Events with Free | Chicago Reader

Events with Free

Loading...
  • Detail View
  • List View
  • Grid View
90 results

Opening Reception: Frida Kahlo, Her Photos Recommended Free All Ages

4/3-8/2


The museum is presenting an exhibition of 200 images that shed light on Kahlo's life. Opening reception is 4/3, 6-8pm. Update: To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the museum will be closed until 3/29. 312-738-1503

Home/Land Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Vimeo

,

Albany Park Theater Project offers a streaming version of their critically lauded 2012 production about undocumented immigrants, written and performed by the teen ensemble and directed by APTP producing artistic director David Feiner.

Opening Reception of Adláteres and the Unexpected Journey: works by Carmen Chami Recommended Free All Ages

Friday 4/3, 6-8pm


"A

dláteres and the Unexpected Journey," opens with works by Carmen Chami who create artworks that reference Mexican Baroque. Update: To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the museum will be closed until 3/29. 312-738-1503

Visionaries + Voices Recommended Free

Open by appointment
Western Exhibitions 1709 W. Chicago, Chicago West Town/Noble Square


Visionaries + Voices is an art studio for creatives with disabilities in Cincinnati who will have paintings, drawings, ceramics, artists books, and sculptures created by Ohio artists on view at Western Exhibitions. The gallery is open by appointment only and there will be no opening reception. Tuesday thru Saturday, 11am-5pm. Email scott@westernexhibitions.com or call (312) 480-8390 to schedule a viewing. 312-480-8390

Foundation Collection for Artists Run Chicago 2.0 Recommended Free All Ages

4/4-7/12
Hyde Park Art Center 5020 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago Hyde Park


Artists Run Chicago 2.0 will be inviting artist-run spaces in Chicago to exhibit work from their collection. 773-324-5520

Cameron Spratley 630 Opening Reception Recommended Free

Saturday 6/13, Noon-11pm
M. LeBlanc 3514 WEST FULLERTON AVENUE, Chicago Logan Square


Cameron Spratley's exhibition 730 will depict ten new works focused on personal narratives that reflect being young and Black in America. The title, "730" is a rap term that references the current times we are living in and the mechanism of racism. M. Blanc will be following guidelines and only allow ten people into the gallery at a time during the opening night. On view until 8/15.

A Quarantine Daydream Recommended Free

Wednesday 6/24
Elephant Room Gallery 704 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago South Loop


"A Quarantine Daydream," presents the work of Joe Nelson, (also known as Cujo Dah) which opens Wednesday with works ranging from Afro-futuristic to dreamscapes. Elephant Room Gallery is taking appointments and the full exhibition will be online at 5pm on 6/24. On view until 8/22. 312-361-0281

Outsider Art: The Collection of Victor F. Keen Recommended Member Picks Free All Ages Agenda

2/6-9/7


M

ore than 40 works of art from the most well-known outsider artists will be exhibited from the collection of Victor F. Keen. These works operate outside of the mainstream art world. Opening reception 2/5, 5-8pm. 312-243-9088

Feast Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime on Vimeo

,

As a gift to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Albany Park Theater Project offers a free streaming Vimeo version of this show, first created in 2010 and revived in 2015 at the Goodman about immigrant communities, food, and the politics surrounding those topics. Feast was created by the APTP youth ensemble and directed by artistic director David Feiner.

. . . And I Am Not Afraid Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Prop Thtr website

,

Prop Thtr presents a free streaming version of this production from fall of 2019, presented then under the title I Am Going to Die Alone and I Am Not Afraid. Devised by the ensemble and directed by Anna Gelman, with music by Alec Phan, the play uses the Holocaust and its legacy as a lens for exploring bravery and tenacity in the face of violence and oppression. Reader critic Dmitry Samarov wrote "In a time when so many societal forces are hell-bent on dividing us along tribal lines, this powerful piece of theater shows how sharing the tribulations of one people must give all people pause."

Johnny Johnson Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Mondays-Sundays

,

Chicago Folks Operetta continues its "Operetta Delivered" series of free streaming archived performances with Kurt Weill and Paul Green's 1936 anti-war piece, presented by the company in its Chicago premiere in 2017. Reader critic Albert Williams wrote "Though not a success in its time, Johnny Johnson is a work of landmark historical significance. And despite some flaws, this production packs a real emotional impact with its quirky yet lyrical music, expressionistic visual design, and timeless theme of a common man caught up in the madness of war."

Medusa Undone Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through company website or YouTube channel

,

Otherworld Theatre offers a free streaming version of last spring's production of a play by Bella Poynton, directed by Tiffany Keane Schaefer, that retells the story of the legendary gorgon as a critique of rape culture, with Medusa caught in a love triangle between Athena and Poseidon. Reader critic Josh Flanders wrote "The god-human relationship here is a metaphor for celebrity idolatry and the lack of consequence so many with power have maintained, as well as the dangers of living for others versus ourselves."

Still/Here Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available online anytime through Vimeo

,

Free Street offers a free streaming version of this 2019 show (subtitled Manifestos for Joy and Survival), in which survivors of an apocalyptic event in Chicago provide memories of the struggles that defined their lives before the catastrophe, including fighting gentrification and racism. The narrative is drawn from interviews conducted with over 400 Chicago community members.

There Is a Happiness That Morning Is Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available any time through YouTube

,

Houston's Catastrophic Theatre has had a long relationship with Chicago playwright and Theater Oobleck cofounder Mickle Maher. During the COVID-19 shutdown, they are sharing some past productions of his work through their YouTube channel. They kicked off with The Hunchback Variations, and now add their 2013 production of this play, originally staged by Oobleck in Chicago in 2011. Two William Blake scholars and longtime lovers, Ellen and Bernard, deliver lectures on the poet's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience and struggle with the demand by their dean that they apologize for having public sex on the quad.

Sexy Baby Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime on YouTube

Buy TicketsFree

,

Hell in a Handbag offers up a free YouTube stream of their 2012 musical, a satire of child beauty queen pageants created by artistic director David Cerda and Scott Lamberty that former Reader critic Zac Thompson called "biting" and "hysterical." The show was chosen by the members of the company as one of their favorites and is presented free as a gift to the community during the COVID-19 shutdown, though donations to Hell in a Handbag are of course welcome.

Parched Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Vimeo

,

Free Street Theater offers a free streaming version of their 2019 show about the politics of water, pollution, and corporate theft of resources. Reader critic KT Hawbaker wrote of that production "Devised over the course of ten months by Free Street's youth ensemble, students aged 14-19, Parched is driven by vignettes drawn from interviews with researchers, activists, and community members. In that respect, it's a combo of journalism and performance, resulting in passionate storytelling that feels informed and brave."

Plant Chicago's Farmers Market Free All Ages Agenda

Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Continues through Sept. 26
Plant Chicago 4459 S. Marshfield, Chicago Other South


An outdoor farmers market featuring produce, local products, and more. Free to attend; at the corner of 45th Street and Marshfield Avenue. 773-847-5523

My Body's Image, Delayed Free

Through 7/24: new videos released every Friday at 7 PM through the Theatre Y website.

,

Theatre Y celebrates its 15th anniversary and its ongoing collaboration with Hungarian-Romanian playwright and poet András Visky through this anthology of videos created in quarantine by company members, inspired by Visky's work and integrating mirrors as part of the visual vernacular. Artistic director Melissa Lorraine, Visky, and members of the ensemble will also participate in virtual conversations about the work.

A Midsummer Night's Dream Free Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

6/25-7/2: available anytime through YouTube or company websites

,

The National Theatre of the UK's "National Theatre at Home" series continues with this immersive production by the Bridge Theatre of Shakespeare's pastoral comedy.

ComedySportz Free

Mondays-Saturdays

, ,

ComedySportz offers an array of games-based improvisation shows during the COVID-19 shutdown. On Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 and 9:30 PM, Virtual ComedySportz features their classic format of two teams of improvisers, plus a ref. The audience can join with suggestions and vote for the winning team via Zoom. Every other Wednesday at 7 PM, beginning on April 8, the company performs Virtual Vino Veritas, pairing Susan Haarman and two storytellers, plus wine, to share some stories over Zoom. And for families with kids, ReCeSz runs noon-12:30 PM Mon-Fri, with ComedySportz training center instructors leading youngsters through games and a dance party to break up the daily routine. July 20-August 7, the company offers a virtual summer comedy camp for youth, focused on improv games, scene and character work, and stand-up comedy. The camp fee is $100. All other content is free, but donations accepted.

