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Pegasus Players: Preston Bradley Center Potential New Home

  The Preston Bradley Center is weighing changes that officials hope lead to a starring role in Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. James Cappleman's vision of a go-to entertainment district in Uptown.
The Preston Bradley Center
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UPTOWN — A historic building has emerged as a potential new home for the Pegasus Players should the theater troupe get the boot from its current space in the basement of the former Hull House Community Center.

The historic Preston Bradley Center, already home to the National Pastime Theater, is making moves to position itself as a performance arts hub in the heart of Uptown.

Extending an invitation to Pegasus Players is part of that effort.

After National Pastime Theater founder and Artistic Director Laurence Bryan heard that a developer’s plan to convert the Hull House center to market-rate apartments could displace the Pegasus Players, he invited the troupe "to take a look at the space to possibly do a residency here," he said.

“I’m very serious about it. I would really, really want to have them here. We want to keep them in the neighborhood,” Bryan said.

Pegasus Players would join Bryan's troupe on the fourth floor in Mason Hall, a theater and banquet hall with antique chandeliers and murals from the 1920s. It can seat about 200 people. The center also has an auditorium on the first floor with about 1,000 seats and a stage that lends itself well to larger productions.

Pegasus Players Artistic Director Ilesa Duncan could not be reached for comment, but recently said an update on her troupe's search for a new home would come after the May opening of “If You Split a Second.”

Bryan emphasized that the Pegasus Players are “in the middle of opening a show,” and might have “no time to do anything else,” right now, including discuss their new home. Bryan said talks and negotiations could begin as soon as next week — if Duncan is game.

The office of Ald. James Cappleman (46th) is on board with the idea, chief of staff Tressa Feher said.

She said she is aware of a few different options for Pegasus Players, but she said joining the National Pastime Theater in the landmark building is the best choice.

The Preston Bradley Center "is definitely our first thought, for sure," Feher said, heaping praise on the reputation of Duncan's troupe and the “cool” space it occupies in Mason Hall.