15 ways to fix Navy Pier
A pie-in-sky makeover that locals and tourist will love.
9. Host local storefront showcases at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
For many locals, Chicago Shakes justifies a schlep out to the pier. So while a proposed expansion with a 950-seat proscenium theater seems appealing—particularly if it means accommodating more foreign productions in the fantastic World’s Stage series—more could be done with the space CST now has. The 200-seat upstairs black box sat vacant for the first half of this season and is only sparsely booked this spring. If Shakes gets a third space, more than doubling its capacity, it could offer the upstairs for subsidized use by Chicago storefront groups, much like Steppenwolf does with its Garage. Pier tourists would see the great variety of Chicago theater and locals would have even more reason to visit.—Kris Vire