Founded in 1979, Chicago Dramatists is a national leader in the specialized area of new play development. The theater nurtures playwrights and new plays through its year-round programs of staged readings, productions, classes, workshops, panels and playwright memberships. In the past year, Chicago Dramatists' plays have earned 545 individual honors, including productions, awards and further development at theaters in Chicago and across the nation. Chicago Dramatists has occupied its current facility in the River West neighborhood since 1988. The intimate, 77-seat theatre (with recently renovated auditorium and lighting/sound systems) is one of the most comfortable and attractive in the city, with excellent sightlines, air conditioning and wheelchair accessibility.