Evanston is a first class city with a world-class university and it should have a world-class theater. Returning home to Evanston after 20 plus years is a significant journey for Northlight and will bring great economic impact to the downtown. More importantly, it will make Evanston a cultural destination that will improve the quality of life for all Evanstonians.
— Tim Evans, Executive Director, Northlight Theatre

Our NEW Theatre

Our new 300-seat theatre, located at 1012-18 Church Street, will feature:

  • A spacious lobby ideal for community gatherings and conversations.

  • Main floor and balcony seating with comfortable seats and excellent sight lines

  • State of the art sound and lighting systems, wings, traps, and ample backstage space.

  • Bar, cafe, and lounge areas on both main and balcony levels.

  • Multi-purpose rehearsal space available for use by arts organizations as well as student and community groups.

The theatre, designed by architects Eckenhoff Saunders, will feature theatre planning by Schuler Shook and acoustics by Kirkegaard Associates, all Chicago-based firms.


Enhancing Evanston

Evanston, a thriving urban ring city easily accessible by a variety of public and private transportation options, will be elevated and enhanced with the addition of Northlight Theatre in the downtown district.

In the first five years of operation, Northlight will generate*

  • $55,000,000 in new spending

  • $427,000 in city tax revenue

  • 115 full-time equivalent jobs

When a city experiences an increase in new spending and tax revenue, the outcomes are a lesser burden on residential taxes and a more vibrant local economy that helps existing businesses thrive and attracts new business development.

*Economic impact study conducted by Hunden Strategic Partners

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Building bridges in the community

Northlight’s thriving education programs serve up to 4,000 students per year, including 10 schools in Evanston. A new theatre center allows us to grow and deepen our programming, building the next generation of theatre goers.

Northlight is deeply invested in using the arts to build strong communities, and our commitment to being a true community partner will be more fully realized with a new theatre center in downtown Evanston. We will expand programs with our current community partners: Y.O.U., YWCA Evanston/North Shore, Family Focus, Youth Job Center, Evanston Scholars and the Illinois Holocaust Museum - as well as develop new partnerships with additional social service organizations.

A building of our own that is easily accessible by public transportation will enable us to continue diversifying our audience via Arts for Everyone, a groundbreaking initiative that removes the barrier of ticket price, making free tickets available to underserved populations.

Steering Committee

  • Karl Berolzheimer

  • Julie Chernoff

  • Tim Evans

  • Donna Frett

  • J. Douglas Gray

  • Tom Hazlett

  • Jan Hazlett

  • BJ Jones

  • Paul Lehman

  • Paul Lehner

  • Jay Lytle

  • Mark McCarville

  • Ed Michael

  • Armen Minasian

  • Sara Schastok

  • Ralph Segall

  • Ingrid Stafford

  • Tom Stringer