The Cook County Theatre Department was co-founded by Richard Maxwell and Brian Mendes in Chicago, IL. Maxwell and Mendes met as interns at The Steppenwolf Theater in 1990 and formed Cook County Theatre Department with friends. . Other company members included: Kate Gleason, David Pavkovic, Chris Sullivan, Vicki Walden and Gary Wilmes. The company presented new work from 1992-1995 in Chicago and on tours. Maxwell and Mendes moved to New York City in 1996 and subsequently formed their current company, New York City Players.