Chicago Shakespeare Theater Presents
A Free Aquatic Spectacle from France
Ilotopie’s Water Fools (Fous de Bassin)
Two Nights Only, August 21 and 22
ChicagoSeptember 18, 2009Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) kicks off its celebrated World’s Stage Series this summer hosting the American debut of Ilotopie, a French performance troupe world-renowned for creating waterborne theatrical wonders. The company’s production of Water Fools (Fous de Bassin) is a thrilling 60 minute spectacle transforming the waters of Lake Michigan into a world where cars drive on water, heads burst into flames and a 12-foot tall lady rides by on a penny farthing. Reminiscent of last year’s aerial performance spectacle Maudits Sonnants performed by Transe Express, Chicago audiences will be thrilled by another breathtaking performancethis time atop the waters of Lake Michigan. The two-night engagement of Water Fools (Fous de Bassin) is free to the public with limited $15 reserved seating available online. Performances are Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22 on Lake Michigan at the eastern end of Navy Pier. Performances begin at sundown. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit www.chicagoshakes.com.
Water Fools (Fous de Bassin) is performed with a cast of 15 players who magically move atop the waters with the aid of ingeniously engineered skiffs made invisible to the shore-side spectators. The performance is a 60-minute spectacle filled with humorous vignettes and interactions lifted from everyday life but made refreshingly anew on the uncommon and awe-inspiring stage of Lake Michigan.
Borne out of a series of public or “interventionist” performances created in the early 1980s, Ilotopie has since risen to become a respected leader in the forms of street theater and artistic spectacle. The company is comprised of 21 artists and 10 technicians who perform worldwide at major landmarks including the Thames in London, the River Seine in Paris, the Grand Canal de Versailles in France, as well as international festivals throughout Europe, Australia and Singapore.
"The World’s Stage Series brings to Chicago some of the most celebrated artists from around the world," says Executive Director Criss Henderson. "The series showcases not only world-renowned artists and performers, but also the city of Chicago as a major hub of international culture. Bringing Ilotopie to Navy Pier provides Chicagoans and our visitors the opportunity to witness some of the world’s most incredible and inspiring performers using our City’s beautiful Lake Michigan waterfront as a unique and limitless performance space."
Water Fools (Fous de Bassin) kicks off the 2009/10 World’s Stage Series, which has established CST as Chicago’s foremost destination for international theater artists. Of the 21 international productions hosted by the World’s Stage Series, several have had French origins, including last summer’s Compagnie Transe Express; James Thierré’s Compagnie du Hanneton; and La Comédie-Francaise. Other international companies include: The Abbey Theatre from Dublin, Shakespeare’s Globe from London, the Chekhov International Theatre Festival from Moscow and Farber Foundry from South Africa. This fall, CST will continue its 2009/10 World’s Stage Series with Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce performed by one of Ireland’s premiere theater companies, Druid October 28November 1, 2009 Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare.
Water Fools (Fous de Bassin) runs Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22 on Lake Michigan at the eastern end of Navy Pier. Performances are free to the public with limited $15 reserved seating available online. Performances begin at sundown. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit www.chicagoshakes.com.
Water Fools Presenting Sponsor: Motorola Foundation.
In partnership with and with generous support from Étant donnés: The French-American Fund for the Performing Arts and the Cultural Services of the French Consulate in Chicago.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.