The playhouse was born in 1929 through the efforts of Western Springs, Chicago resident Mary Cattell who named it The Little Theatre of Western Springs. It’s one of few community theatres in the country that has enjoyed continuous operation for over 86 years.
In 1961 it raised enough capital to build a new 400-seat building, at the same time removing the word “Little” from its title. Another fundraiser in 1976 led to an addition with 150 seats called the Cattell Theatre. “The Theatre of the Western Springs is internationally recognized for its artistic excellence and its position of respect in Chicago’s creative community.”
The Children’s Theatre of Western Springs has nurtured over 400 students a year since 1946, teaching them every aspect of live dramatic performance.
The TWS Foundation was created in 2006 to ensure ”…the continuation of the 86-year-old legacy of [the theatre], and continuation of its Children’s Theatre School’s position as the leading educational intergenerational theatrical institution in Chicago’s western suburbs.”
Eddie Sugarman, executive artistic director, and his family actually live in Western Springs. He boasts a successful stage career on and off Broadway. One of the gems on his resume is as a stuntman in the original company of the musical “Ragtime.” He also earned his chops in “…storefront (16th Street Theatre), regional (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and academic (Jedlicka Performing Arts Center) theatres.”
Sugarman wrote and Andrew Gerle composed the musical “Meet John Doe” that premiered at the historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. and won two Helen Hayes Awards.
Eddie has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre performance from the University of Michigan as well as a Masters in Arts Administration from Drexel University where he teaches Writing for the Arts, an online Masters program. Last but not least, he’s licensed for Rodgers and Hammerstein theatricals.
Easy-Ware and Diamond Ticketing Systems, with it’s online engine PrintTixUSA, have worked together to give The Theatre of Western Springs patrons access to online ordering, as well as a fundraising program called Diamond Donate. All with the same goal: the success of The Theatre of Western Springs, a valuable source of creativity and entertainment in the greater Chicago area.