The Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts at Northwestern University produces and manages the performing arts productions of the School of Communication, Department of Theatre, and Department of Performance Studies, and has programmatic responsibility for theatre, music theatre and dance. Each year, as many as forty productions are mounted in its four different performance venues — the 439-seat Ethel M. Barber Theater, the 369-seat Josephine Louis Theater, the 100-seat Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater and the 100-seat Mussetter-Struble Theater — as well as in the University’s 1,000-seat Cahn Auditorium.
The Center adheres to and reflects the academic mission of the University, the curricular needs of the Theatre and Performance Studies departments, the educational priorities of Communication students and exists in service to the campus and the greater community of the Metropolitan Chicago area. We are firmly committed to offering our audiences a view of the world on our stages that is as enlightening as it is entertaining; a place to come together to laugh, cry and be profoundly moved by some of the greatest writers, composers and choreographers from around the world, created and presented by some of the most exciting artists of tomorrow. As we seek to entertain at the highest artistic level, we strive to create a place where both our artists and our audiences relish the excitement of exploring differences and discovering similarities, of learning more about others as a means to learning more about ourselves.
As previously announced, Chicago Blackhawks chairman William Rockwell "Rocky" Wirtz and his wife, Marilyn, are supporting the Northwestern University School of Communication by creating an endowment that will fund innovative student and faculty projects in the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, named in honor of Rocky Wirtz's grandmother, who graduated from Northwestern in 1924. On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students we thank the Wirtz family for their incredible support!
* Photo Cabaret (2014) Justin Barbin Photography