Chicago Shakespeare Theater
and Chicago Public Schools Partner to Present
CPS Shakespeare! Macbeth
Performed by Students and Their Teachers
at Chicago Shakespeare on Navy Pier
ChicagoSeptember 17, 2008Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) presents the latest production as part of its landmark arts-in-education program, CPS Shakespeare!—a program designed to bring together students and teachers from each of Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) five designated geographic districts to perform a 60-minute adaptation of a play by William Shakespeare in CST's Elizabethan-style, Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier. This year, public performances of CPS Shakespeare! Macbeth adapted and directed by Kirsten Kelly are scheduled on Friday, October 24 at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 25 at 11:00 a.m. The one-hour performance will be followed by a 30-minute post-show discussion. Tickets are $5.00 and 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.
CPS Shakespeare! extends CST's commitment to serve the community through its far-reaching arts-in-education programs by welcoming a group of 10th through 12th grade CPS students and their English teachers to Chicago Shakespeare Theater to participate in a month-long rehearsal process culminating in two public performances. All participating educators have graduated from CST's year-long professional development seminar, Bard Core Curriculum: Reading into Shakespeare, which mentors English teachers from some of the most challenged CPS schools. Bard Core lessons provide teachers with drama-based reading strategies that have been documented to improve the basic skills and classroom engagement of struggling and reluctant readers.
"CPS Shakespeare! demonstrates how students' success with Shakespeare markedly increases their self-confidence, communication skills and their engagement with school," says Marilyn J. Halperin, Director of Education and Communications at CST. "By discovering Shakespeare through performance, students—and teachers—experience their ability to decipher meaning, understand context, articulate thoughts and work collaboratively."
Curie Metropolitan High School's Eric Weiss, a returning teacher from last year's program from observed, "The fall of 2007 will forever be remembered as a time of significant maturation for students and teachers in the CPS Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet ensemble, and it's doubtful we'll know the full breadth and depth of that change for some time. I can say, however, that the name William Shakespeare will no longer strike fear into the minds of the student ensemble members. Rather, his name will elicit memories of friendship, trust and supreme dedication."
Six schools from across the Chicago Public School system, represented by 18 students and six English teachers, will collaborate in this year's city-wide production. The cast includes: from Chicago Vocational Career Academy, teacher Andrea Anders and students Britney Gaines and Richard Banner; from Curie Metropolitan High School, teacher Eric Weiss and students Faith Hinds and Jade Landon; from Hancock Preparatory, teacher Paul Mirek and students Orlando Tostado, Shanice Jones and Victor Quito; from Prosser Career Academy, teacher Sandra Shimon and students Juan Rivera and Tanzania Walker; from Roosevelt High School, teacher Amanda Terrell and students Cynthia Lopez and Edgar Santan; and from Taft High School, teacher Shannon White and students Elena Mendoza, Jacob Lill, Nicholas Gonzalez and Susana Ramirez.
Six additional students return from last year's CPS Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet: Warren Baskin from Julian High School, Lassell Johnson from Chicago Vocational Career Academy, Elena Mendoza from Taft High School, Lucinda Parra from Chicago Military High School, Jordan Rodriguez from Prosser Career Academy and Anthony Vega from Curie Metropolitan High School.
The creative team for CPS Shakespeare! Macbeth includes: costume design by Kristin Demanett and Alison Siple; lighting design by Jesse Klug; sound design by James Savage; wig and make-up design by Melissa Veal; fight choreography by Neil Massey; and vocal coach Christine Adaire.
Ensuring the future of CPS Shakespeare!, Judy and Walt Skowronski have made a generous commitment to support Chicago Shakespeare's arts-in-education program. Their gift, made in memory of their son, Eric, who died as a passenger in a tragic automobile accident, will also provide for the Eric Curtis Skowronski Spirit Award. The award, given to the six participating schools, provides a monetary gift to be used for the support of their arts, literature, or library programs.
CPS Shakespeare! is the newest in Chicago Shakespeare's array of arts-in-education initiatives. CST's flagship education program, Team Shakespeare, is in its 17th year serving students and their teachers through classroom lessons and an extensive professional performance series for students—both at CST's home on Navy Pier and on tour to area schools.
Tickets for CPS Shakespeare! Macbeth are $5.00. Performances will be held Friday, October 24 at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 25 at 11:00 a.m. in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater. The one-hour performance will be followed by a 30-minute discussion with the entire ensemble. For further information and to purchase tickets, call the Chicago Shakespeare Theater Box Office at 312.595.5600, or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Principal support for CPS Shakespeare! Macbeth is provided by Walt and Judy Skowronski.
Additional project support provided by Kraft Foods, Principal Sponsor of the Theater's Team Shakespeare program for students and teachers.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Main stage artistic productions are supported, in part, through The Trust for Courtyard Theater Programming, established by a generous leadership grant from the McCormick Foundation.