Court Theater gets new rehearsal location

Staff Writer

Court Theater is moving its rehearsal space from the second story of an old taxicab house to an 8,000-square-foot building that will better mimic their stage and accommodate its costume shop.

The former State Farm building on the 5200 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue will be part of the University of Chicago’s facilities department’s expansion to a new, consolidated building.

Currently Court Theater’s actors practice 10 hours a day, six days a week above the facilities services shops and office inventory building at 56th Street and Stony Island Avenue. Court’s executive director, Stephen Albert, said the move should alleviate some of the difficulty that comes with their limited, poorly heated space.

“We are very grateful that there has been a nice solution to our being relocated and the provost has been very helpful in making that happen and our hope is to create a space that is creative,” Albert said. “When you’re bringing artists in to spend three to four weeks in a room working on a play it helps if they feel a certain bounce when they walk in.”

The new rehearsal space will replicate the footprint of the Court Theater’s stage, 5535 S. Ellis Ave., hopefully with some space left over to design and fit costumes and for actors to wait when they are not called for the scene.

Albert said the plans to build the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts took place before he came on at Court, in 2010. He could not explain why Court Theater’s move wasn’t included in the plans for the university’s arts hub.