A recent posting on the Flux Theatre Ensemble's blog calls for an Indie Repertory Theatre in New York; something along the idea of FringeNYC Encore where successful productions are given the opportunities for extended runs. This would be a great idea for an entrepreneurial spirit in Chicago. Since the whole Off-Loop Theatre scene is essentially an extended fringe festival it would make sense to create a forum to give exposure to successful productions at a higher profile.
Many theatre companies in Chicago really only reach their immediate neighborhoods. Few tourists venture beyond the loop to seek out theatrical entertainment. It would be beneficial to the city and the potential revenue that could be generated, by finding a way to to play on the Chicago theatre community's strenghts and increase the profile of strong productions.
One of my friends suggested that an effort be made to create an Off-Loop theatre district. A centralized location where everyone knows to go for theatre. A place where theatre is sold on the street corner like it does on Broadway. Where people can go out to dinner, followed by an excellent show and then go get a drink and discuss the play they've seen. Create a whole culture surrounding the theatre. A haven for the kind of discourse that thrives only when that type of electric shock and excitement dwells.