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Raven Theatre tells stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape.

Raven’s commitment to modern drama in all of its forms, as well as its first-class education programming, have helped it remain a cultural cornerstone on the north side of Chicago for 35 years and counting.


Michael Menendian and JoAnn Montemurro founded Raven Theatre Company in March of 1983, and served as its Artistic Directors until 2017. The company was itinerant until August of 1985, when it moved into a storefront in the Rogers Park neighborhood of North Chicago in a space which had previously been the Rogers Park Post Office. During its time in this location, the company produced 41 shows, most of which were revivals of classic works from the American canon.

Raven purchased its current home at the corner of Granville and Clark in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood in November of 2000. It now has two stages – a 130 seat East Stage and a 55 seat West Stage, as well as administrative offices for the company’s four full-time and five part-time staff members.

As of November 2017, Raven has mounted 95 productions in total, most of which were revivals of classic American plays.

Now under the leadership of Artistic Director Cody Estle, Raven is expanding its definition of “classic American plays” and working to bring more new work onto its stages. The 2017/2018 season marks Raven’s 35th Anniversary, and this new beginning will ensure that our work remains a vibrant part of the Chicago theatrical landscape.

[Full Production History Coming Soon]

Artistic Director

Cody Estle is thrilled to be the new Artistic Director of Raven Theatre. Previously he served as the Associate Artistic Director at Raven and has directed a number of productions for the theatre. His work includes directing for Northlight Theatre, Shattered Globe Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, First Floor Theatre, Redtwist Theatre, The Artistic Home, Haven Theatre and more. He was the Artistic Assistant at Northlight Theatre, a Directing Associate at Goodspeed Musicals and taught on the faculty of Cherubs at Northwestern University. He has been an assistant director at Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Writers Theatre, Court Theatre and Marriott Theatre. Estle holds a B.A. in directing from Columbia College Chicago.


Cody Estle

Artistic Director

Stephen Johnson

General Manager

Cole von Glahn

Production Manager

Jake Fruend

Marketing Manager & Graphic Designer

Dana Besmanoff

Development Manager

John Weagly

Audience Services Manager

Mechelle Moe

Director of Education

Dana Murphy

Education Manager

M. Nunzio Cancilla

House Manager

Max Colvill

Box Office Manager

Morgan Washington Araujo

Box Office Manager


Raven’s Board of Directors is made up of a team of dedicated professionals and community leaders that manage the organization and volunteer their time and talent to assure that Raven is performing to its best possible capacity!

John Clum


Dan De La Cruz

Vice President

Stephen Johnson


Sally Schwartz


Preston Frazier

Stuart Gold

Jeffrey Koh

Jeanette Samo

Noah Sobe

Kelli Strickland

Susan Schaalman Youdovin