Citadel Theatre: Capital Campaign

Citadel Theatre has grown and we are now on the precipice of some important decision making in determining the future of our theatre. We have many loyal supporters and because of them we’ve finally been able to go Equity after 15 years in Lake Forest. But for Citadel to continue growing, to truly be the ‘it’ destination for Lake Forest residents, we need a plan to take us beyond the walls of our rented school space at 300 S Waukegan Rd.

In six short years, we have raised our game at Citadel Theatre and now find we have too little space to meet our growing needs. Six years ago, when the school district was wondering what to do with a nearly abandoned building and we were looking to find a home, our needs matched up with the space that was generously offered. Today, though, we have constant need for additional space for props storage, rehearsals, classroom education, events, offices and more. This means we’re forced to scrape together additional space wherever we can, resulting in the use of multiple buildings with multiple landlords. That isn’t efficient and it doesn’t deliver our Citadel theatre-goers and families the best possible product.

We’ve had children's theatre classes relegated to the hallways. We’ve had to get emergency storage behind a downtown Lake Forest pizza restaurant for Christmas play props. The School District has always been extremely fair and generous in their dealings with Citadel. But we need more space and there simply isn't enough of that at 300 South Waukegan Road. 


Right Now

Specific space needs should be combined to achieve greater efficiency and consistency in operations and product delivery. Citadel Theatre Education space requirements (classrooms, rehearsals), mainstage space requirements (storage, rehearsals) and the Citadel Theatre office space should be combined to allow us to work efficiently and cohesively and to provide the best experiences. To that end Citadel is looking to rent about 5000 sq feet of combined warehouse and office space that we can use for these purposes. We will look to add this additional space while keeping our mainstage theatre space intact at 300 South Waukegan.


The 5 Year Plan

Eventually though, the best thing would be to combine our mainstage space with Citadel’s offices, classrooms, rehearsal space, and prop storage space all under one roof. This will evolve Citadel into a premiere Lake County entertainment destination replete with lounge/restaurant, large and small theatres, an art gallery etc.

But to turn this vision into reality, we need the help of people just like you--who love Citadel and want to ensure we have a permanent state-of-the-art home for years to come. Developing the plan further, and executing it, is going to be a big – expensive – job, but it's something well worth the effort as it will produce huge, ongoing and lasting rewards for the Lake Forest community and surrounding towns.


Short Term Funding
$500,000 for rental space and remodel.

Long Term Funding
Millions – but the journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step!