Chicago Shakespeare Theater Launches 25th Anniversary with
Silver Jubilee Gala on June 6, 2011
Awards Honor John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe, Sir Peter Hall and Sir Derek Jacobi
Artistic Program Stars Tony Award Winners Heather Headley and Michael Cerveris
Fundraising to Benefit CST's Team Shakespeare Education Program
Chicago—April 27, 2011—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) launches its 25th Anniversary celebration on June 6, 2011, with the Silver Jubilee Gala at its home on Navy Pier, benefiting the Regional Theatre Tony Award recipient's far-reaching Team Shakespeare education program. Through the leadership of Silver Jubilee Gala Lead Sponsor Exelon, the support of the 25th Anniversary Host Committee and the advocacy of CST's Board of Directors, the Theater anticipates raising a record amount in support of its continuing commitment to students and teachers. CST inaugurates the "Spirit of Shakespeare Awards" at the Silver Jubilee Gala, honoring those who keep the spirit of Shakespeare alive through community service and artistic leadership. This year's Civic Honorees are John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe, committed leaders in civic, education and cultural activities; and Artistic Honorees are Sir Peter Hall, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Sir Derek Jacobi, internationally renowned stage and film actor. The Silver Jubilee Gala also features a star-studded performance by Tony Award winners Heather Headley and Michael Cerveris, who returns to Chicago Shakespeare after appearing in Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin's production of A Little Night Music. Additional CST veteran actors performing at the Silver Jubilee Gala include Kevin Gudahl, Ross Lehman, Greg Vinkler and Larry Yando.
Celebrating its 25th Season, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare's genius for intricate storytelling, musicality of language and depth of feeling for the human condition. The Silver Jubilee Gala benefits the Theater's Team Shakespeare education and civic engagement programs, one of the country's largest arts-in-education programs offered by a professional theater. CST annually serves 50,000 students and 1,500 educators from diverse backgrounds by producing world-class productions for student audiences (both at its home on Navy Pier and on a five-week Midwest tour), an original abridged production by an ensemble of students and teachers from under-served communities, and a year-round intensive series of continuing education workshops for educators.
"Chicago Shakespeare Theater has served as a major cultural asset, a leader in providing greater access to arts education and a wonderful representative of our city for the past quarter century," said John and Jeanne Rowe. "We have enjoyed watching them grow for many years now, and are pleased to be honored at this milestone event. We look forward to celebrating Barbara Gaines' artistic vision and Criss Henderson's entrepreneurial spirit, and eagerly anticipate what the next quarter century will hold."
As civic leaders, John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe are dedicated to improving education, celebrating diversity, and supporting the arts. The Rowes are proud of founding the Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, Rowe Elementary School and their six chairs at colleges and museums. For Mr. Rowe, as Chairman and CEO of Exelon Corporation, giving back to the community is an important business imperative.
Alongside Silver Jubilee Gala Lead Sponsor Exelon, the 25th Anniversary Host Committee includes Abbott, Thomas F. Aichele (American Airlines), Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, Brit and Marilyn Bartter (J.P. Morgan), Rita and John Canning, Ellen Costello and Michael Judge (Harris Bank), Harve A. Ferrill, Sonja and Conrad Fischer, Barbara and Richard Franke, Greg and Christa Gallopoulos (General Dynamics Corporation), Virginia and Gary Gerst, Ellen and Paul Gignilliat, Joseph A. Gregoire (PNC), Jan and Bill Jentes, Land O'Frost, Susan C. Levy (Jenner & Block LLP), Raymond and Judy McCaskey, Mark Ouweleen and Sarah Harding, Sheila Penrose and Ernie Mahaffey (Jones Lang LaSalle), Dushan and Nancy Petrovich (Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company), Richard Porter and Lydia Marti (Kirkland & Ellis LLP), J.B. and M.K. Pritzker, Glenn Richter (Nuveen Investments), Carole and Gordon Segal, David and Barbara Speer (Illinois Tool Works), Carl and Marilynn Thoma, Bill and Char Tomazin (KPMG), William Von Hoene, Jr. and Nikki Zollar (Exelon Corporation), Rick and Cate Waddell (Northern Trust) and United Airlines. Fundraising for the Silver Jubilee Gala has already surpassed that of Chicago Shakespeare's 2010 Corporate Night, which raised more than $718,000 for Team Shakespeare programming.
The Silver Jubilee Gala showcases Chicago Shakespeare Theater's home on Navy Pier. Approximately 600 guests will enjoy a three-course dinner, sponsored by Food For Thought, served throughout the Theater's multi-level lobbies, each offering views of Chicago's skyline. Following dinner, guests gather in CST's Courtyard Theater for a special performance featuring Tony Award winners Heather Headley and Michael Cerveris, in addition to CST veteran actors Kevin Gudahl, Ross Lehman, Greg Vinkler and Larry Yando. Headley garnered a Tony Award for performing the title role in Aida, and received a GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album for Audience of One. Cerveris, who won a Tony Award for his turn in Assassins, returns to Chicago Shakespeare, where he appeared in CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin's production of A Little Night Music. The Silver Jubilee Gala will also include the presentation of Chicago Shakespeare's inaugural "Spirit of Shakespeare Awards," honoring John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe, Sir Peter Hall and Sir Derek Jacobi.
Sir Peter Hall is one of the world's most celebrated directors of theater, film and opera. He was the Founder/Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company; Director of the Royal National Theatre; Artistic Director of Glyndebourne Opera; Founder/Director of The Peter Hall Company; and Founding Director/Director Emeritus of The Rose Theatre Kingston. Sir Peter is the recipient of many awards in the UK and Europe as well as two Tony Awards. He was Knighted in 1977 for services to the British Theatre and in 2010 received the Freedom of the City of London as a tribute to his outstanding contribution to its cultural life.
Sir Derek Jacobi is an internationally renowned classical actor. He has enjoyed a highly successful stage career, including a 2009 Olivier Award for his performance as Malvolio in Twelfth Night and a 1985 Tony Award for his performance as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. Sir Derek's television appearances have earned multiple Emmy Awards, and his film work has twice been recognized with Screen Actor's Guild Awards for his ensemble roles in The King's Speech and Gosford Park. Sir Derek is a founding member of the Royal National Theatre and only the second actor, joined by Laurence Olivier, to hold both Danish and British Knighthoods for services to the theater.
For more information on Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Silver Jubilee Gala or to purchase tickets, please call 312.553.2000 or visit www.pjhchicago.com/cst.
Exelon is Lead Sponsor of the Silver Jubilee Gala.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Programming in the Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare is made possible through generous support from Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
Land O'Frost is a proud sponsor of the 2010/11 Subscription Series at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Mainstage artistic productions in the Courtyard Theater are supported, in part, through a generous leadership grant from the McCormick Foundation.