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Side Project’s New Space, Now With Porn!

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on May 10, 2006 10:47PM

Small and smallish theaters routinely provide some of the best entertainment value in the city. Seems like no one understands that better than the side project, who has turned one of Chicago’s most intimate performance spaces, the side studio, into a Rogers Park destination. Opening in 2000 as a 20-seat venue that would expand to 32 seats a year later, the studio has hosted a steady stream of imaginative productions for a mix of friends, friends of friends, and theater nuts who read deep into the performing arts listings. The side project helps perpetuate this city’s reputation for immediate, in-your-face theater. Late night and off-hours, the space hosts spirited, cash-strapped groups, often on the experimental side: this was where the world (and Chicagoist) first saw Sock Puppet Showgirls.

Having caught the attention of Victory Gardens and landed themselves on most major critics’ best of the year lists, the side studio has outgrown their cozy home and is moving a block down the street to a new space with 11 more seats and triple the bathrooms. The Side Project Theatre, occupying the former Don’s Coffee Club, has a fully functioning (but not yet licensed) kitchen, not so vital in a rapidly developing restaurant strip.


The welcome mat is dusted off this weekend as the inaugural production, Porno, receives its world premiere. The tale of a frustrated filmmaker is written and directed by wunderkind director and founder of The Hypocrites Sean Graney, in his latest bid to land on a year-end top ten list.

Porno plays at the Side Project Theatre, 1439 W Jarvis Avenue, opens Sunday night at 7pm, then runs Thursdays – Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 7pm (special 3pm matinee on June 11) through June 11. Tickets are $18-20. Due to graphic material suggested by the show’s title, no one under 18 will be admitted. More information at

Image via the side project