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Got Time for a Few Plays?

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 16, 2006 11:10PM

Suzan-Lori Parks has a lot of time on her hands. Four years ago, she started an ambitious project to write a play everyday for an entire year. Now she’s managed to convince more than a dozen U.S. cities and regions to perform them all over the next year.

365plays.jpgThe Chicago theater community certainly wouldn't pass up the opportunity to present 365 plays by a Pulitzer Prize winner, and so 365 Days/365 Plays kicks off tonight with “Fine Animal” presented by Dog and Pony Theatre at the Raven Theatre. They'll present six other plays this weekend, then pass the baton to The Gift Theatre, who presents seven new shows next week.

Now here's the kicker: it's all free. Some companies may request voluntary donations, and we recommend you hand over a few bills for our city’s fine actors and producers. But all year long, you can get to know 52 hard-working companies without jeopardizing your mortgage, savings account, or beer funds.

“Free theater” sounds just peachy to us. We’re especially curious to see how ATC’s radio play format (December 25 – January 1), Collaboraction’s “clandestine cabaret” (January 8 – 15), site-specific productions by Sandbox Theater Project (July 2 – 8) and Victory Gardens (August 13 -19), and Steppenwolf's “digital plays” (November 5 -12) play out.

365 Days/365 Plays opens tonight at the Raven Theater, 6157 N. Clark St. more information and a full schedule is available at