"Our discussion the next day was magic. So that’s why I became a teacher!"
–Marine Math and Science Academy (CPS), Chicago
"I know for a fact that this play was the first play to make me really think about my life."
–Student, Jacobs High School, Algonquin, IL
There are many reasons why Shakespeare remains a cornerstone in American schools. His portrayal of our human nature is so encompassing, his language unparalleled, and his plays serve to bridge generations, nationalities, cultures and neighborhoods. But Shakespeare does pose a real challenge—to students and to teachers—and his work is some of the most difficult that a student is required to read. Here at Chicago Shakespeare we view it as a privilege, and a responsibility, to support this central component of the English curriculum, making it accessible, achievable, fun, and enlightening—for students and teachers alike. Our program unites the skills of theater artists and classroom educators to bring Shakespeare to life in the school curriculum—through live performance, workshops, discussions, and innovative learning. Serving more than 40,000 teachers and students each year, Team Shakespeare is one of the most comprehensive arts education programs in the country.
Free resources, including teacher workshops and comprehensive teacher handbooks, offer educators an expansive set of engaging, practical—and core curriculum-based—classroom tools.
The cornerstone of CST’s education efforts resides in strategically supporting the work of English teachers in schools across our city and the country.
CST offers nearly 100 professional matinee performances for student audiences. Each year, more than 400 schools from across the Midwest and beyond enjoy Shakespeare in performance—at our theater on Navy Pier or on tour to schools in our region.
CST serves as a partner in literacy in Chicago’s public schools. Building strong alliances with educators across the city, we serve CPS through a broad range of programs, from student ticket subsidies to yearlong teacher training.
Photo Gallery: CPS Hamlet! Ensemble 2012
Gallery: 2013 CPS Shakespeare! OTHELLO
Video: "Reimagining School, Part 2: Why Creativity and Innovation Matter 3.3.14