The Approximately Five-Minute Shelter in Place Show Free

Available anytime through website

,

Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium, which specializes in short radio plays, presents an ongoing series of radio pieces created in quarantine during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Play(s) at Home : A Green Theatre Festival Free

Available any time through YouTube

,

Connective Theatre Company presents the second installment in its series of original short plays on the COVID-19 crisis. In this collection, writers from around the globe submitted pieces examining the role the pandemic plays in environmental issues. The selected titles were then rehearsed and shot remotely from the artists' homes.

Masque of the Red Coronavirus Free 18+

Available on the company website anytime.

,

Black Button Eyes Productions presents an interlocking series of videos performed by various artists that mash up Edgar Allan Poe's classic horror tale, "The Masque of the Red Death," in which a prince and his entourage try to cheat a pandemic by taking sanctuary in a pleasure palace, with contemporary articles about how the wealthy and the extremely wealthy are taking refuge in luxury during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a note on the website, company artistic director Ed Rutherford observes "way too many lines of The Prince are quoted verbatim from a public figure."

Shakes@Home Free

Available anytime through the website

,

In response to the COVID-19 shutdown, Chicago Shakespeare provides an online anthology of learning activities, readings, archived discussions of past shows, and more. These include a new podcast, Asides, which analyzes some of the most famous direct audience addresses in the Shakespearean canon; actor-chef John Tufts's "Cook Like Shakespeare" series; and favorite moments in past productions.

Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration Free

Available any time on YouTube

,

In honor of Stephen Sondheim's 90th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the Broadway opening of Company, Raúl Esparza, who won a Tony as Bobby in the 2006 revival of the latter, produced this all-star virtual concert of Sondheim's work. The lineup includes performances and tributes from Patti LuPone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Nathan Lane, Bernardette Peters, Kelli Peters, and many others. Mary-Mitchell Campbell served as music director and Paul Wontorek as director. Available free, but donations accepted for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), a nonprofit founded by Campbell and Juilliard students to help youth in underserved communities receive access to arts training.

Keeping Curious Free

Available anytime online through company website or Facebook page

,

Lookingglass Theatre offers several free online programs during the COVID-19 shutdown. The Infinite Room Podcast brings together artists and activists to discuss the importance of storytelling in creating community. Episodes include discussions of public housing policies with ensemble member J. Nicole Brooks, author and director of Her Honor Jane Byrne, which had to cancel most of its run due to the shutdown, and ensemble members David Catlin and Mary Zimmerman discussing how to put epic adventures onstage. On Tuesdays at noon CDT, Lookingglass artists offer "Lookingglass Live," a free 15-minute workshop on topics such as yoga and comedy. Finally, Through the Lookingglass showcases company artists at home performing various songs, stories, and poems.

Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble Free

Available anytime on YouTube

, ,

Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble offers short videos from various works, including excerpts of What We Carried, which was originally scheduled for May. The collaboration with Jean Parisi focused on stories of those seeking asylum in the U.S. The videos also include excerpts from i bet you think this dance is about you, choreographed by Sara Maslanka.

The Hunchback Variations Free

Available via YouTube any time

,

Mickle Maher, a cofounder of Chicago's highly influential Theater Oobleck, created two versions of his heartbreakingly hilarious story involving Beethoven and Quasimodo at an academic conference, discussing their fruitless collaborative attempt to capture an impossible sound cue in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard: "A distant sound, as if from the sky: the sound of a breaking string—dying away, sad." First done as a straight play in 2001, Maher and composer Mark Messing reconfigured it as a chamber opera in 2012. This streaming YouTube version is of a production of the nonmusical original at Houston's Catastrophic Theatre, which has produced several of Maher's plays over the years.

Freak Show Cabaret Free

Available anytime via YouTube and Facebook

,

Experimental musician and performer Sophia Lucia, who studied performing arts at University of Illinois-Chicago, offers a livestreamed version of her one-woman alternative variety-cabaret show, recorded in quarantine from her home in Paris. It's available via YouTube and her Facebook page, and the music is also available through Bandcamp.

Joffrey Ballet Free

Available through the company website or YouTube channel anytime

,

During the COVID-19 shutdown, the Joffrey highlights a different production from its history every week with production footage and behind-the-scenes interviews with artists involved in the show. Every Thursday at 2 PM, the Joffrey also features "On Cue," a weekly check in (via Instagram) with a Joffrey company artist about "how they’re staying fit, what they’re doing to stay sane and even share some of their favorite quarantine recipes."