To be the recognized home of music theatre in Chicago, engaging, educating and entertaining a diverse audience with the highest quality music theatre programs available.


Porchlight is Chicago's home for music theatre, providing performance, education and appreciation opportunities that celebrate and sustain this unique American art form. With special opportunities for underserved communities, we nurture young artists and new works, and redefine the classic music theatre genre in our intimate signature style.

•      We treat our artists, staff and volunteers with respect and dignity, welcoming all to our artistic home.

•      We are firmly committed to the music theater genre, its past, present and future.

•      We strive to be inclusive, with diverse representation in all aspects of our organization.

•      We value our unique and intimate approach to music theatre.

•      We ensure long-term sustainability through prudent collaborations, strategic alliances and sound fiscal planning.

The History of Porchlight Music Theatre
As the leader in music theatre in Chicago, Porchlight Music Theatre has staged 80 productions including five world premieres and twelve Chicago premieres - earning growing die-hard audiences and national critical acclaim.  Porchlight is known for its bold, edgy and intimate music theatre, offering audiences the drama, the song and the dance “up close” from Chicago and Broadway’s brightest music theatre talent.

Over the years, Porchlight Music Theatre has received an impressive 39 Jeff Awards and 126 Jeff Award nominations, 28 After Dark Awards, 3 Black Theatre Alliance Awards and 17 BTA nominations. We've recently been honored with four consecutive Best Production Jeff Awards for A Class Act (2013), Ain't Misbehavin' (2014), Sondheim on Sondheim (2015) and Dreamgirls (2016).

The theatre was incorporated in 1995 by former Artistic Director Jill Moore and a close group of artists and friends who aimed to create a company that would feel like home to artists and audiences alike.  Porchlight came to symbolize creativity, comfort and community and for more than 20 years the company has kept that light shining brightly.

Under L. Walter Stearns' leadership from 1998-2010, the company took on more ambitious works and added its first Equity contracts in 2004. Porchlight’s wildly successful and powerful production of Ragtime in 2006/2007 was a turning point for the theatre, enjoying an extended run at Chicago's Apollo Theater, and Porchlight’s work and reputation dramatically grew.  

In 2010, veteran actor/director/artistic director Michael Weber took the artistic helm at Porchlight and the company continues to wow audiences with first class, sophisticated and engaging music theatre performed by the finest veteran and emerging actors, dancers and singers, with inventive direction and arresting and innovative design elements.

This past season Porchlight reached new heights again with the Chicago premiere of the new Broadway version of Side Show, the return of our Jeff Award-winning smash hit Ain't Misbehavin', the Chicago premiere of Far From Heaven and the classic Dreamgirls. Dreamgirls shattered Porchlight box office records and performed to critical and audience acclaim.

In the Heights, the 2016–2017 opener, has soared —attracting record attendance, critical acclaim and
four extensions for an all-time high of 78 performances. The Chicago premiere of End of the Rainbow
featuring Angela Ingersoll as Judy Garland was a tour de force. The Scottsboro Boys, the Chicago
premiere directed by Congo Square’s Sam Roberson promises to be a very special experience. The
season ends with Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me a Little starring music theatre luminaries Austin Cook
and Bethany Thomas.


Our hugely popular Porchlight Revisits series of "lost" musicals in staged concerts, going into its fourth season, gives our community a rare opportunity to explore three “forgotten” Broadway musicals. This past season saw the launch of New Faces Sing Broadway. The revue series presents the 'hits and misses' of a given year on Broadway. Each New Faces revue showcases ten up-and-coming music theatre stars. The School at Porchlight, where both artists and non-professionals are engaged in classes in performance, writing and scholarship of the musical genre, continues to bring music theatre students and hobbiests the area’s top instructors. This year we're pleased to hire our first education director and to sponsor new initiatives like music theatre camps for summer 2017.

We’re glad you’re here and hope to welcome you further into the Porchlight Music Theatre community, where artists, donors, audiences and friends together shine the light on passionate, innovative and relevant works that celebrate the past, present, and future of music theatre.  

We also look forward to hosting you at our annual special events, the signature ICONS Gala (April 30, 2017 at the Radisson Blu) and our always-anticipated Chicago Sings concert in August. We hope you’ll become more involved and look forward to seeing you at Porchlight!