Organic Theater Company

Organic Theater Company

Organic Theater Company, a Chicago theatre, was founded in the 1970s by artistic director Stuart Gordon. The theater company was incorporated in 1972. Some productions were taken on the road, touring to New York City venues such as The Performing Garage, The Public Theater, and The Ambassador Theatre.



Notable productions during founding artistic director Stuart Gordon's leadership included:

- "Warp," by Stuart Gordon and Bury St. Edmund, an original science-fiction epic adventure in three parts

- "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" by David Mamet, world premiere production

- "Cops" by Terry Curtis Fox, starring Dennis Franz and Joe Mantegna

- "Bleacher Bums" concept by Joe Mantegna, (there was also production for WTTW television that aired in 1979)

- “E/R Emergency Room” conceived and written by the Organics under the supervision of Dr. Ronald Berman

- "The Sirens of Titan" (1977) adapted by Stuart Gordon from the 1959 novel by Kurt Vonnegut

After “E/R Emergency Room,” Stuart Gordon went to the west coast to make his cult classic sci-fi film “The Re-Animator.” Artistic directors after Stuart Gordon included Thomas Riccio[1] and Richard Fire. In 1996 Organic Theater Company and Touchstone Theatre merged under the leadership of Touchstone’s artistic director Ina Marlowe. (For two years the organization did business as Organic Touchstone but is now known again as Organic Theater Company.)

Notable productions during artistic director Ina Marlowe’s leadership included:

- “The Steward of Christendom” by Sebastian Barry, director Ina Marlowe worked closely with Irish playwright Sebastian Barry on this Midwest premiere

- “An American Daughter” by Wendy Wasserstein, director Ina Marlowe worked closely with playwright Wendy Wasserstein (including significant rewrites) on this Midwest premiere

- “Belfry” by Billy Roche, director Ina Marlowe worked closely with Irish playwright Billy Roche on this American premiere (of both the play and the playwright’s work)

- “The Last Seder” by Jennifer Maisel, 2001 Kennedy Center Award for New Plays, World premiere

- “The Lady from Dubuque” by Edward Albee, director Ina Marlowe worked closely with Edward Albee on this Chicago premiere

Ina Marlowe passed the torch to artistic director Alexander Gelman at the beginning of 2006. Gelman’s Organic Theater Company is now a company of actors touring with a rotating repertory. Since then the company has produced The $30,000 Bequest by Mark Twain, Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville, and Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent. He also directed Eugene Ionesco's Man with Bags, Friedrich Durrenmatt's Play Strindberg, and Shimizu Kunio's The Dressing Room.


Over the years, Organic Theater Company venues have included: 3319 N. Clark Street, Chicago 2851 N. Halsted Street, Chicago Loyola University’s Kathleen Mullady Theatre, Chicago, Ruth Page Theatre, LaCosta Theatre, and the Greenhouse Theater Center (formerly Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater).


External links

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