After a hit second season including Handsome Animals, Incendium, and This Great Nation, Much Enduring, Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre is proud to announce its continuing partnership with Stage 773. Chicago Slam Works, a non-profit that has quickly become the city’s leader in performance poetry, will present 3 world premieres of poetry-forward, interdisciplinary theater in the 2016-17 season. Using poetry as a primary medium, the Ensemble Theatre incorporates elements of movement, drama, music, spoken word, and sketch comedy to create a truly unique theater experience. All shows written and performed by Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre. The Artistic Director is J.W. Basilo. Shows run Fridays and select Saturdays. All performances at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago. Full season and multi-show flex passes now available!

Tickets button


School is back in session and a group of students find themselves staring down the barrel of yet another standardized test. They each have a story to tell and obstacles to overcome as they attempt to receive an education. In Just Numbers, the players become and urban chorus of the youthful and hopeful, the forgotten orphans of Chicago public schools. Their frustrations manifest as freestyles over tabletop beats. Their anger spills out in the form of cutting words and revelations. Their hope bursts from a system designed to thwart it.

Directed by J.W. Basilo; Lead Writer: Dru Smith – NOW CLOSED


Just in time for your Valentine’s Day hangover, Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre presents Nevermind, It’s Nothing, a world-premiere romp combining performance poetry and theatrical farce to tackle the flawed and funny convergence of desire and the unsaid in love, relationships, and sex. Nevermind, It’s Nothing is a madcap lyric play for the sex-positive and the queer-friendly, for lovers who roll their eyes at sonnets, thumb their noses at Cupid, and prefer their kisses with teeth.
Directed by J.W. Basilo; Lead Writer: Shelley Elaine Geiszler

Now Closed

Carrier premieres May 5th, 2017 at Stage 773


Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre closes out their third season exploring questions of inheritance and family in the world premiere of Carrier. Is identity a predetermined outcome? Has yours been passed down to you without your consent? What if your childhood home could talk? With this intimate and surreal new hybrid performance, the Ensemble Theatre peels up the floorboards on family, memory, and the legacies we carry – whether we’re ready for them or not. Carrier opens May 5th, 2017 at Stage 773.


Tickets button

Directed by Dru Smith; Lead Writer: Teagan Walsh-Davis; Produced by J.W. Basilo, Artistic Director


Fridays at 8:15: May 5 – June 9

Saturday Matinees at 2pm: May 6, May 27, June 3




We haven't quite nailed down the dates of our next show. Join our mailing list and we'll give you a holler when the next show is announced!