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Chicago Children's Theater finds home in former police district

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After twelve years of bouncing around from place to place, the Chicago Children?s Theater has a permanent home at the former 12th District Police Station in Chicago?s West Loop. (WLS)

After twelve years of bouncing around from place to place, the Chicago Children's Theater has a permanent home at the former 12th District Police Station in Chicago's West Loop.

"This is a pretty neat area, there's a tremendous amount of diversity, there's a lot of energy here and it feels like a neighborhood," said Jacqueline Russell of Chicago Children's Theater.

After 12 seasons with no permanent home, the company is settling into what they're calling "the district," located at 100 South Racine Ave.

The space is a work in progress, but there are already 149 seats and a flexible black box theater where jail cells once stood. The police district's basement, which was once a gun range, has been turned into a costume shop. On the top level of the building there are five classrooms for educational programs and community engagement.

"Part of our hope with this new home is that we can develop a school that offers students very unique theatrical experiences, musical experiences, everything someone would need to know for stage," said Frank Maugeri of the Chicago Children's Theater.

The ribbon cutting is set to take place on Tuesday. After that, the next project will be completing a 299 seat main stage in the districts parking lot, set to open in three years.

"We're here to serve the children of Chicago and to encourage and inspire them to be greater citizens and we know that through the arts, this is how we do it, this is how we create community," said Russell.

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entertainmenttheaterWest LoopChicago
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