As a slew of recent 40th-anniversary commemorations has made clear, 1969 was a landmark year in American culture. It was the year of Woodstock, the moon walk, Stonewall—and in Chicago the blossoming of an off-Loop theater movement that emerged from the grassroots community theater activity of the mid-1960s. In 1969 the first professional off-Loop theater, the Body Politic, was established at 2257 N. Lincoln by Second City co-founder Paul Sills, composer William Russo, and community activist (and United Church of Christ minister) Jim Shiflett. Today known as the Greenhouse Theater Center, it’s the oldest continually operating off-Loop theater space in Chicago. The same year saw the founding of Free Street Theater, a unique organization devoted to bringing theatrical entertainment and training to disadvantaged populations in Chicago. To mark the event, the company is hosting Free Street Flashback on Thursday, October 1, at Steppenwolf’s Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted.