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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 37 years and counting.


Raven Theatre was founded in March 1983. It was itinerant until August 1985, when it moved into a storefront in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Raven moved to its permanent home at the corner of Clark & Granville, in Edgewater, in November 2002. A building that was once a grocery store now boasts two stages – the 85-seat East Stage and the 56-seat West Stage – and also contains Raven’s administrative offices.

For most of its history, Raven has produced revivals. While it continues to revive classic scripts, it has also begun to offer both regional and world premiere productions to audiences, including Raven’s first commissioned play, Philip Dawkins’ The Gentleman Caller, in 2018. Each season of plays is joined by a robust education program, which includes sending teaching artists to work in schools and community organizations, bringing elementary school students to the theater for performances, and offering camps all summer long.

Raven is proud to serve 10,000 individuals annually and to work with the staff of the 48th Ward, surrounding chambers of commerce, local businesses, and other community development organizations to continually offer programs that meet the needs of the neighborhood and allow theater to remain a cultural cornerstone of Chicago’s north side.

Artistic Director

Cody Estle became the Artistic Director at Raven Theatre in November 2017 where he had previously served as the Associate Artistic Director. His directing credits include Sundown, Yellow MoonHow I Learned To Drive (named by Windy City Times as the best of Chicago theatre in 2019), The Gentleman Caller (2019 Jeff Award winning new play by Philip Dawkins), The Assembled PartiesA Loss of Roses (named by Chicago Tribune honorable mention as one of the year’s best in 2016), Dividing the EstateVieux Carré (named by Chicago Tribune as one of the year’s best in 2014), Good Boys and TrueBrighton Beach MemoirsBoy Gets Girl and Dating Walter Dante at Raven Theatre; Damascus at Strawdog Theatre; Five Mile Lake at Shattered Globe Theatre; By the Water (named by Chicago Sun-Times honorable mention as one of the top theatre productions of 2017) at Northlight Theatre; American Hero at First Floor Theatre; Scarcity at Redtwist Theatre; The Seagull and Watch on the Rhine at The Artistic Home; Don’t Go Gentle at Haven Theatre; Uncle Bob at Mary-Arrchie Theatre and Hospitality Suite at Citadel Theatre. He is a member of SDC, serves on the board of directors of the League of Chicago Theatres, and is an alumnus of Columbia College Chicago.


Cody Estle

Artistic Director

Stephen Johnson

General Manager

Cole von Glahn

Artistic Producer

Dana Besmanoff

Development Manager

Ryan Wiechmann

Marketing Manager

Michael Allen

Audience Services Manager

Mechelle Moe

Director of Education

Dana Murphy

Education Manager

Morgan Araujo

Front of House

Chris Farrell, Jr

Front of House

Larkin Sackett

Front of House

Tyler Sapp

Artistic Administration Intern; Front of House

Morgan Wrigley

Artistic Producing Intern; Front of House


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


Jeanette Samo

Vice President

Stephen Johnson


Sally Schwartz


Rosanne Ciambrone

Holly Crilly

Dan De La Cruz

Cody Estle

Stuart Gold

Betsy Shepherd

Noah Sobe

Kelli Strickland

Nathan Taylor

Susan Schaalman Youdovin

Michael Zedek

Carol Zsolnay