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Posted by on Apr 3, 2018

Lookingglass Theater Celebrates 30 years with the Glassquerade Gala

Lookingglass Theater Celebrates 30 years with the Glassquerade Gala

The electricity of the night was remarkable as guests poured into Lookingglass Theater Company’s 30th anniversary gala. The elegant celebration entitled Gglassquerade “Under the Seas: Reflecting on 30 Years”, welcomed some of the city’s finest artists, social leaders, and patrons to the Four Seasons with a grand entrance complete with outstretched tentacle arms beckoning guests into the posh event. The star-studded celebration was abuzz with anticipation for the evening’s ceremony hosted by Lookingglass Ensemble Member David Schwimmer – who did not disappoint.

Attendees of Lookingglass Gala

Alissa McCurley (ALM Free State Consulting), Erin Kerewich of Chicago, and Lizzy Scheinfeld of Glencoe. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

The event was a monumental success, raising over $1,100,000 for the highly acclaimed organization. All fundraising efforts from the event will support Lookingglass in its mission to continue to create and develop new groundbreaking theatrical works, in addition to engaging underserved youth in the Chicago area with their Education and Community Programs.

Guests applaud the program in the ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago at the Lookingglass 30th Anniversary gglassquerade, Under the Seas: Reflecting on 30 Years. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

Guests applaud the program in the ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago at the Lookingglass 30th Anniversary gglassquerade, Under the Seas: Reflecting on 30 Years. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

The evening began as guests, donned in stunning formal attire, mingled with cocktails and placed bids on lavish silent auction items. Following the grand reception, guests were welcomed into the dining room to enjoy an elegant seated dinner and award ceremony celebrating 30 years of creating professional ensemble-based theater, and those who have made it possible.

Lookingglass Ensemble Members J. Nicole Brooks and David Schwimmer. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

Lookingglass Ensemble Members J. Nicole Brooks and David Schwimmer. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

The ceremony’s distinguished host, famed actor David Schwimmer, dazzled guests with his fierce wit and charming humor while inviting the audience to join him in celebrating the company’s accomplishments and this year’s award recipients.

Former Lookingglass Executive Director and Civic Engagement Honoree Rachel E. Kraft addresses guests at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz

The ceremony recognized three honorees with the Lookingglass Civic Engagement Award, which was presented to Barbara Bradford and Robert Sherman, prominent Chicago philanthropists, and former Lookingglass Executive Director Rachel E. Kraft. Previous recipients of the award include artists and philanthropists such as Joan and Paul Rubschlager, Theaster Gates, Rick Bayless, Ira Glass, and Stephen Colbert – the latter of which greeted the audience with a video presentation congratulating the company for its 30 years of success.

Stephen Colbert video congratulations to Lookingglass Theater Company

The Late Show host Stephen Colbert congratulates Lookingglass in a video message to the crowd. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

A beautiful presentation by Artistic Director Heidi Stillman and Lookingglass Ensemble Members moved gala goers with their reflections on the early days of the theater company as well as its expansion and evolution over the past 30 years.

Following the heartfelt presentation, guests participated in a spirited live auction which proceeded dancing to live music presented by Dr. Bombay, one of Chicago’s premier live band experiences.

Lookingglass Glassquerade Gala with host David Schwimmer

Lookingglass Ensemble Member and host David Schwimmer presents a painting to Civic Engagement Honorees Robert Sherman and Barbara Bradford. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

Some of the evening’s top auction items included a trip to Ecuador with cruises to the Galapagos and on the Amazon river provided by Pro Ecuador and United Airlines, as well as a trip to London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, parts 1 and 2 provided by the Ambassador Theatre Group and Hyatt Regency London, and diamond drop earrings with 30 diamonds totaling 3.16 carats provided by A. Marek Fine Jewelry.

Jason and Yvonne Lee (Lagralane Group) of Los Angeles, Ensemble Member J. Nicole Brooks of Chicago, Tai Davis (The Chi) and Marissa Ross (Karge & Ross Casting) of Chicago. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

Jason and Yvonne Lee (Lagralane Group) of Los Angeles, Ensemble Member J. Nicole Brooks of Chicago, Tai Davis (The Chi) and Marissa Ross (Karge & Ross Casting) of Chicago. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

It was a monumental celebration and an unforgettable night for Lookingglass Theater Company. Congratulations for 30 years of artistic excellence to the company’s creators, leaders and the artists whose voices are brought to light through its work. I am certain this is just one milestone in what will surely be a long path ahead creating groundbreaking and culturally important works of art.

Lookingglass Executive Director Rachel L. Fink, Board Chairman John McGowan, Board President Nancy Timmers, and Artistic Director Heidi Stillman. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

Lookingglass Executive Director Rachel L. Fink, Board Chairman John McGowan, Board President Nancy Timmers, and Artistic Director Heidi Stillman. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

About Lookingglass Theater Company:
Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Heidi Stillman, Executive Director Rachel L. Fink, Producing Director Philip R. Smith, Connectivity and Engagement Director Andrew White, Interim Managing Director Michele Anderson, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 23 artistic associates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman John McGowan and President Nancy Timmers. For more information, please visit lookingglasstheatre.org.

The Lookingglass Ensemble at the Lookingglass 30th Anniversary gglassquerade, Under the Seas: Reflecting on 30 Years. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

The Lookingglass Ensemble at the Lookingglass 30th Anniversary Gglassquerade, Under the Seas: Reflecting on 30 Years. Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.

Ashton Swinford

Ashton is an actor, writer, and television producer from New York, NY currently living in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Carlson School of Management prior to working in film, television, and theater in New York, Los Angeles, and now Chicago. She is an avid supporter of both animal and human rights causes and enjoys horseback riding.

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