Tue, 03/10/2020 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

The Auditorium Theatre’s National Geographic Live Speaker Series returns on March 10, 2020, with “Adventures Among Orangutans,” featuring biological anthropologist Cheryl Knott and wildlife photojournalist Tim Laman.


In “Adventures Among Orangutans,” Knott and Laman, a husband-and-wife-team, share stories from their 25 years of observing the great apes, an intelligent, resourceful, and endangered species that shares 97% of its DNA with humans. Knott and Laman have made it their mission to dedicate their lives to the orangutans of Borneo’s Gunung Palung National Park. Along with their children, the couple works to reveal the myriad threats that the animals face in their rainforest homes – from deforestation to poaching – and to spread awareness and knowledge about orangutans.

“I learn something new about the world at every National Geographic Live speaker event,” says Rich Regan, Auditorium Theatre CEO. “We are all looking forward to hear what Tim Laman and Cheryl Knott have to share with us about their important work with orangutans.”

Tim Laman spent his childhood in Japan, where his interest in exploring remote corners of the world in pursuit of stories, photographs, and scientific data was initially sparked. He first visited the rainforests of Borneo in 1987, and has since focused on the Asia-Pacific region in both his photography and his scientific research. Laman is a regular contributor to National Geographic and has published 21 articles in the magazine to date.

Cheryl Knott, a professor at Boston University and an emerging explorer, focuses her research on orangutan behavior and biology both as a way to further our understanding of endangered great apes and to provide clues to human evolutionary history. She has received seven grants from the National Geographic Society since 1994. Knott is the Executive Director of the Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program, which aims to protect endangered species and their rainforest habitats.

Together, Knott and Laman have produced two National Geographic magazine articles and a National Geographic Kids book on orangutans, titled Rain Forest Colors

ELIZABETH YNTEMA AND MARK FERGUSON – National Geographic Live Series Sponsors (Chicago, IL)  

Event Information

National Geographic Live Speaker Series – Adventures Among Orangutans

Tuesday, March 10 | 7PM

Each National Geographic Live speaker event is approximately 70 minutes long, followed by a Q&A with the speakers.

Tickets are $42 and $54 and are available online at, by phone at 312.341.2300, or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E Ida B Wells Dr). "Adventures Among Orangutans” is part of the Auditorium Theatre’s National Geographic Live Speaker Series, which offers a 20% discount on tickets and also includes On the Trail of Big Cats and Ocean Soul. A family pack is available for a 10% discount (for 4-5 people) or 15% (for 6-9 people); discount automatically applies at checkout. Discounted tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more people. 

The Auditorium Theatre also offers $15 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways’ Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium Theatre’s ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.

About National Geographic Live

National Geographic Live is the live events division of National Geographic. With a broad roster of talent including renowned photographers, scientists, authors, filmmakers, and adventurers, National Geographic Live’s critically acclaimed programs have connected with audiences worldwide for over a century. Currently, National Geographic Live events are held in a variety of cities around the world, including Chicago, Seattle, Tampa, Los Angeles, and Calgary. In each of these cities, speakers share behind-the-scenes stories from the front lines of exploration onstage alongside stunning imagery and gripping footage. For more information, visit

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure, and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing, and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 131 years, and now it is committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for consumers, and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as they do it. NGP returns 27 percent of its proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation, and education. For more information visit or, or find National Geographic on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest. For general press inquiries about National Geographic, please contact Caitlin Holbrook at or 202.912.6714.


Upcoming Events at the Auditorium Theatre  

January 26: National Geographic Live Speaker Series – On the Trail of Big Cats

February 12-23: The Joffrey Ballet – The Times Are Racing

February 28: Trivia Night: A Fundraiser for Hearts to Art

February 29: Trinity Irish Dance Company

March 4-8: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

March 9: Yundi Li • SONATA

March 10: National Geographic Live Speaker Series – Adventures Among Orangutans

March 14: Shin Lim

March 19-22: American Ballet Theatre    

About The Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E Ida B Wells Dr at Roosevelt University in Chicago, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. The organization also is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark.

The Auditorium Theatre 2019-20 Season is made possible in part with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Palmer House, a Hilton HotelChicago Magazine is the official magazine sponsor. For more information about programming, volunteer, and donor opportunities or theatre tours, please call 312.341.2310 or visit For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please click here