Chicago Shakespeare Theater Announces
A Season of Ruthless Love and Undying Ambition
Charming Villains and Feuding Lovers Fill the Stage
Affordable Access a Hallmark of the Season
Chicago—April 5, 2009—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson have announced the series lineup of productions, with new affordable access opportunities, for the 2009/10 Season. "Villains and lovers make for compelling storytelling, and this year–from Shakespeare's beguiling hunchback and fiery fiancées, to Chekhov's restless lovers and Coward's dueling divorcées—they're out in force," said Barbara Gaines. "These great characters of dramatic literature will tread the boards with tales of human endeavor and folly, provoking thought and laughter in equal measure." A three-play subscription series of classics, renowned artists from around the world and productions for the entire family set the stage for Chicago Shakespeare Theater's tenth season on Navy Pier.
"Now, more than ever, it's essential to reaffirm our commitment to bring Chicago Shakespeare to the widest audience," says Criss Henderson. "Through our CST for $20 program, we're releasing thousands of $20 tickets for the new season encouraging young audiences (under 35) to experience live theater without price as an obstacle. We're offering two new, economy weekend series to broaden our subscription options. And, due to tremendous demand for affordable Shakespeare productions, we are doubling performances of our popularly abridged—and priced—Short Shakespeare! series. We're also offering $70 four-person family packages for our summer musical, maintaining our trademark of high quality, high value programming."
- In the fall, Barbara Gaines kicks off the Subscription Series directing Richard III, one of Shakespeare's most enduring successes. Richard, the brilliant hunchback and witty manipulator, seduces and murders his way to the English throne in the Bard's epic history of this most fascinating and engaging villain.
September 23–November 22, 2009, Courtyard Theater.
- In the New Year, Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin directs Private Lives, a revelation of the humorous complications of marriage penned by master playwright Noël Coward. This classic comedy takes us into the private lives of a stylish, ferociously intelligent divorced couple who meet again quite by accident—on their honeymoons, with new spouses in tow.
January 6–March 7, 2010, Courtyard Theater.
- The Subscription Series concludes in the spring with The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare's spark-filled comedy of unconventional courtship. Fortune-seeking Petruchio sets his sights on wedding the fiery Katherina, but the verdict is out on just who tames whom in Shakespeare's all-out battle of the sexes.
April 7–June 6, 2010, Courtyard Theater.
Subscriptions, including Richard III, Private Lives and The Taming of the Shrew begin at $120 and are on sale now online at www.chicagoshakes.com or by calling the Box Office at 312.595.5600.
The World's Stage Series
- This summer, CST's World Stage welcomes Ilotopie, a French troupe which specializes in the creation of waterborne theatrical wonders. The acclaimed company has performed on the Thames in London, the River Seine in Paris and will make their American debut with Water Fools (Fous de Bassin) here in Chicago on Lake Michigan off the east end of Navy Pier. Chicago's aquatic front yard will be transformed into a world where cars drive on water, heads burst into flames and a 12-foot tall lady glides by on a penny-farthing. August 21–22, 2009. Navy Pier.
- In the fall, CST hosts Druid, one of Ireland's premiere theater companies, with their acclaimed production of Enda Walsh's tragic comedy, The Walworth Farce. This biting social commentary disguised as a traditional high farce played to sold out houses at the National Theatre in Great Britain and garnered an Edinburgh Fringe First Award. October 28–November 1, 2009. Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare.
- On the 150th anniversary of Anton Chekhov's birth, the World's Stage Series concludes with
Uncle Vanya in the Chicago debut of Russia's illustrious Maly Drama Theatre of Saint Petersburg. Hailed by Peter Brook as "the finest ensemble in Europe" and led by Artistic Director Lev Dodin, the Maly Drama Theatre has found worldwide critical acclaim for this production of Chekhov's classic.
March 17–21, 2010, Courtyard Theater.
- This summer, CST creates a new production of Disney's Aladdin, based on the 1992 award-winning animated film and complete with the original music, including "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me." Devanand Janki directs this exciting musical adventure, following Aladdin, the beautiful Princess Jasmine and the fun-loving, wise-cracking Genie as they try and save the kingdom from the villainous Jafar.
July 1–August 30, 2009, Courtyard Theater.
- In the New Year, CST presents Short Shakespeare! The Comedy of Errors, adapted and directed by David Bell, on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This 75-minute abridgment of Shakespeare's first comedy introduces young people and their families to the theatrical genius of CST's resident playwright. Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. January 23–March 7, 2010, Courtyard Theater.
Tickets for Disney's Aladdin are $23 for adults and $18 for children (12 and under) and are on sale now. Family four-packs are available for $70 through July 1 and special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets for Short Shakespeare! The Comedy of Errors are $16 for students (18 and under) and $20 for adults.
For further information on all Chicago Shakespeare Theater productions and to purchase subscriptions and tickets online, visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com or call the Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600.
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American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Land O'Frost is a proud sponsor of the 2009/10 Subscription Series at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Programming Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare is made possible through generous support from Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
Mainstage artistic productions in the Courtyard Theater are supported, in part, through a generous leadership grant from the McCormick Foundation.