CST Opens 10th Season on Navy Pier with
September 23–November 22, 2009
ChicagoSeptember 18, 2009Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) kicks off the 2009/10 Subscription Series with Richard III, William Shakespeare’s tale of a brilliant, scheming hunchback who murders and seduces his way to the English throne. The production will be staged by Chicago Shakespeare Theater Artistic Director Barbara Gaines with Helen Hayes Award-winner Wallace Acton in the title role. Richard III runs September 23 through November 22, 2009 in the Courtyard Theater. Tickets are $44–$75 and may 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.
Shakespeare’s first great stage successand one of his most enduring, Richard III has entertained audiences around the world for centuries. As the final chapter of the playwright’s sweeping chronicle of the English Wars of the Roses, Richard III dramatizes the life of one of the most diabolical and manipulative, yet charming and witty villains in Shakespeare’s canon. Embittered by his own physical deformities, the power-hungry Richard will stop at nothing to gain control of England, seducing and murdering his way to the throne. Since its stage premiere in 1592 with Shakespeare’s colleague Richard Burbage in the title role, audiences worldwide have been fascinated by Richard III. The American tradition of translating Shakespeare’s works to film began with André Calmettes and James Keane’s 1912 silent version of Richard IIIbelieved to be the oldest known complete surviving film made in America. The play continued to be referenced in films such as Neil Simon’s 1977 comedy, The Goodbye Girl, in which Elliott, performed in the film by Richard Dreyfuss, is cast in a production of Richard III and is asked to perform an outlandish stereotype of the title character. Al Pacino explored the complexity and the physicality of the title character in his 1996 documentary, Looking for Richard.
“Richard is one of Shakespeare’s most brilliant characters,” says Artistic Director Barbara Gaines. “As he seduces us as his audience, we become complicit in his crimes. He plays with us, he toys with us, he manipulates us. We know we’re being manipulated but it’s such an enjoyable ride and he’s such an interesting character that we don’t care.”
Taking on the title role and making his Chicago Shakespeare Theater debut is Wallace Acton. Mr. Acton frequently performs at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C. with credits that include Hamlet, Richard II, Richard III, Antony and Cleopatra and Henry VI. Other regional credits include performances at Freedom Stage, Signature Theatre, Woolly Mammoth and Arena Stage. Acton will join CST stage veterans Kevin Gudahl as the Duke of Buckingham, John Reeger as Lord Stanley, Angela Ingersoll as Lady Anne, Dan Kenney as Sir William Catesby, Matt DeCaro as Edward IV, Wendy Robie as Queen Elizabeth, Mary Ann Thebus as the Duchess of York and Marc Grapey as Lord Mayor of London.
The cast also includes: Jennifer Harmon as Queen Margaret; Phillip James Brannon as Duke of Clarence/Sir James Tyrrel; Mark D. Hines as Ghost of Henry VI; John Lister as Lord Hastings; Andi Bohs as Mistress Shore; Kevin Cox as First Murderer; Brendan Marshall-Rashid as Richmond; Steve Pringle as the Scrivener; Juan Gabriel Ruiz as Lord Gray; Demetrios Troy as Lord Rivers; James Anthony Zoccoli as Sir Robert Brakenbury, and the children played by Scott Baity, Jr., Samuel L. Johnston, Matthew Heffernan and Joshua Heinlein.
Directing the production and leading the creative team is Chicago Shakespeare Theater Artistic Director Barbara Gaines who, since founding the company in 1986, has directed more than 30 of William Shakespeare’s plays. Last season she directed the critically acclaimed Macbeth, following her 2008 staging of The Comedy of Errors, which garnered four Joseph Jefferson Awards, including Best Production and Best Director of a Play. She is a recipient of the prestigious Honorary OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in recognition of her contributions strengthening British-American cultural relations. In 2010, she will make her debut at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, directing a new production of Verdi’s Macbeth, featuring Thomas Hampson in the title role. In partnership with Executive Director Criss Henderson, Ms. Gaines has broadened CST’s artistic programming to encompass, alongside Shakespeare’s canon, theatrical presentations for students and families, musicals, and collaborations with international theater artists. Recognized for its consistent level of artistic achievement contributing to the growth of theater nationally, CST has been honored with the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award as well as three of London’s Laurence Olivier Awards and 54 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Artistic Excellence in Chicago Theatre.
Gaines is joined by a veteran CST creative team that includes: Scenic Designer Neil Patel; Costume Designer Susan E. Mickey; Lighting Designer Robert Wierzel; Sound Designer Lindsay Jones; Wig & Makeup Designer Melissa Veal; Properties Master Michelle N. Warner; Fight Choreographer Robin H. McFarquhar and Verse Coach Kevin Gudahl.
Richard III runs September 23 through November 22, 2009 in the Courtyard Theater at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. For further information and to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Programs in conjunction with performances of Richard III include:
- Pre•Amble: half-hour introductory lectures on Richard III presented by scholars will take place 10/4, 10/11,10/18, 10/25, 11/8, 11/15, 11/22 at 1:00 p.m. and 10/10, 11/7, 11/14,11/21 at 2:00 p.m. Admission is free and reservations are not required.
- Cast Call: an informal discussion with the actors in the Theater’s Pub will be Friday, October 9, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. prior to the 7:30 p.m. curtain. Admission is free. No reservations are 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, November 12, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. Patrons should reserve a headset when purchasing tickets in advance. “Access Shakespeare” tickets are $27.
- The duo sign-interpreted performance for patrons with hearing impairments will be held on Friday, November 13, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. Patrons should request the specific seating area when purchasing tickets in advance. “Access Shakespeare” tickets are $35.
|Dates||September 23– November 22, 2009|| || || |
|Performance Schedule|| || || |
|Previews|| || || || |
| ||Wednesday||September 23||7:30 p.m.|| |
| ||Thursday||September 24||7:30 p.m.|| |
| ||Friday||September 25||7:30 p.m.|| |
| ||Saturday||September 26||7:30 p.m.|| |
| ||Sunday||September 27||7:30 p.m.|| |
| ||Tuesday||September 29||7:30 p.m.|| |
| || || || || |
|Performances||Weekdays|| || || |
| ||Tuesday||November 3, 10, 17||7:30 p.m.|| |
| ||Wednesday||October 7|| 7:30 p.m.|| |
| || ||October 14, 21, 28||1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.|| |
| || ||November 4, 11|| || |
| || ||November 18||1:00 p.m.|| |
| ||Thursday||October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29||7:30 p.m.|| |
| || ||November 5, 12, 19|| || |
| || || || || |
| ||Weekends|| || || |
| ||Friday||October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30||7:30 p.m.|| |
| || ||November 6, 13, 20|| || |
| ||Saturday||October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31||3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.|| |
| || ||November 7, 14, 21|| || |
| ||Sunday||October 11, 18, 25||2:00 p.m.|| |
| || ||November 1, 8|| || |
| || ||October 4||2:00 p.m.and 6:00 p.m.|| |
|Ticket Prices|| || || || |
| ||Previews||$44|| || |
| ||Tue, Wed, Thu||$55|| || |
| ||Fri||$68|| || |
| ||Sat, Sun Mat||$44|| || |
| ||Sun Eve||$55|| || |
| ||Chicago Shakespeare Theater|
| ||800 E Grand Avenue|
| ||groups of 10 or more|
Land O’Frost is a proud partner of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Subscription Series.
Team Shakespeare arts-in-education activities for Richard III are supported, in part, by Baxter International.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.