Strawdog Theatre Company And Harrington College of Design Announce Artistic Partnership

October 16, 2011

CHICAGO — Strawdog Theatre Company, currently presenting Harold Pinter’s Old Times through November 12, and Harrington College of Design are pleased to announce a multi-year design partnership. Beginning this season - Strawdog’s 24th - Harrington College of Design’s Communication Design department will research and create the visual design for each of Strawdog’s productions and overall season. This partnership allows students to work on real-life projects while Strawdog receives new and fresh creative ideas.

This partnership began with the visual look and feel for Strawdog’s current season, for which 2011 Harrington graduate Rachel Lithgow designed three plays and marketing materials. “A cornerstone of Strawdog’s mission is an immersive design approach to theatre. With this partnership we are able to stay true to the mission and expand on our definition of design. We are pleased to be working with these Chicago-based design school students and allow them the chance to see their designs utilized within Chicago’s vibrant theater scene,” says Brandon Bruce, Strawdog’s artistic director.

Harrington’s Communication Design department is entering its fifth year and has recently launched a master’s degree program. Since its founding, the Communication Design department has worked with not-for-profits as clients as part of the curriculum. “We are excited about this multi-year partnership and to support one of Chicago’s great storefront theaters,” says Brad Kisner, department chair of Communication Design at Harrington. “This gives our students not only the opportunity to assist a local theater company, but to see their designs actually produced,” he continued.

Examples of Harrington’s work with Strawdog are visible in the Strawdog Theatre lobby, 3829 N. Broadway, or online at strawdog.org.

About Harrington College of Design

Harrington College of Design (HCD), an institution of higher learning, is committed to creating the next generation of design professionals to lead and serve the global community. HCD has been a member of Chicago’s design and higher education communities since 1931 and seeks to foster an environment that maximizes students’ intellectual and artistic potential.

HCD offers associate’s degrees in interior design and digital photography; bachelor’s degrees in interior design, commercial photography and graphic design; and master’s degrees in interior design and communication design. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500 Chicago, IL 60604-1411. Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.interiordesign.edu/disclosures. Harrington cannot guarantee employment or salary and is part of the Career Education Corporation network of schools (NASDAQ: CECO). For more information on Harrington College of Design, call 312.939.4975 or visit www.interiordesign.edu. HCD is always looking for non-profits to partner with, for more information, please contact Brad Kisner at bkisner@harringtoncollege.com

About Strawdog Theatre Company

Strawdog Theatre Company, which welcomes Brandon Bruce as its new artistic director this season, is committed to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach, offering Chicago the premiere storefront theatre experience. The Company develops new work, re-imagines classic plays, explores new fusions of music and theatre, asks provocative questions, and delivers their audience the unexpected. Strawdog provides a home for their celebrated ensemble to work and play with the most sought after artists in Chicago theatre along with the best new talents in the city. Founded in 1988, the Strawdog ensemble has consistently produced shows built on authentic human connections, and the comfortable 70-seat theater in Lakeview is perfect for offering their audience a quintessential Chicago storefront theatre experience. “The whole wide world in a little black box.” Strawdog is a proud member of the NortHalsted Area Merchant Association, The Theatre Communications Group and the League of Chicago Theatres.

Strawdog Theatre Company was formed in 1988 by a group of actors who had performed together in a production of Euripides’s Helen at a (now defunct) theatre on the west side. The group took their name from Sam Peckinpah’s movie “Straw Dogs” (Theatresaurus Rex was, thankfully, the runner-up), and they produced their first show, Len Jenkin’s Five of Us at a (now defunct) space in Bucktown. At the time, the Chicago Reader said “Strawdog Theatre Company’s inaugural production brings … truth home with a vengeance,” and Skyline Chicago added, “The Strawdog troupe shows us what an ensemble can do.” Twenty-four years later, Strawdog Theatre Company has survived the ups and downs of Chicago theatre, and is still dedicated to bringing the truth to audiences through the committed work of an award-winning ensemble of actors and designers.

Strawdog Theatre Company is supported in part by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Alphawood

Foundation, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), Chase Community Giving Grant and the annual support of businesses and individuals.