“Community building, not marketing, is the watchword at Berwyn’s 16th Street Theater, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2017. The self-described ‘collective brainchild’ of artistic director Ann Filmer and North Berwyn Park District executive director Joe Vallez, the company is a nexus of creativity and connection in a diverse and changing suburb. ‘Our goal is to tell the story of everyone in the neighborhood,’ says Filmer, who settled with her family in the affordable but culturally quiescent town before creating 16th Street out of a desire “\’to do art where we lived.’ Over the last decade, the company has become a model of purpose-driven theater, featuring local playwrights (including the outstanding Rohina Malik), modest ticket prices, union wages, lively post-show discussions and a directorial style described by Filmer as ‘telling a good story and getting the hell out of the way.’ This season, Filmer is looking backward and forward, reviving nine plays from the troupe’s first decade while preparing for the possible 2018 opening of a new venue twice the size of the current forty-nine-seat space. Her mission in the Age of Trump is to, ‘keep people talking, side by side—not just spewing online.’
Read the whole article in New City here. Ann Filmer is number 47 on the list.