26 N Williams Street, Crystal Lake, IL 60014


About Us

Mission Statement

Raue Center For The Arts is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts.


Our building opened in 1929 as El Tovar, a title simply picked up by one of the theatre’s founders on a trip out west. It became a welcome addition to northern Illinois. As a movie and vaudeville theatre, it showcased the thrilling new “talkies” and the troupes who wheeled into town on tour with their exotic, entertaining gear and costumes.

While the name did not translate into any specific Spanish phrases, it did translate into the site of first kisses, marriage proposals, farewell dates before shipping out, and class trips. People came to simply escape daily frustrations. The theater embraced the golden age of movie musicals, film noir, love stories, comedies, cartoon festivals and adventure serials. During the 1960s, area theatre groups used the theatre for musicals and plays between film showings. El Tovar eventually became The Lake, and then turned into the downtown Showplace, with fewer viewers than in years past.

Architecturally, the building was on its last legs, but the memories of those who had loved the theatre were still present. New life, a renaissance of sorts, was just waiting to flourish. It was at this point that Lucile Raue, who had lived and worked most of her life in a four-square-block area in downtown Crystal Lake, left a generous monetary gift to go towards renovations in downtown Crystal Lake. After extensive review by an advisory group, enough money to completely restore this historic gem was given to the building.

Now named for its shy benefactor, the Raue Center’s rebuilding began. Ground was broken in November 1999 and local craftsmanship took the building through the two-year reconstruction process. In August of 2001, this dame of a building was painted, polished and suited in newly upholstered rich russet seats.

Lucile’s father dreamed of restoring the Raue Center to leave a special and lasting legacy for her family name and many future families. Today, Raue Center enthusiastically brings you the opportunity to witness contemporary, vibrant performing arts on a state-of-the-art stage. Throughout the years, Raue Center has welcomed Tony, Academy and Grammy award winners as well as independent voices to its stage. These performances provide people with the unique opportunity to connect with an audience in a truly intimate and exhilarating space. If you’re interested in a historic tour, contact us today atcquinn@rauecenter.org.

Behind the Curtain

Our audience sees impressive shows and events that occur on stage, but so much goes on behind the scenes to make those shows possible. Here’s a list of the individuals who work so hard behind the curtain.

The Advisory Council assists the Board of Directors in obtaining outside options on important matters concerning the operations of the theatre. Members of the Council come from a wide array of businesses and political backgrounds as well as former Raue Center Board members.

  • Pamela Althoff, Illinois State Senator
  • Susen Berg
  • Bob Blazier
  • Cort Carlson
  • Helen Comiskey
  • Tim Curran
  • Paula Dorion-Gray
  • Richard L. Emery
  • Jane Franz
  • Steve Houston
  • Peter Kunz
  • Erv LeCoque
  • Jack Minsley
  • Dave Rogers
  • Aaron T. Shepley, Mayor of Crystal Lake
  • Matthew Turk
  • Kris Underwood
  • Verla Wehde


Executive Committee:

  • Tim Paul, Board President
  • John Jacobsen, Vice President
  • William Schmiel, Secretary
  • Chuck Stevens, Treasurer
  • Luanne Flavin
  • Chris Gray
  • John Green
  • Brad Johnson
  • Mike H. Johnson
  • Kevin Korpak
  • Allison McCain
  • Stacey McInerney
  • Jack Minsley
  • Rich Naponelli
  • Susan Olavarria
  • Sandra Pierce
  • Steven Szalaj


WSR/Raue Staff:
Richard Kuranda, executive director/wsr founding artistic director
Carolyn Voss, director of production
Caitlin I. Quinn, general manager
Miriam Naponelli, marketing director
Michele V. Knight, marketing manager
James Knight, economic development manager
Janie Ragsdale, institutional development associate
Ariana DeGenova, house manager
Matt Claypool, facilities manager/master electrician
Sebastian Woldt, sound supervisor

Part-Time Staff/Seasonal:
Amanda Flahive, sage studio project manager
Luanne Flavin, special events coordinator
Jeanne Slater, group sales coordinator/box office manager
Mitchell Dziewior, box office
Amber Johnson, box office
Matt Wrbanek, box office

Poet in Residence: Egan Click

Programs at Raue Center

  • Williams Street Repertory – A Non-Profit Theatre Company Located in Crystal Lake. Raue Center and WSRep are companies that depend on each other. Both 501c3 entities ensure that they work in tandem to create quality in both presenting and producing work for the stage.
  • Lucy’s Cafe – A Comedy Club Right Here at Raue Center.
  • RaueNOW – Raue Center’s Annual Membership Program.
  • Artful Women – Artists’ Series Celebrating Women in the Arts.
  • Sage Studio – Theatre Classes & Workshops for Ages 7-18.
  • Mission Imagination – Raue Center’s Educational Outreach Program.

Rental Information

Raue Center For The Arts has many rental opportunities for pre or post-performance parties, corporate events, girls nights and much more.

Theatre Information:

Balcony: 150 Seats
Floor: 600
There is a fully stocked bar located on the second floor, as well as a small gallery stage and bar located in the front lobby.

If you are interested in renting either space, please click here to see our rates.

Contact us today for more information at adegenova@rauecenter.org.

Raue Theatre

Raue Center For The Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts.
26 N Williams Street | Crystal Lake, IL 60014

26 N Williams Street
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

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