The Agency Theater Collective WE ARE THE AGENCY. SO ARE YOU.

The Agency Theater Collective


The Agency Theater Collective creates immersive, interactive theatrical experiences, inviting the audience to embrace their collective agency in the process. We hold these principles sacred: revelation, paradox, humor, mischief, and collaboration. The Agency is greater than the sum of its parts. We are The Agency and so are you.

The Agency was born from a Meisner acting classroom at Green Shirt Studio, a storefront training center in Chicago. Out of a conversation with advanced students, Green Shirt co-founders Andrew Gallant and Sommer Austin formed the Agency with a shared vision to create theatre that fulfilled and engaged both artist and audience alike.

In May 2011, we staged our inaugural production, The Four Twins – a gritty and sexy comedy with underground appeal in a gallery space in Wicker Park. Staged to allow the audience to share the playing space with actors, the Agency set out to keep our audience active in new and unexpected ways.

What began as collaboration within the community of the acting studio soon became a collaboration of a much larger scale in November 2011 as The Agency brought No Shame Theatre back to Chicago (last produced by A Moveable Feast Theatre Company in 1993). No Shame Theatre is a theatrical open-mic series, founded at the University of Iowa in 1986, and currently performed in 20 cities around the country. The Agency’s No Shame focuses on immediacy, originality and brevity, and provides a platform for the creation of new work. The weekly late-night series is held every Saturday night, and we’ve been running it nonstop ever since.

In the Spring of 2012, inspired by the economic downturn at the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Artistic Director Andrew Gallant staged the rarely produced, depression-era drama, Paradise Lost by Clifford Odets. This was followed in December with The Agency’s original musical concoction of Out of Tune Confessional, an irreverent non-holiday holiday show performed at the Underground Wonder Bar. The Chicago Reader voted The Agency runner-up as the Best New Theater Company of 2012.

The Agency gained notoriety in 2013 with their original, Chicago-centric play I Wish To Apologize to the People of Illinois. An insider perspective on political fixer Stuart Levine, this provocative and gripping new play explored corruption in Illinois politics and was praised by the Chicago Tribune as, “An intelligent show about a crooked life.”

Since then, The Agency has continued its mission to produce new plays and timely revivals. In 2015, company member Cody Lucas was nominated for the Best New Work Jeff Award for his play Truth in Context. In 2016, Sommer Austin staged an acclaimed revival of Mia McCullough’s Chagrin Falls. Also in 2016, the Agency launched a spiritual companion to No Shame known as The Basement Series. Curated by company member Jack Schultz, the Basement Series stages monthly events allowing artists to explore short and long form pieces of any style.

Whether through main stage productions, No Shame, or The Basement Series, we collaborate to learn, and we learn to grow. We are The Agency. So are you.

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