Our mission is to engage actors and audiences in an intimate and honest conversation with great theatrical works.
Our name is a combination of two great cultures that are the cornerstones of Western society. Theo (pronounced thee-oh) is an ancient Greek word meaning god (as in a universal force), and Ubique (pronounced oo-bah-kway) is Latin for “everywhere.” For both the Greeks and Romans, the theatre was a sanctuary for the communal telling of stories that represent the dynamic, life-giving energy of the universe. This energy is most tangibly felt when minimalism and intimacy—as in the cabaret-style of theatre—helps us focus on a story’s honesty, simplicity and awe, thus bringing us closer to the story’s deeper meaning.
What is Cabaret Theatre?
Cabaret Theatre represents a theatrical format where audience and performers connect in an intimate, interactive experience. Elements of cabaret theatre include music, dance, comedy, drama and storytelling as well as food and drink (including the actors as servers in a cabaret-style setting). The moment the audience enters the door, they are immediately part of the cabaret theatre environment where the “fourth wall” is frequently broken. Performers engage the audience in conversation with the theatrical presentation, and audience members discover they are a crucial part of an environment, which is itself the show.
Quality, affordable, full-scale musicals and revues are produced in a limited seating venue and offer less expensive entertaining alternative in a diverse Chicago neighborhood from the downtown productions.
Theo Ubique Theatre Company was founded in 1997 by Fred Anzevino, Artistic Director, Matt Yde and Farell Wilson; then, incorporated in 2004. Productions were held mostly in the 30-seat Heartland Studio in Rogers Park and periodically at the Athenaeum Theatre in Lakeview. Company productions initially were an array of theatre forms, including drama, one-acts, comedy and musicals.
In 2004, Anzevino’s experience with the DC Cabaret Company in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s led to a new artistic vision for Theo Ubique. The company took a bold step and reinvented itself as cabaret theatre, which started a new trend in Chicago with European-style cabaret but with a definite Chicago flavor. Since then, Theo Ubique has made the 60-seat No Exit Café in Rogers Park by the Morse el stop its home. The same year, Performink, Chicago’s foremost theatre publication, named Anzevino as one of the leading creative artists changing the face of Chicago theatre.
This new direction for the company led to a series of highly successful and critically acclaimed productions, starting with garnering many Jeff Citations and Jeff Awards Non-Equity with the 2008-09 season and continuing today. In fact, Fred Anzevino received the Jeff Award Non-Equity for Direction three consecutive years in 2008, 2009 and 2010. His eye for new, young talent introduces our patrons to stars of the future as they go on to other theatres and awards.