"Our mission is to create socially provocative content that inspires and informs through uninhibited theatre; if you can't change their minds, change their culture."

The Zoo Theatre Company started at the a local zoo near the city of Chicago. Daniel Sugimoto, the Artistic Director and Julia Lisa, the Executive Director were enjoying the different sights and different enclosures while Daniel was steady jotting down notes in his little book he keeps with him. After a few hours into the adventure Julia asked him what he had been writing and Daniel explained how fascinating it was to him that Humans watch animals in cages and Live Theatre is as close to a zoo like experience that people will get when watching other humans.  They both decided right there to name their theatre adventure The Zoo Theatre Company and the name has inspired them to stay true to putting genuine, human, uninhibited art.   Daniel and Julia had been producing and creating theatre for 3 years before deciding to venture on their own to produce socially provocative content that informs and inspires through uninhibited theatre.  With the help of some amazingly talented friends they decided to launch a series of shows over the summer of 2016.  The first show they ventured forward with was a 1940's crime drama, Broadway Noir, which premiered at The Hollywood Fringe and won an Encore Producer award for it's efforts.  

The response was well lit and proved to the group that starting a theatre from the ground up might be possible.  The next show they worked was Letters To Eve, a show Sugimoto had taken 7 years to write.  Letters To Eve is a musical set during WWII and mostly within the Japanese Internment Camps. Sugimoto's Grandmother is a survivor of the camps and it was and always will be dedicated to the survivors of the camps, the 442nd Infantry Regiment, and the millions affected by the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Actual photo of Manzanar camp facility. Midori Sugimoto - Top Center, black coat.

Actual photo of Manzanar camp facility. Midori Sugimoto - Top Center, black coat.

Letters To Eve Performing at The Okinawa Association Festival!

Letters To Eve Performing at The Okinawa Association Festival!

Post show drinks with amazing people...

Post show drinks with amazing people...

Being blessed with a wide variety of actors, lighting designers, sound mixers, etc, The Zoo Theatre Company hopes to become a staple in the theatre scene, and continue to take you out of your reality for a while!

Special thanks you to:

Zachary Johnson Dunlop for most lighting and tech needs.

Austin Schumacher for posters, artwork, and sound engineering.

The Three Clubs for nurturing art.

The Miles Memorial Playhouse for an amazing venue.

Every actor who has or ever will play a role in this company, we thank you, love you, and we are stronger having worked with you -- You know who you are (:


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Daniel Sugimoto is an award winning composer/musical director.  Collecting most of his credits as a part owner and the musical director for CAC Studios. He has been acting and writing professionally for five years, writing Project Mayhem, Broadway Noir, Letters To Eve, and White People Drinking: A Controversial Comedy. For reviews of writing, please visit SHOW HISTORY page!


Other reviews of Work: Nothing Bad: A Werewolf Rock Musical


Julia Lisa has been an unintended Artivist promoting peace, health, and environmental issues. She believes theatre holds incredible power of change.  Unable to stay away from theatre, she got her BA at University of Massachusetts Amherst,  she has worked in Theatre marketing and management for many years and prides herself as a teaching artist who wants to share her love of theatre with the next generations.  Her credits include: Choreography for CAC Studios - Thenardier's Inn, ChicabaRENT, and Project Mayhem;  Directoring for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Broadway Noir, and Letters To Eve.