The Hypocrites is a Chicago storefront theater company founded in 1997 by Sean Graney, Brandon Kruse and Christopher Cintron. The company is currently run by Sean Graney (Artistic Director) and Kelli Strickland (Executive Director). One of Chicago's premier off-Loop theater companies, The Hypocrites specializes in mounting bold productions that challenge preconceptions and redefining the role of the audience through unusual staging (such as promenade and in-the-round) and direct engagement. The company has a reputation in Chicago for creating exciting, surprising, and deeply engaging theater as it re-interprets well-known works for contemporary audiences, reveling in the absurd while revealing the core of what makes classics classic.
"The Hypocrites, who with each new production, continue to rise not just to the rank of one of our city's best storefronts but one of Chicago's best theaters period." - Newcity Stage (American Idiot, 2015)
The company has grown significantly in the past few years, receiving acclaim for productions at the Steppenwolf Garage, Goodman Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art, DCASE Storefront, Chopin Theater and nationally at American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Their recent production of Graney's All Our Tragic, a twelve-hour adaptation combining all 32 surviving Greek Tragedies, garnered the company six 2015 Equity Jeff Awards in its first year of eligibility.
Graney's musical adaptations of Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore have become audience and critic favorites, being remounted numerous times in Chicago as well as going on tour to American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Olney Theater Center.
"Cromer calibrates 'Our Town' with clear-eyed intelligence. You see the beauties of small-town America and its limitations, laid out before you as directly and powerfully as the Chicago theater can muster." - Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune (Our Town, 2008)
Since the company's founding, The Hypocrites have produced over sixty main stage productions and a dozen festival pieces, securing thirty-one Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson awards, six Equity Joseph Jefferson awards, and two After Dark Awards.
The American Theatre Wing, best known as the creator of the Tony Awards, presented The Hypocrites with one of the 2013 National Theatre Company awards. The company's smash-hit production of Our Town, directed by David Cromer, transferred in 2009 to Off-Broadway, Los Angeles and Boston.
The Hypocrites began performing in the basement of Café Voltaire, a now defunct vegetarian restaurant in Lakeview. Co-founder Sean Graney has been the artistic director since early 2015, when he announced his return from a three year hiatus. The company's name is inspired by Eugène Ionesco's Notes and Counter Notes, a compendium of interviews on the nature of theatre throughout which Ionesco regularly contradicts himself -- hence its title, and The Hypocrites' name.