"Theatre for the Curious"


It is the mission of Sideshow Theatre Company to mine the collective unconscious of the world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from the familiar stories, memories and images we all share to spark new conversation and bring our audience together as adventurers in a communal experience of exploration.


Over its 14 year history, Sideshow is proud to have distinguished itself as a vital member of the Chicago theatre community. Sideshow was awarded the 2016 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award by the League of Chicago Theatres. Sideshow is a multiple Jeff Award-winning theatre and has been listed on the “Best of” lists in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018 by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Time Out ChicagoChicago Sun-Times and Windy City Times.


Sideshow is also the producer of Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW), a wildly popular fundraiser held in benefit of Sideshow Theatre Company and other local community organizations. CLLAW has been featured in local and national press, including The Washington Post, Reuters, Penthouse Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times and on WGN Morning News, ABC 7’s Windy City Live and CBS 2.


Below you will find updates on our work towards being accountable to ourselves and our community. One of the projects we have been working on is a list of shared company values. This is a working list that will continue to transform, but pursuits of perfection can often restrict transparency and accountability, so we’re sharing our work thus far with you. These values guide the decisions we make every day, and you can expect us to lead from when working with our company. Our next endeavor is our updated concern path, which will be posted by December of 2021.


We are an anti-racist, and pro-liberation company. We strive for a world without systemic injustices.


We believe in Radical Hospitality. We are stewards of the spaces we enter and generous hosts to all of our audiences. We understand Radical Hospitality has many definitions and are committed to refining what it means to us.


We believe in process over product. We cannot celebrate a finished play or production if significant harm was caused along the way. We value the present moment, problem-solving, the process of discovery, and the liminal spaces where truly great work can happen.


We believe in harm reduction. We understand we work in an industry that is full of inherent harm and protect our artists until we can create better systems. In action, this looks like educating ourselves on how to work to interrupt harm and create liberated systems, and empowering visiting artists with the methods we are learning, in an effort to better our industry as a whole.


We believe that Rushing is Racist. We believe urgency is most often a privilege of the oppressor. Rushing and urgency both result in habitual decision making, which is reinforced by our shared conditioning in a white supremacist society.


We believe Perfection is unattainable, and that Diligence is achievable.


We believe in clear communication about internal and external accountability, and apply compassion and creativity to work with the ebb and flow of people’s lives and schedules.


We strive for transparency—in communications, in operations, in process--and we will continue to refine the meaning of transparency as it pertains to Sideshow.


We are striving toward shared responsibility, which is the path toward non-hierarchical leadership. We are open to evaluating constantly what leadership structures serve us best and pivoting when necessary.


We commit to the practice of artistic closure. The artistic goals you come to our company to fulfill, are the accomplishments you will leave with.