Chicago, Illinois is a beautiful city full of artists, business folks, and theater lovers. It is nicknamed “The Windy City” because of the strong weather that comes in from Canada and across the great lakes. It shares a border with Lake Michigan and some of the coldest winters you can find in the Midwest.
However, that does not seem to stop the millions of residents and visitors the city boasts, particularly when they come out to see their sports teams like the Bulls, Blackhawks, or White Sox. They just put on their coats and hats and brave the weather with all the energy of any sports or outdoors fan.
This cultural hub of a city thrives on many things, one of which is live theater. Improv in Chicago is always welcomed as it brings communities together through performance and laughter. Chicago is a city rich in opportunity, so finding a venue, equipment, and actors should certainly be doable. Read on to see if choosing a Chicago improv space is right for you.
Improv Space Options in Chicago
Having an improv space in Chicago can be an amazing thing. But you have to make sure you have the essentials. Here is a list of a few key options to consider when starting your project.
Comedy is always better with a bit of drink in you. Providing food and beverages might be a good way to lift spirits initially and have everyone on an elevated vibe going into the show. Food and drink are always a great way to get people excited about an event.
Get some good lighting for the show as well and the audience will appreciate it. Lighting is a good indicator of how professional the show is going to be. Stage lights, spotlights, dimmers; make sure you have all the appropriate equipment you will need to get your show looking top-notch.
- Sound Equipment
It is very important that you have a good quality sound system for your show. You want to make sure that everyone in the audience can hear you at all times so all jokes can land exactly how they are supposed to. Good sound equipment can cost a bit of money, but certain venues may even have a stock system already in place.
Improv Space Companies in Chicago
After choosing your improv space in Chicago, you still have quite a bit of work to do. Consider hiring some of the local companies to help you with these so you can enjoy the city while you are there.
- LD Audio
Get the right equipment to make your show shine.LD Audio has everything from mics to stands to amplifiers and speakers. Their prices are comparable and their selection is vast.
- Windy City Music and Lighting
For all your lighting needs, Windy City Music and Lighting has you covered. Whether it is a small venue or an amphitheater, they have the necessary equipment to make you sound great.
- Fanfare Catering
For many years, Fanfare Catering has supplied Chicago with amazing food and their customer service is second to none. They will work with you to provide the perfect food and drink experience for your Chicago improv space.
Pros and Cons of Improv Spaces in Chicago
Like any city in America, Chicago has its good parts and its bad. There are a lot of factors included in choosing a Chicago improv space. Take a look at this pros and cons list to see if it can influence you one way or the other.
- Great public transport
While the traffic is terrible in the city at rush hour, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that Chicago has a stellar public transport system. Between the train and bus systems and taxis, you are sure to get wherever you need to go on time.
- Sports fans are truly fanatics
For an improv group, the sports culture and fanatic culture associated with the city could be great fodder for comedy. Chicago has some diehard fans who live and breathe these teams.
- Tons of cultural activities
This city is built on support for cultures and the arts. There are so many people and so much culture in Chicago that it breeds inspiration and society of artistic support.
- So incredibly cold
For some folks, particularly transplants, Chicago winters are just too miserable to endure. Finding an audience during the wintertime might be a difficult task.
- High crime rates
In certain parts of the city, crime can get pretty bad. Improv shows tend to be at night, so this might be a deterrent for some potential guests.
- Traffic is the worst
Don’t expect your crowd to gather on time if they drive vehicles. Traffic during rush hour can add up to a few hours to a commute.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- Museum of Science and Industry
If there is a science lover amongst you, this is the place to bring them. This museum is one of the largest of its kind in the world and boasts thousands of visitors each year. Hands-on experiences keep the mind learning and growing with exhibits like the 40 ft tornado, a giant submarine, or a 13-foot 3D printed, beating heart!
- Millennium Park
Outdoor green spaces are hard to come by in big cities like Chicago. That is why it is so important that areas like Millennium Park exist. These three-square blocks are the perfect spot to go for a walk, jog, or just sit and enjoy the sun. The park is scattered with beautiful sculptures from local artists, and at certain parts of the year, you are sure to find live music.
- Wrigley Field
Any baseball fans out there? Wrigley Field is one of the oldest ballparks in America and home to the world series champs, the Chicago Cubs. Pick a home game from the schedule and make a day of it with beer, hot dogs, and general fanfare. On the off seasons, you can explore the stadium like a museum.