The arts are an essential part of education and Court has an important role to play in South Side schools. We are thrilled to tell you about the generosity of a patron who wants to help Court introduce the arts to more students. The Betty Lou Smith Fund has agreed to match 2:1 any new or increased gift to Court’s education programs when you help us raise $12,500.

Your new or increased donation today will ensure that the goal is reached and Court receives the full $25,000 matching gift.

The education programs rely entirely on the generosity of patrons like you. Your support now, which will be doubled by the matching challenge, will ensure that Court is able to offer these amazing arts experiences to South Side students.

Thanks to the Betty Lou Smith Fund, your gift this season can have double the impact for Court’s students.​

Click here to make your donation online now!

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

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).

A very special thanks to Court Theatre's 2015/2016 corporate sponsors who help us make classic theatre vibrant and accessible to the Chicagoland community.

  • Allstate Insurance Co.
  • Grant Thornton LLP
  • Northern Trust
  • Nuveen Investments
  • Sidley Austin LLP
  • Winston & Strawn 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 can enjoy:

Prominent Visibility

  • Spotlight advertisements in theatre programs
  • High-profile recognition in the theatre lobby and on all donor lists throughout the season
  • Name and logo placement in the season subscription brochure 
  • Name and logo placement on tickets, postcard mailings, and opening night invitations
  • Name and logo placement on the Court Theatre website

Employee Participation

  • Discounted tickets for employees
  • Personalized VIP service for Court Theatre ticket requests

Corporate partners can also create unforgettable client and employee hospitality events with

  • Invitations to Court Theatre’s Opening Night performances and pre-show receptions with major donors and key community leaders
  • Complimentary client entertainment evenings including dessert reception with cast members
  • Opportunity to host a theatre artists’ salon or workshop for staff or clients
  • Invitations to first rehearsals, and behind-the-scenes events throughout the season
  • Other activities involving members of the Producers Circle, Court’s premier giving society

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.

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.

Court Theatre’s sixth production of the season – our Annual Gala!

On April 2, 2016, zoot suits, vinyl records, harmonicas, and guitars set the scene at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, where over 260 guests supported Court Theatre’s artistic and educational initiatives. The evening honored The Chicago Community Trust for their longstanding support of the theatre.

From the Blues Club atmosphere to Felicia Field’s soulful performance, the fun and entertainment were second-to-none. Silent auction items including international trips and dinner with political strategist David Axelrod, a raffle that sent the winner home with a trip to New Orleans, and contributions in support of the theatre’s education programs raised over 20% of Court’s annual donations. These funds make a significant difference on our stage and in our community.

Thank you to all who attended and made the evening a success. If you missed the party, you can still support Court by making a donation here, and we hope you can join us next year.

Browse through the photo album to relive the excitement of the evening!

For more information on Court’s Annual Gala, please contact Grace Wong at (773) 834-5293 or via email