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Renovated Aurora theater to showcase plays with hopes of inspiring community dialogue

Copley Theatre
Paramount Theatre/Copley Theatre.

A space normally used for rehearsals, community events and meetings will now be center stage for inspirational storytelling.

Renovations for the Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Boulevard in Aurora are almost complete, and a new series is blooming just in time for spring.

Amber Mak is the artistic producer and new works development director for the Paramount Theatre, which operates Copley. She said the first series of plays will spark some much-needed conversations.

“We are dealing with topics of race, we are dealing with topics of trans, and non-binary and queer and LGBTQI,” she explained. “We’re dealing with topics of religion.”

The name of the series is “BOLD.” Mak said it’s appropriately named.

“The definition of bold came across, and it's doing something with confidence and creativity and taking a risk,” she said. “And we thought this is so different than what we've offered before. It just feels bold for us, and we're excited to see how our audiences embrace it.”

The run includes four shows: Sweat, Hand to God, Fun Home and Bull: a love story.

Mak says the intimate theater will sit these stories right into the audience’s laps.

“And I think that experience -- that shared experience of having that visceral energy right there is going to just change what we're able to tell in a story," Mak said.

She said this is not something that can be done in the larger Paramount which sits right across the street from Copley.

Paramount’s Broadway Series subscribers and donors can purchase pre-sale tickets starting Nov. 1. The general public can do so starting Nov. 29.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.