Arts & Entertainment | Must See

16th Street Theater

Meet us where theater is dialogue 


The founders of 16th Street Theater believe that every community needs a theater.

In 2007, Berwyn resident Ann Filmer and North Berwyn Park District’s Executive Director Joe Vallez partnered to bring performances to the basement of the Berwyn Cultural Center. 


Both leaders saw the vital need for a center for visual and performing arts in Berwyn and for the need to tell relevant stories about the people who are the fabric of the community. That’s how 16th Street was born.


Today the award-winning theater is in a larger space, but it still operates on the tenants of telling diverse stories, paying its artists fairly, and igniting dialogue and debate in the community.


16th Street supports diverse artistic expression. The majority of its full-production plays, and pop-up shows were written by female-identifying playwrights and writers of color. 

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Check the theater website for performance times and a calendar of the upcoming season.


The 16th Street Theater prides itself on providing affordable art for all. The max price for a general admission ticket is $22 ($18 for Berwyn residents or low-income theatergoers).

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The artists are your guides here. The playwright is the central focus at 16th Street, where personal stories are told with open and respectful dialogue. Uncomfortable topics are addressed at this theater where moderated, post-show discussions are held after most performances.


16th Street is led by Interim Artistic Director Jean Gottlieb and Managing/Education Director Michele DiMaso. This artistic duo took the reigns from founder Ann Filmer who believed that every community needs a theater relevant to its neighborhood and its residents.

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The theater is located at 6420 16th Street in Berwyn. It’s a one-mile walk from the Austin stop on the CTA Blue Line or just a 15-minute drive from downtown Chicago.


There is free parking in the District 98 lot at 16th and Gunderson one block west of the Berwyn Cultural Center.

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