Theater Works is back to live theater, debuting new and re-invented programs and series for early 2022. Theater Works will return to the stage in early 2022 with a new “grown-up” theater series, After Dark, and a reorganized youth education program, Theater Alive.

Following the success of “grown-up” theater offerings in 2020-2021, including the daring immersive CURIOUSER series created in response to the pandemic restrictions of last season, Theater Works will debut its new After Dark series for audiences 16 and older on March 18 with “The Superhero Ultraferno.”

The play by Don Zolidis developed specifically for Theater Works, features a team of nerds and a crack team of over 50 characters as they race through the hilarious world of tights-wearing crimefighters. From the 1960s TV Batman to the soap opera insanity of the Fantastic Four to a bizarre, German opera of Spiderman and with thoughts on sexism, sex and pop culture, this production will take place in the McMillin Theater.

“We’re coming back and can’t wait to turn the spotlight on live theater and our revitalized educational programming,” says Theater Works Managing Director Cate Hinkle. “It will be great to be back again!”

Theater Works also has reorganized youth education programs serving young actors under the new names, Theater Alive Kids (formerly KidsAlive Jr.), for ages 6-11 and Theater Alive Teen (formerly KidsAlive Teen) for ages 12-17. The program welcomes back Courtney Stevens in her previous role as Theater Alive Stage Manager and new faces to the program: Meija Eller as Director, Kathleen Berger as Music Director, and Paul Pedersen as Choreographer.

Theater Alive teaches a wide variety of disciplines including acting, voice, movement, and stage presence. This program is open to students at all levels of their musical training. All students who attend have roles in the final production taking place in late spring. Space will be limited to 35 students per session; registration is available online at the Theater Works website.

Main Stage theater productions (formerly MasterWorks) in the Gyder Theater will launch in the summer.

“We have been able to innovate and to start again only because of the commitment of so many, and their belief in the importance of the arts,” Hinkle says. “We look forward to announcing additional productions soon.”

Theater Works productions take place at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, located at 10580 N. 83rd Drive. For more information about Theater Works, visit