The Boxcar

Enjoy cocktails and conversation before and after Steep main stage performances. Explore music, stories, poetry, and more from across Chicago on Sunday and Monday evenings. Stop by for a beer and be part of the amazing group of people who call Steep home. 

The Boxcar expands Steep Theatre's commitment to telling stories of shared humanity and everyday truths by presenting innovative and diverse forms of performance, while nurturing exploration and interdisciplinary collaboration, in order to build, bond, and enrich Steep’s community of artists and audiences.

The Boxcar is located next to Steep Theatre at 1115 W Berwyn Ave. It’s two doors east of the Berwyn Red Line stop.

Hours

Thursday: 5pm - midnight
Friday: 5pm - midnight
Saturday: 5pm - midnight
Sunday: 2pm - 10pm
Monday: 5pm - midnight
Hours are subject to change.


Performance Calendar

Curated by members of Steep's ensemble, performances and events are regularly scheduled on Sunday and Monday evenings. Check back often for the latest schedule.
Performances in The Boxcar are free for all audiences and admission is first-come, first-served. The Boxcar is an intimate venue with a limited capacity, so please plan to arrive early.
The Boxcar is open to all ages.

All performances begin at 7:30pm.

Previously at The Boxcar

Visual Artist in Residence

Deborah Maris Lader

Deborah Maris Lader, accomplished artist and printmaker, musician and founder/director of the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative , realized that the only way to accommodate all the artwork spilling from her Western Avenue studio was to spread it all over the ‘hood. Her etched birds and other images, enticed by the groovy cocktails and excellent theatrical fare, flew on over to The Boxcar at Steep Theatre to perch on their walls for a bit. Her latest series of avian-themed etchings and lithographs are derived from both dreams and life, and the way these experiences are sewn together, with odd bits of memories mixed and strewn throughout.

Deborah Maris Lader, accomplished artist and printmaker, musician and founder/director of the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative , realized that the only way to accommodate all the artwork spilling from her Western Avenue studio was to spread it all over the ‘hood. Her etched birds and other images, enticed by the groovy cocktails and excellent theatrical fare, flew on over to The Boxcar at Steep Theatre to perch on their walls for a bit. Her latest series of avian-themed etchings and lithographs are derived from both dreams and life, and the way these experiences are sewn together, with odd bits of memories mixed and strewn throughout.

Boxcar Residency

Christopher Damman

Dates: August 4 & 11, September 1 & 15

Christopher Dammann is a jazz bassist and composer, whose four-date residency will bring together different trios of musicians to experiment with new music for his forthcoming album on ears&eyes Records. Expect appearances from legendary drummer Avreeayl Ra, along with Nick Anaya, James Davis, Sam Frampton, Paul Giallorenzo, and Mabel Kwan. Dammann will lead the night's trio and play bass at each performance. This is a series of intimate shows from a true up-and-coming Chicago talent that you won't want to miss. August 4: Christopher Dammann, Nick Anaya, Sam Frampton August 11: Christopher Dammann, James Davis, Avreeayl Ra September 1: Christopher Dammann, Paul Giallorenzo, Avreeayl Ra September 15: Christopher Dammann, Mabel Kwan, Avreeayl Ra

Christopher Dammann is a jazz bassist and composer, whose four-date residency will bring together different trios of musicians to experiment with new music for his forthcoming album on ears&eyes Records. Expect appearances from legendary drummer Avreeayl Ra, along with Nick Anaya, James Davis, Sam Frampton, Paul Giallorenzo, and Mabel Kwan. Dammann will lead the night's trio and play bass at each performance. This is a series of intimate shows from a true up-and-coming Chicago talent that you won't want to miss.
August 4: Christopher Dammann, Nick Anaya, Sam Frampton
August 11: Christopher Dammann, James Davis, Avreeayl Ra
September 1: Christopher Dammann, Paul Giallorenzo, Avreeayl Ra
September 15: Christopher Dammann, Mabel Kwan, Avreeayl Ra

The Boxcar Anniversary Show

August 26, 7:30pm

Join us in celebrating one year of free programming at The Boxcar with some of our favorite performers, hosted by Colin Sphar and Micheal Turrentine- hosts of the You’re So Special!

The Winchesters

The Winchesters make regular passage of the bridge between toe-tapping country jams (like those of The Lone Bellow) and heart-filled introspective poetry (inspired by the likes of Tom Waits and Bob Dylan). In their spare time, they are developing a folk musical based on Longfellow's epic poem Evangeline. Their very first studio album is out this fall, with an album release party at Schubas on Sept 30th!

Carlile

Chicago Tribune describes her music as a “hyper-minimalist wonder that features warm, clear vocals layered on top of the other. As the song progresses, new layers are added, creating a lush wall of sound. But it never sounds like too much.” She will be performing solo at The Boxcar.

Vivian Garcia

Vivian Garcia is a Chicago based singer-songwriter. Her musical journey has taken her from studying rumba flamenca rhythms in Granada, Spain to jamming with international folk musicians in Madrid as well as singing with various bands in Chicago.


Perform at The Boxcar

We are interested in presenting music, poetry, storytelling, workshops, and more. Reach out if you would like to share something with us on The Boxcar stage! 

Artistic Curators


Stay up to date on everything happening at The Boxcar


The Boxcar was made possible through the generosity of more than 300 members of the Steep Theatre community, including leadership support from: Casey Blass & Lee Manford, David Bock, Reid & Jennifer Quinn Broda, Dean & Caroline Browell, Susan Burland & George Plumb, Ken Burlington, Carpenter Financial, The City of Chicago, Holly & David Collins, Robert D. Collins Fund, Kassie Davis & Bruce Beatus, Sonya Dekhtyar, The Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, Kelly Fitzgerald, Sara Foster & Adam Levy, Gregg Gilman, Elaine Glusac & Dave Bartusek, Susan & Peter Gray, Dorothy Harza, Leigh & John Hourihane, Peter James, Stephen H. Johnson, Rita & Jim Knox, Kerry & Kenny Lassus, Shana Lowitz & William Swaim, M.D., Ted Lowitz, Susie & Tom MacLean, Cooper Melgreen, Barbara & Ed Mills, Anne Marie Dumas Mitchell, Anne & Richard Moore, Jennifer & Peter Moore, Kate L. Moore, Margaret & Peter Morris, James T. O’Neill, Amanda & Doug Passmore, Pepsico Foundation, Prairie Home Builders, Catherine & Jon Putnam, Melissa & Jeff Riemer, Ted Ries, Alan & Debra Rosenberg, Gregory Rothman, Mike J. Salinas, Karen & Frank Schneider, Jessica & Christoph Schrey, Elisabeth Rose & Owen Shapiro, Hope & Jeff Sheffield, Kate Welborn & Ann McGill, Anna Wermuth & Alex Gillmor, and Lisa & Randy White.

Programming in The Boxcar is supported by an Idea Lab Grant from the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development.