre that has lasting impact. Bequests to Court in the form of cash, securities, and real estate or property are a significant source of support for the theatre’s productions and programs. Making a legacy gift is easy: you can designate a specific dollar amount, a particular asset, a fixed percentage of your entire estate, or leave your residuary estate after providing for your loved ones. While unrestricted gifts allow Court to allocate funds to the areas of greatest need, your bequest can also support a specific program at the theatre. No matter what you choose, your legacy gift will support Court’s mission, ensuring that we continue to be the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement and community outreach.

When you notify us that you’ve included Court Theatre in your estate plans, you become a member of the University of Chicago’s Phoenix Society. As a Phoenix Society member, you will receive special event invitations, a memento to honor your commitment, and other benefits. For more details, please visit the Phoenix Society website.

We hope that you will join many other lifetime donors to Court Theatre by continuing to support our mission through a legacy gift.

For more information, click here or contact Susan M. Zellner, Director of Development, at (773) 834-3305 or via email.

Let us entertain you with songs from Gypsy as Court Theatre recreates a backer's audition for a musical about the life of Gypsy Rose Lee, starring Chicago's leading lady and six-time Jeff Award winner E. Faye Butler.

Saturday, April 22, 2017
The Drake Hotel Chicago

6:00PM Cocktail reception, auction, and raffle
7:30PM Dinner and musical performance

Proceeds will support Court’s educational initiatives and artistic programs.

For tickets or more information on the gala, please indicate your interest using one of the following methods:

  • Call (773) 834-5293
  • Fill out an information request here 
  • Download a pdf order form here

Exciting underwriting opportunities are available for businesses and individuals. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, and your support will be recognized in Court’s Gala invitations and program.

Click here to download a pdf underwriting form.

  • Banquet Dinner Underwriters: $50,000 (5 spots available at $10,000 each)
    Set the stage for the most anticipated dinner theater event of the season!
    Your contribution will underwrite an exquisite three-course dinner for Gala guests.

  • Cocktail Reception Underwriters: $20,000 (4 spots available at $5,000 each)
    This generous gift will cover beverages and hors d’oeuvres during our elegant cocktail reception.
  • Entertainment Underwriters: $15,000 (5 spots available at $3,000 each)
    We are always eager to put on a good show—your support allows us to make the Gala a great one!
    Help us gather our favorite Court actors and musicians under one roof for the evening.

  • Audio Visual Underwriter: $10,000
    Your donation will help create the perfect ambiance to set the stage for our fabulous performance.
  • Dinner Wines Underwriter: $8,000
    Your contribution will keep the merriment going throughout the evening!
  • Mobile Bidding Underwriter: $5,000
    Help enhance our technological capabilities with a new mobile fundraising platform.
  • Program Underwriter: $3,500
    This generous gift will allow us to produce and print specially-designed programs and signage.
  • Décor Underwriter: Taken!
    Set the mood for the evening and elevate our theme!
  • Photography Underwriter: $2,000
    Smile for the camera! Fund photography services to capture memorable moments throughout the event.
  • Greeters Underwriter: $1,500 (3 spots available at $500 each)
    Costume our volunteer actors for the night!
    Ensure that our greeters are dressed to the nines as they welcome guests to our event.

Can't attend? You can still support Court Theatre by making a donation.

View photographs from last year's gala celebration here