we have a mission

Red Theater honors all audiences by asking dangerous questions theatrically. Our #FreeTheater initiative and commitment to Accessibility in every production lowers the barrier for nontraditional audiences to see new works that challenge the status quo.


radical access


Captions and Touch Tours EVERY time

Red Theater produces FREE captioned and Touch Tour performances in every production. We curate the Chicago Storefront Interpreters Database to help other companies find ASL Interpreters eager to help make Chicago theater more accessible to everyone.


Accessibility Auditions

Red Theater produces Chicago's first Accessibility Auditions for actors who are d/Deaf and/or disabled. 


accessing voices

Red Theater has produced groundbreaking works of "Radical Accessibility" and changed the face of Chicago Theater. 

Who We Are


Aaron SAwyer

Aaron Sawyer is the Founder and Artistic Director of Red Theater, with collectives in Chicago, Lincoln, Omaha, Tucson, and Purchase, NY. As a playwright, top Chicago credits include RED HAMLET and the bilingual Deaf/Hearing production of R+J: THE VINEYARD, heralded as a Top Ten Chicago Play of 2016 (Chicago Theater Beat). Aaron’s directing credits include the Chicago premieres of Bertolt Brecht’s unfinished musical SCHWEYK IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR and TASTE by Benjamin Brand (Jeff Recommended). The Chicago Reader named Aaron and Red Theater runners up in their 2016 “Best of Chicago List” for Best Stage Director and Best New Theater Company respectively.


Marisa Lerman

Marisa serves as Red Theater’s Executive Director. She has previously served as the Red Theater’s Managing Director as well as the Assistant Executive Director for Oil Lamp Theater. She has worked on and off the stage for the past 10 years for companies such as The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater, the Prince Music Theatre, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Chicago Folks Operetta, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has been in Chicago for the past 3 years, where she has been an active member of the North Shore community.

When she is not at the theater, you can find her teaching Jazzercise in Glenview, binge watching great sci-fi shows on Netflix, or singing karaoke with her friends!


Joey Lubelfeld

Joey Lubelfeld is a freelance producer and director with a background in devised work. Chicago: work with The Whiskey Rebellion, Skokie Theatre, Headline Theater, Israel Horivtiz’s Beirut Rocks and Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz. London: Stop, And… (a devised documentary piece in collaboration with Anna Herman of Clean Break) and Queervolution (a devised piece produced as a part of the ZU-UK’s House of Healing). Assistant directing: Grant James Varjas’ Accidentally, Like a Martyr (A Red Orchid Theatre; dir. Shade Murray) and Tom Weber’s Genomenon (Piven Theatre Workshop; dir. Benno Nelson) among others. NYC: work with the Brooklyn Actor’s Troupe. Administratively, Joey has worked with A Red Orchid Theatre and Northlight Theatre (Chicago) as well as The TEAM (NYC) in casting, literary, education, and development positions. He is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and University of East London.


Red Theater Staff

Company Members

*Founding Member, Red Theater Lincoln, 2008
^Former Red Theater Omaha Member

See also: Board of Directors