The Playground Theater

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Founded in 1997, The Playground Theater is the nation's first and only not-for-profit co-op theater dedicated to the performance and instruction of improvised comedy - an art form for which Chicago is internationally renown. The Playground's 140 affiliated actors work on a 100-percent volunteer basis to perform and operate the theater. Home to fourteen member ensembles and welcoming guest ensembles from across Chicago and around the world, the theater also offers children's programs, fundraising benefit shows, improv masters classes and customized comedy shows for corporations and other groups.


Some of the more famous alumni: Jason Sudeikis

Contact Info


  • 1997 - The Playground starts as an itinerant group of performers at the bars Cue Club, Cafe Ashie, and then Jako's.
  • 1999 - The Playground moves to its first theater, on Lincoln Avenue.
  • 2003 - The theater moves to a new home on 3209 Halsted Avenue, formerly the Turnaround Theater and former home to both WNEP Productions and ComedySportz Chicago.