Since 1985, we’ve collaborated on 40 World premieres and 26 Regional premieres for our mainstage. We continue to workshop and cultivate new work. Blueprint offers workshops, staged-readings, and the opportunity to develop scripts for fully-staged productions.
Upcoming development includes:
American Myth by Blue Ink Playwriting Award winner Christina Gorman.
An adaptation of Richard Wright’s novel Native Son by ABT Ensemble member Nambi E. Kelley.
Joe Hill by ABT Ensemble member Michael Mahler.
Solo show by ABT Ensemble member Lindsay Jones.
Horror Movie: The Play by ABT Ensemble member Joe Foust .
Untitled by ABT Ensemble member Manny Buckley.
Since beginning our national competition in 2010, we’ve received over 1,100 submissions from all over the country. The winner is awarded a cash prize of $500.00 and receives a staged-reading of her manuscript. The winning play is chosen by a selection committee comprised of American Blues Theater Ensemble members.
Congratulations to Elaine Romero for winning the 2013 Blue Ink Playwriting Award for her script “Graveyard of Empires”.
Finalists were Dave Carley for “American Detour” and Jim Henry for “Jellofish”.
Honorable mentions include: Laura Axelrod “Searching for the Sign”, Sarah Bowden “The Magnificent Masked Hearing Aid”, Richard Brockman “Lake Effect”, Michael Burgan “I Killed Mussolini”, Gloria Bond Clunie “SMOKE”, Carlos Jerome “Booked”, and Mary Kathryn Nagle “Miss Lead”.
is based on the 1930’s WPA era program that brought Orson Welles, Arthur Miller and Clifford Odets into public attention. We incorporate scripts from the original 1930s LIVING NEWSPAPER juxtaposed with new material ripped from today’s headlines. Like the original productions, the artists incorporate vaudeville, traditional scenes, music, dance, visual arts, and with the addition of electronic media as well. This reading series cultivates new material and allows audiences to discuss topical issues together.
Supporting ABT’s mission of partnering with social and service organizations, the following organizations have been supported by RIPPED events since its inception in 2009: AgrAbility, Chicago Public Schools, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Illinois Farm Bureau, Lincoln Park Community Shelter, University of Chicago’s Urban Education Teachers Program, and Open Books.
We’ve produced ten (10) editions utilizing nearly 230 artists.
Created and produced by ABT Ensemble member and Literary Associate, Heather Meyers, the Big Shoulders Festival ran from 2003 – 2008 at our old Byron space, American Theater Company, where they continue to produce our program. The beloved short-play festival celebrated original 10-minute scripts about Chicago written and performed by Chicago artists. Over 38 playwrights were featured during the sold-out performances during our tenure.