Redmoon Theater, a Chicago tradition for two and a half decades, announced last week that it was shutting down permanently. The performance company said they were no longer able to properly support their “unique artistic vision.”
The company stated in a letter to the public that:
“It has been an honor to serve the city of Chicago for the past 25 years. We have been blessed to work in and with over 40 of Chicago’s 77 official neighborhoods and to bring our unique brand of spectacle to some of our finest institutions; to many of the city’s most revered public sites; and most importantly to some of its most overlooked neighborhoods.”
Recent attempts to revitalize the flagging company ended poorly. The 2014 Great Chicago Fire Festival drew 30,000 people to the celebration at the shores of the Chicago River. Unfortunately, the main spectacle, which was supposed to “celebrate Chicago’s grit, greatness, and renewal following the fire of 1871” did not come off as planned. Floating sculptures on the river that were supposed to burst into flames failed to ignite due to cold and rainy weather. Redmoon was highly criticized for the failure.
The company also tried to start a rental business in its most recent venue. Complications and failures which led to a lawsuit for $62,082.22 for unpaid rent in September and October. Phillip Mumford, who is seeking those damages, is due to meet Redmoon in court later this week.
“Our consolation at this sad moment is that Redmoon is bigger than this non-profit institution,” the statement continued. “It is a spirit that survives us. It lives in you, our patrons and partners. It is a memory sown into each of the sites that have hosted us. Most of all, we are consoled that Redmoon’s mission to celebrate and uplift community is a shared concern powering amazing, if under-recognized, activity all over this great city.”