The Theatre of Western Springs has been a staple in our community for many years, but surprisingly there are quite a few people who don't even know that we're right in their backyards!
With such a long, rich history, TWS has plenty of stories (and a fair amount of folklore) to share. Here are a few fun facts:
- The theatre began as a simple play reading group which met in people's living rooms.
- TWS was founded by Mary Cattell in 1929.
- Mary Cattell was quite an actor and director in her own right. She studied with theatre greats including Sanford Meisner and Tamara Daykarhanova.
- TWS was originally called "The Little Theatre of Western Springs," and performances took place at the Village Club.
- The Children's Theatre of Western Springs was founded in 1945. CTWS began with one class. Now we have over 30 classes to offer each year.
- TWS' current building dates back to 1960, and its opening was marked by a letter full of well-wishes from none other than Thornton Wilder.
- As recently as the 1970s, subscribers to the Theatre of Western Springs purchased their tickets without knowing what the season was going to be.
- Many talented theatre artists have visited TWS over the years including Henry Fonda, Patty Duke, Barbara Robertson, Uta Hagen, and (most recently) Brian Dennehy.
- The Children's Theatre of Western Springs has also turned out quite a few professional artists. CTWS alumni work professionally on stage, behind the scenes, and in front of the camera.
- CTWS alumnus, Michael Hitchcock, based part of his character in Waiting for Guffman on his experiences growing up in Western Springs.
- Our youngest student is six-years-old and our oldest adult theatre member is ninety-nine-years-old!
- In the course of one season, the Theatre of Western Springs has over 130 performances and welcomes nearly 20,000 patrons. That's in addition to our nearly 300 members, 400 students, 800 parents!
We've been pleased to serve the Western Suburbs for nearly 85 years, and we're looking forward to another 85 years of bringing theatre to our community!
To find out more about season subscriptions, classes, and summer programs at The Theatre of Western Springs, please visit www.theatreofwesternsprings.com or call 708-246-4043. Be sure to take advantage of our Early Bird Discounts on subscriptions and fall classes!