A photo from a performance of "Radial Gradient." Shattered Globe Theatre produced the play via its Global Playwright Series. Credit: Courtesy Michael Brosilow.

RAVENSWOOD — A six-figure grant will help a Ravenswood theater company expand its work as leaders continue to recover from pandemic disruptions.

Shattered Globe, 4222 N. Ravenswood Ave., will receive $150,000 over the next three years as part of the Bayless Family Foundation’s Stepping Stone grant program

Many people left the city’s arts industry during the pandemic, said Sandy Shinner, Shattered’s producing artistic director. The grant allows the Shattered Globe to add sustainable jobs and explore organizational structures to better serve audiences and performers, she said. 

“We’re bringing the next generation of theater artists on board, which is enormously important. But we have to be able to retain and attract these talented artists who want to work in administration,” Shinner said.

Shattered Globe began at a small space on Halsted Street in 1991 and has focused on ensemble-based storytelling, producing more than 60 plays.

Shinner is the theater’s only full-time staff member. The other three staff members are part-time, which means they can’t fully focus on Shattered Globe’s work, Shinner said.

“In order to retain and attract new, younger and committed artists, we do need to be able to provide some stability salary-wise, and that’s one of the things we’re looking at,” Shinner said.

The theater also offers a season-long Protége Program that culminates in a spring show and a monthly Satellite Series of stage readings of new works by local playwrights.

This week, the theater is also producing the world premiere of Jasmine Sharma’sRadial Gradient,” directed by Grace Dolezal-Ng.

Sharma’s play is produced via Shattered Globe’s Global Playwright Series, which offers new playwrights who are people of color, LGBTQIA+, neurodiverse or have disabilities a chance to work with the theater to develop their play.

“The pandemic, in spite of all of its problems, also allowed theaters to kind of look at themselves very carefully and assess what strengths and weaknesses were and how we wanted to change and make plans for moving forward,” Shinner said. “This grant comes at a great time for us because we have a lot of plans and now we have more resources to act on them.” 

The Bayless Family Foundation also awarded Stepping Stone grants to Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., and Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. That money will help those companies with infrastructure improvements, adding administrative positions and helping with audience development.

“These organizations are all super vital for their community, their audience and the greater Chicago theater community,” foundation Director Kevin Sullivan said. “We selected these organization’s proposals for their strategic visions to support Chicago art makers, their utilization of the organizations’ resources and strengths and how well we believe they will fortify the institutions for the future.  We are beyond proud to partner with them.” 

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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park reporterrnrnalex@blockclubchi.orgnnLincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park reporterrnrnalex@blockclubchi.org Twitter @avhndz