PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
Photo: The cast of Oracle’s 2014 Jeff Award-Winning ‘Best Production’ of THE MOTHER.
Citing losing their 3809 N. Broadway space and life changes for Brad Jayhan-Little (Executive Director) and Ben Fuchsen (Executive Producer), Oracle Productions has announced that it’s board will dissolve the company when the current performance series, QUEER, ILL + OKAY (produced with Joe Varisco and Art AIDS America Chicago) ends its run on December 17th.
Oracle has been a champion of “public access theater” for the past 6 years, in which all tickets are free. Funding was achieved through membership programs similar to public television and radio (along with traditional donations and grants). The company garnered 9 Jeff Awards and 24 nominations through the years, as well as the 2014 League of Chicago Theaters “Emerging Theater” award. When the space they occupied for their entire history was lost to condo development earlier this year, the company took a gamble, moving to a larger space at 1802 W. Bernice.
A statement from the company said, in part: “It is humbling and heartwarming to reflect on the thousands of people who contributed to Oracle as we grew and fulfilled our mission. The past six years of Public Access Theater have been an invigorating period of growth. Our mission of making art accessible to everyone evolved over time. That mission informed our seasons, our programming, and changes to our organizational structure. We have been extraordinarily fortunate to collaborate with so many Chicago artists and leaders who have challenged and pushed our ideas of what it means to be accessible. Though we only scratched the surface, we were able to expand the meaning of accessibility beyond affordability, to begin addressing issues around equity and social change. We hope others in the Chicago theater community will continue the effort to make quality theater truly accessible to all.”
Oracle boasts that 97.5% of seats have been filled since the company was founded.