Artistic Director Barbara Gaines Stages
William Shakespeare's Cymbeline
Kicking Off the 21st Chicago Shakespeare Theater Season
Now Through November 11, 2007
Chicago—October 12, 2007—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) Artistic Director Barbara Gaines kicks off the Theater's 21st Season with her staging of Cymbeline, Shakespeare's fairy tale about love, fidelity and deception. Cymbeline inaugurates the Theater's three-play subscription series in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater, and is now playing through November 11, 2007. Tickets can be purchased by calling Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or by visiting the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
A magical fairy tale adventure, Cymbeline features one of Shakespeare's most resourceful female characters, Imogen, who in defiance of her father, King Cymbeline, secretly marries the poor, but worthy, Posthumus. When Cymbeline discovers her marriage and banishes her husband, Imogen—disguised as a boy—sets off into the Welsh countryside in search of him. The adventuresome journey to the couple's reunion is populated with colorful characters, a wicked stepmother, sword fights and sleeping potions—all the elements of a wondrous tale of love lost and found.
"Cymbeline is a classic fairy tale, a great big adventure story with romance, tragedy, humor and suspense," says CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines. "Its adventurous nature and epic sweep capture the entirety of the human experience; I'm delighted to bring this tale of forgiveness and hope to Chicago audiences."
Barbara Gaines, Founder and Artistic Director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater, has directed more than 30 of William Shakespeare's plays. Her work has been honored with Jeff Awards for Best Production and for Best Director. In partnership with Executive Director Criss Henderson, Gaines has established CST's home on Navy Pier with the region's largest arts-in-education theater program, Team Shakespeare, and expanded the Theater's artistic palette to include—alongside Shakespeare's canon—family theater productions, musicals
and presentations with international artists and theater companies. In 2005 Gaines was awarded the prestigious Honorary OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in recognition of her contributions strengthening British-American cultural relations. This past spring Gaines also received the 2007 Public Humanities Award by the Illinois Humanities Council for her contribution to "public understanding of the role the humanities play in transforming lives and strengthening communities."
Bringing to life the titular role of Cymbeline is veteran Chicago actor Larry Yando, who spent three years performing the role of Scar in the national touring production of Broadway's The Lion King. Appearing in 10 productions at CST, his rich history with the Theater includes performances in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Lear and last season's The Two Noble Kinsmen. The villainous Iachimo is played by Juan Chioran, who appeared in the national tour of Broadway's Kiss of the Spider Woman and CST's The Three Musketeers and Hecuba. Chaon Cross also returns to the CST stage—where she was last seen as Cressida in Barbara Gaines' production of Troilus and Cressida—to play Cymbeline's strong-willed daughter Imogen, a role considered by many scholars to be the greatest female character Shakespeare wrote.
The cast of Cymbeline also includes: Brad Armacost as Caius Lucius; Shanesia Davis as the Queen; William Dick as Cloten's First Lord and Philario; Lisa Dodson as Soothsayer; Stephen Louis Grush as Guiderius; Joel Hatch as Pisanio; Dennis Kelly as Belarius; John McFarland as Storyteller and Jupiter; Jeff Parker as Cloten's Second Lord and Frenchman; Ernest Perry, Jr. as Cornelius and Jailer; John Sanders as Sicillius; Joe Sikora as Posthumus; Brian Sills as Cloten; and Derrick Trumbly as Arviragus. Scott Butler, Katy Carolina Collins, Rian Jairell, Abigail Misko, Nick Pilarski, Sarah Taylor, Jeff Trainor, and Douglas S. Tyler complete the ensemble.
Original music is composed by Rokko Jans and Lindsay Jones, who also will provide the sound design. Additional design elements for Cymbeline include scenic design by Michael Philippi; costume design by Susan E. Mickey; lighting design by Philip S. Rosenberg; fight choreography by Robin McFarquhar; and wig and make-up design by Melissa Veal.
Programs in conjunction with performances of Cymbeline, include:
- PreĽAmble: half-hour introductory lectures on Cymbeline presented by scholars will take place at 2:00 p.m. on select Saturdays (10/20, 10/27) and Sundays (10/21, 10/28). Admission is free and reservations are not required.
- Post-show discussions follow each Wednesday 1:00 p.m. performance. Admission is free. No reservations are required.
- The audio-described performance for patrons with visual impairments will be held on Thursday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. Patrons should reserve a headset when purchasing tickets in advance. Discounted "Access Shakespeare" tickets are available.
- The duo sign-interpreted performance for patrons with hearing impairments will be held on Friday, November 9, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. Patrons should request specific seating area when purchasing tickets in advance. Discounted "Access Shakespeare" tickets are available.
For further information about subscriptions and performances at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Cymbeline Production Sponsor: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.
Team Shakespeare student performances of Cymbeline are sponsored by Kraft Foods and Nuveen Investments.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Artistic productions in the Courtyard Theater are supported, in part, through a generous grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation.