The 1700 Theater is a casual, intimate and flexible venue located behind Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks. It is home to Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series, which presents a wide variety of shows across genres, featuring the work of a broad spectrum of Chicago artists.

Every year, the 1700 Theater hosts more than 150 performances from hundreds of Chicago area artists and welcomes tens of thousands of audience members to celebrate the vibrancy and breadth of Chicago’s performance communities.

Policies & Experience

All performances in our 1700 Theater are seated on a general admission, first-come, first-served basis when the house opens (typically 30 minutes prior to showtime). Late seating to performances in the 1700 Theater is not guaranteed. Please note that the space configuration and seating plan might vary from performance to performance. Drinks and snacks purchased from Front Bar are encouraged in the venue, although meals and outside food/beverages are prohibited. Photography policies change depending on the night—check in with a member of Steppenwolf’s Audience Experience team before you start taking pictures.

Due to the high volume and wide breadth of work presented in the 1700 Theater, we are often not able to proactively offer content advisories for individual performances. However, if you have specific concerns about stage effects (such as strobe lights or fog/haze) that might have a bearing on comfort or well-being, or if you would like to know more about the age appropriateness of a specific performance, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.


The 1700 Theater is equipped with an induction hearing loop available for most performances. An assistive listening system featuring FM headsets and over-the-head headphones is also available for all performances. The 1700 Theater is wheelchair accessible, and Front Bar’s doors are push-button activated. If you have any questions or specific requests for accommodation, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650, TTY: (312) 335-3830, or by e-mailing

Lobby & Amenities

The 1700 Theater is located immediately behind Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, our 2,500 square ft. café & bar. More than a lobby space, Front Bar is a creative space where guests can grab a drink, have a bite or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night.

By day, the café & bar space is a warm neighborhood hub serving artisanal Passion House coffee and espresso with breakfast pastries, fresh salads and sandwiches by Goddess and the Grocer. Evening bar service features local craft beer, wine and signature cocktails, with small plates and desserts.


Opened in 2016 alongside Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, the 1700 Theater was designed to replace the Garage Theatre, which hosted emerging artists and storefront theatre companies for years. Steppenwolf has a long history of sharing space and institutional resources to elevate emerging artists and strengthen Chicago’s cultural community, and the 1700 Theater and our LookOut performance series continue that legacy.

"Steppenwolf started as a group of friends performing risk-taking work in a small basement space in Highland Park. This theater space echoes those beginnings, opening the door to new, diverse artists, companies and a variety of performance styles, in turn welcoming new audiences into our home," shares Steppenwolf Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro.


The 1700 Theater is located behind Front Bar at 1700 N Halsted.