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Raven Theatre Records

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Raven

Scope and Content of the Collection

Materials related to the Raven Theatre's organizational history, production history, fundraising activities, and collaboration with other theaters and creative institutions.

Organizational materials include administrative documents such as board of directors meeting minutes, construction estimates and floor plans for the Raven Theatre's 2002 relocation, and financial documents including grant applications and correspondence. The Main Stage Production series is the largest and contains the most diverse collection of materials including scripts, press clippings, photographs, flyers and programs, original program artwork, set designs, and digital material such as production audio and video. Production material pertaining to small-scale plays and children's programs includes scripts, photographs, press clippings, and occasionally production audio and other digital media. Fundraising and benefits materials include general correspondence, programs, invitations, and scripts for special performances. The theater rental licenses series includes licenses and correspondence between the Raven Theatre and over fifty other theaters, ensembles, and performers who rented the Raven Theatre for their own productions.


  • Creation: approximately 1940-2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1983 - 2013



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Raven Theatre Records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Raven Theatre Records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

History of Raven Theatre

Founded in 1983, the Raven Theatre is a regional live theater company located in the Rogers Park neighborhood on Chicago's north side. For over thirty years, performances at the Raven Theatre have been guided by its strong ensemble of theater artists who act, write, direct, design, and collaborate on award-winning production. The Raven Theatre's founding ensemble members, Michael Menendian and JoAnn Montemurro, continue to serve as Producing Artistic Director and Co-Artistic Director, respectively.

From 1983 to 2000, the Raven Theatre occupied a small, 70-seat theater located at 6917 N Clark Street. In need of more space, the theater relocated in 2002 to a former market building at 6157 N Clark Street. Situated at the corner of Granville Avenue and Clark Street, the Raven Theatre's current location has two stages; a 60-seat west stage for small-scale performances and a 150-seat east stage for main stage production.

Since its founding in 1983, the Raven Theatre has devoted each year to a full season of main stage productions, one-act performances, and children's programs. The Raven Theatre's mission is to shed light on the American experience through producing both modern classics such as Twelve Angry Men (1954) and contemporary works like Radio Golf (2005). In addition to these main stage productions, the Raven Theatre also produces one-act plays as part of its “Shorties Series” as well as numerous performances for children and family audiences. The Raven Theatre is also a frequent collaborator with other theater companies and ensembles in the Chicago area and routinely rents its west stage to outside productions. Through its collaboration and professional production, the Raven Theatre continues to be a staple of the Chicago theater community.


14.6 Linear Feet (35 boxes)


Records related to Chicago’s Raven Theatre’s administration, development, history, and productions. Materials include box office reports, building plans, and correspondence, as well as budgets, flyers, photographs, reviews, press releases, programs, annotated scripts, and set designs for Raven Theatre’s main stage and “shorties”/one act productions.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Organizational Records, 1979-2008
Boxes 1-3
Series 2: Main Stage Production, approximately 1940-2013
Boxes 3-20
Series 3: Shorties, One-Acts, and Workshop Production, 1986-2012
Boxes 21-23
Series 4: Children's Production, 1994-2009
Boxes 23-25
Series 5: Production Seasons, 1988-2011
Boxes 25-26
Series 6: Fundraisers and Benefits, 1985-2010
Box 26
Series 7: Box Office Reports, 2004-2014
Boxes 27-33
Series 8: Theater Rental Licenses, 2003-2013
Boxes 33-35

Collection Stack Location

1 37 1, 1 38, 1


Gift of the Raven Theatre.

Processed by

Ruby Oram & Samantha Smith, 2015.

Inventory of the Raven Theatre Records, approximately 1940-2015, bulk 1983-2013
Ruby Oram
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States