Opened in June 2003, Looking Glass Theatre Company is located inside the Water Tower Water Works building on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.
The main stage allows Lookingglass to reconfigure the stage and audience seating as dictated by the needs of each production, allowing for a maximum capacity of 240 persons, 60 of whom may be seated at the balcony level. There is a multi-purpose studio space, used for theater presentations, special events, classes, rehearsals and intimate performances.
Designed by Morris Architects | Planners, Inc., the project involved the conversion of existing space within this landmark to a flexible, state-of-the-art performance facility housing two theaters and associated public and performer support space such as lobbies, dressing rooms and concession areas. The company shares this facility with the still-functioning water utility, which pumps 250,000 gallons of water to the north side of Chicago every day.
From the seminal, self-produced collegiate production of Alice in Wonderland, Lookingglass has always believed that the power of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Lookingglass sees immense value in group history and experience, a collective vision, the dynamics of teamwork and the importance of leadership within that collaborative construct. Each performance is a collaboration between artists, story and audience. Collaboration informs every aspect of how they produce theatre.
Transformation is certainly at the core of all theatre and particularly vital to Lookingglass. Lookingglass uses visual metaphor, gesture and daring theatricality to create transcendent staging. Fiction and non-fiction are converted into stage pieces. Actors are often required to play multiple characters outside their traditional range. Even the newly-built theatre reflects the core value of transformation– the infinitely flexible facility changes in configuration to best suit each new production. Transformation is reflected in the Lookingglass Mission Statement…to change, charge and empower.
Lookingglass seeks to redefine the limits of theatrical experience. The ensemble uses multi-disciplined arts training and an ambition for innovation to invent new ways to develop and tell stories.