Even with successful seasons and sold-out shows, ticket sales only cover half of the cost of producing exceptional classic theatre at Court. Our unique artistic vision can only be realized with the support of our audiences. From our exploration of the classic canon including African American and musical works, to the Barbara E. Franke Commissioning Program for New Classics, to our audience engagement and student education programs, our initiatives are sustained and expanded through the help of individuals, corporations, and foundations.

To learn more about the programming that our donors support, check out our ten-minute video on Court and the Center for Classic Theatre.

Give Online (select Court Theater under “Area of Giving”) 
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 Brittany Montgomery, Assistant Director of Individual Giving, at (773) 834-3563 or via email.

Donor Benefits:

As a thank you, Court Theatre provides the following benefits to reward, acknowledge, and engage those invested in perpetuating the artistic excellence of our programming. This year, donors will also receive special one-time 60th Anniversary benefits marked in red. All invitations are for two.


  • Listing as a donor in the production programs for one year
  • Commemorative Court Theatre 60th Anniversary tote bag
  • Commemorative anniversary magazine, celebrating 60 years of Court Theatre
  • Invitation to a “Homecoming” event and reception in Hutchinson Commons, the courtyard wherein Court Theatre was founded

SUPPORTERS - $500 Level
All the benefits above, plus:

  • Invitation to one Opening Night performance and celebration 
  • Invitation to five First Rehearsals: join us as the cast and crew come together to discuss the script and designs, and listen to the actors read the play for the first time

SPONSOR - $1,000 Level
All the benefits above, plus:

  • Invitation to all five Opening Night receptions and performances
  • Invitation to a discussion surrounding Court’s 60th Anniversary with artists and scholars followed by a special reception for 60th Anniversary campaign contributors 

PRODUCERS’ CIRCLE - $2,500 Level
All the benefits above, plus:

  • Invitation to three exclusive Producers’ Circle dinners held each year featuring Court’s artists and University of Chicago scholars
  • Invitations to celebrations and exclusive University of Chicago events as a member of the University’s Chicago Society, a leadership annual giving society 

MAJOR SPONSOR - $5,000 Level
All the benefits above, plus:

  • Invitation to an end of year dinner, held exclusively for top 60th Anniversary campaign contributors
  • Invitation to 60th Anniversary events including a discussion and reception 
  • at the Franke Institute celebrating the Center for Classic Theatre
  • Recognition as a Sponsor of the 60th Anniversary Season on a commemorative plaque permanently installed in the Court Theatre lobby. 
  • Additional recognition in all season materials
Photo of Porgy and Bess (Michael Brosilow).

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.

Special Projects

Help Court expand the collective notion of classic theatre by supporting a specific program during the season:

  • The Barbara Franke Commissioning Program for New Classics
    A landmark fund to support new translations and adaptations of classic texts
  • The African-American Theatre Initiative
    An ongoing exploration of the African-American canon of classic theatre
  • The Musical Theatre Initiative
    A continuing investigation into the special storytelling power of musical theatre
  • Artistic Director’s Vision Fund
    A fund to support Charlie Newell’s unique artistry
  • Student Education Program
    A group of programs serving over 3,200 students throughout the Chicagoland area annually, including Court Theatre Student Matinees, the Artists-in-the-Schools initiative and the Student Interns Program
  • The Martha Paine Newell Fund for Emerging Artists
    A new endowment established by Timothy, Patricia, and Charles Newell in honor of their mother, Martha “Matt” Newell, will allow Court Theatre to support the work of early-career theatre artists. One emerging artist per year, identified by Court’s artistic and production staff, will be invited to work on Court productions as a Matt Fellow.

Endowment Funds

A gift to Court Theatre’s endowment ensures that your legacy will live on in perpetuity. By investing with the University of Chicago, Court can guarantee that endowment funds perform at an extremely high rate of return, making your gift that much more powerful for years to come.

To help fund a special initiative, please call the Development department at 773.834.0941.

THANK YOU to everyone who helped make Court Theatre’s 2014 Gala a tremendous successs!

Thanks to you, we raised nearly $280,000 towards Court Theatre’s 60th anniversary season and Artists-in-the-Schools program. 

It’s not too late to donate. Help us make our ambitions a reality for the 60th anniversary season and beyond.

Relive the evening--view the 2014 Gala photo gallery.

Photos by Willie Chandler.