Chicago Theatre Retreat Cottage

During Summer and Fall, the League of Chicago Theatres provides a cottage in Michigan Harbor Country (70 miles from Chicago) for Chicago theatre companies to escape the city for a company retreat. The cottage provides theatres an ideal environment for relaxation, dedicated work, big-picture conversations, and group companionship.The retreat encourages artistic exploration and project development as well as company growth through focused reflection and strategic planning for the future.

Theatre companies may submit a proposal for one of the following retreats:

- Bright Angel Company Retreat: A retreat that is focused on organizational planning and strategic conversations for staff, board, and/or ensemble.

- Bright Angel Creative Retreat: A creative retreat for ensemble members and artists to develop or continue the development process on a new work. Creative Retreat proposals should include a plan, short writing sample or archival video clip.

The beautiful 4-bedroom Michigan cottage is only a mile from Lake Michigan, and includes a screened-in porch, with two exterior eating areas and an above ground pool, two bathrooms, a screened-in porch and comfy kitchen, dining/living room and a work room for meeting, rehearsals and readings with pellet stove. A perfect place to come and think, get creative, and rest.

Any Chicago area theatre company that is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres is eligible to apply for this unique opportunity. A maximum number of 10 people are able to stay at the cottage. Only a few companies will be selected annually, and each will be asked to send photos and complete a short report following their stay.

The retreat cottage is generously provided by Chicago theatre artist and educator Susan Padveen.

The deadline for 2018 applications is Monday, May 14 at Noon. Click here to download the application and instructions. 

Contact Ben Thiem at with any questions.

Past Retreat Cottage Participants Include:
Accidental Shakespeare (2017)
Brown Paper Box Co. (2017)
First Floor Theater (2017)
The Factory Theater (2016)
American Theater Company (2016)
Shattered Globe Theatre (2016)

The New Colony (2015)
The Ruckus (2015)
Chicago Dramatists
Kokandy Productions (2014)
The House Theatre of Chicago (2014)
About Face Theatre (2013)
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (2013)

“Thank you so much for an excellent weekend of company development, ensemble building, and just plain fun! It was an excellent time to recap prior developmental conversations and approach the question of how to keep Shattered Globe growing and strong for our next 25 years. For us, the cabin was more than just a beautiful retreat, it also created for our group a distraction-free place that prompted open dialogue about our current programs and sparked new ideas for future development.”

"Aside from the work itself, we had a fantastic time making meals together, playing games and exploring Three Oaks. The down time was crucial to the weekend and gave us time to bond and reconnect. Balancing being friends and co-­‐workers can be difficult but the time away together was rejuvenating and important on a personal level."

"Unlike in our hectic day-to-day office environment, we were able to take the time to have in-depth discussions about our medium- and long-term goals, which was invaluable to us as a new staff. The experience was a very positive one overall, bringing the staff closer together and giving us quality time to plan in a comfortable and relaxed setting. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and highly recommend it to our peers in the Chicago theatre community!"

"Being a relatively small staff, we too often find most of our weekly hours to be spent wrestling with routine and otherwise quotidian details of managing a mid-size nonprofit theatre. We therefore wanted to spend our retreat taking a step back from the daily grind to refocus our energies on big picture imperatives…The discussion was immensely fruitful and managed to open up a lot of doors previously closed regarding the future development of Chicago Dramatists."

"Having uninterrupted time to think, discuss, debate, have fun together, and get some perspective was invaluable. The weekend was the perfect infusion of space and time we needed to clarify our vision and begin to build a plan to move forward. We're dedicated to building upon the insights we gained over the weekend."

"HUGE thanks for this amazing opportunity for our ensemble. It was revelatory and we are all so very grateful."

"The retreat this past September that Kokandy Productions took was an invaluable experience. Since launching a little over two years ago and rapidly growing in that time frame this was the first time we were able to focus and plan for the future."