SummerNITE is the resident professional Equity company operated by the School of Theatre Arts at Northern Illinois University. The School of Theatre Arts is a member of NAST (the National Association of Schools of Theatre) and U/RTA (the University/Resident Theatre Association). SummerNITE, originally known as the Northern Illinois Stage Company, was founded in 1981 as a summer professional company. The company's venue has changed frequently, having performed at the Woodstock Opera House, the Norris Center in St. Charles, the Greenview Arts Center, and the Theater Building and Bailiwick Arts Center in Chicago. In 1990 the company converted to Equity status by negotiating a CAT Tier II (Chicago Area Theater) contract with Actor's Equity Association. This change in status has enabled the company to employ the finest professional actors in the region while simultaneously providing students with the opportunity to work, network with, and learn from professional theatre artists. An additional benefit of this status has been that students are enabled to apply their work with the company towards full membership in the union. In its first season as an Equity company, SummerNITE produced the Midwest premiere of "Mr. Williams and Miss Wood," a dramatization of the relationship between Tennessee Williams and his legendary literary agent, Audrey Wood. After a successful run in DeKalb, the SummerNITE company was invited to present the U.K. premiere of the play in London. Subsequently the production also appeared in Dublin at the distinguished Abbey Theatre .