Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Benito Juarez Community Academy
announce special performance of
The Taming of the Shrew
at Benito Juarez Community Academy Performing Arts Center
in Pilsen as part of their ongoing partnership
Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Presented in English with projected Spanish translation and
featuring a prologue by leading members of the Pilsen community
Chicago—February 29, 2012—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announced today a special performance of Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew at Benito Juarez Community Academy Performing Arts Center in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood on Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. The 75-minute abridged production of Shakespeare's lively battle of the sexes—presented in English with projected Spanish translation and featuring a prologue by leading members of the Pilsen community—is part of CST's ongoing partnership with Benito Juarez Community Academy (BJCA). With the support of The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Shakespeare is working to realize BJCA's potential as a performing arts facility and community center for greater Pilsen. The culmination of this partnership will be the presentation of Romeo y Julieta, a bilingual adaptation of Shakespeare's tragic romance, by a cast of Chicago Shakespeare and local Pilsen actors in the BJCA auditorium in fall 2012.
Tickets for CST's special presentation of Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew on Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. at Benito Juarez Community Academy Performing Arts Center (1450-1510 W. Cermak Road) are now on sale for $5-$10 and support the development of Benito Juarez Community Academy Performing Arts Center. Free tickets will be available through select Pilsen community organizations. On the night of the performance, free tickets will also be made available on a first-come, first-served basis. This CST Family production is most enjoyed by ages 10 and up. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com/Juarez.
The wildly spirited Kate and machismo-driven Petruchio scream, fight and woo their way into one another's heart in Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew, adapted and staged by Jeff Award-winning director Rachel Rockwell. Shakespeare's original verse and Elizabethan dress combine with rock-inspired music in Rockwell's production to connect audiences with the Bard's timeless battle of the sexes—resulting in a high=energy, entertaining introduction to Shakespeare. Following the performance, audience members are welcome to join the cast for a discussion in the auditorium and photo opportunities in the lobby of Benito Juarez Community Academy Performing Arts Center. The lobby will hold a student art installation crafted through the National Museum of Mexican Art's residency at the high school: a program providing BJCA teachers with curricular resources and their students with hands-on art activities led by the Museum's teaching artists.
The cast of Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew includes CST favorite Ericka Ratcliff, who performs the role of strong-willed Katharina after appearing in Chicago Shakespeare's Jeff Award-winning Shakespeare "hip-hoptation" Funk It Up About Nothin' at CST, Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, London and a six-week Australian tour. Performing the role of Katharina's sparring partner, Petruchio, is Matt Mueller, whose credits include numerous productions at the Utah and Colorado Shakespeare Festivals. Five-time Jeff Award nominee Don Forston returns as Baptista after performing the role of Geppetto in Rockwell's acclaimed world premiere CST Family musical The Adventures of Pinocchio last summer. Local comedic actor Alex Goodrich returns to CST to perform the role of Tranio.
Additional actors returning to Chicago Shakespeare for Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew are Jeffrey Baumgartner as Vicentio, Jessie Fisher as Biondella, Josť Antonio Garcia as Curtis, Nicholas Harazin as Lucentio, Eric Leonard as Pedant, Matthew Sherbach as Hortensio and Mick Weber as Gremio. The ensemble is rounded out by Tiffany Yvonne Cox as Bianca and Terrence Mosley as Grumio.
Jeff Award-winning Chicago director Rachel Rockwell returns to Chicago Shakespeare Theater to adapt and direct Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew after staging CST's critically acclaimed, world premiere
family musicals The Adventures of Pinocchio and The Emperor's New Clothes. Her work as a choreographer has been seen on CST's stages in productions including The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet and Measure for Measure. In addition to regional credits throughout the country, Rockwell's Chicago-area directing and choreography credits include Jeff Award-winning productions at The Marriott Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, Noble Fools Theatricals and Drury Lane Oakbrook, where Rockwell garnered a Jeff Award for Best Director for Ragtime.
Joining Rockwell's production team for Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew are Scenic Designer Kevin Depinet, Costume Designer Jacqueline Firkins, Lighting Designer Jesse Klug, Sound Designer James Savage, Composer Kevin O'Donnell, Wig and Makeup Designer Melissa Veal, Properties Master Chelsea Meyers and Verse Coach Kevin Gudahl.
About Chicago Shakespeare Theater's partnership with Benito Juarez Community Academy
Chicago Shakespeare Theater's ongoing partnership with Benito Juarez Community Academy provides individualized curriculum-based support to the high school, while also working to realize BJCA's potential as a performing arts facility and community center for greater Pilsen. Members of the CST's artistic and education staff are infusing theater arts into the school's curriculum through in-class and after-school student work, theatrical performances at CST and in the school's auditorium, and professional development for teachers. BJCA will also host performances by other Chicago cultural institutions in the coming months. The culmination of this partnership will be the presentation of Romeo y Julieta, a bilingual adaptation of Shakespeare's tragic romance, by a cast of Chicago Shakespeare and local Pilsen actors in the BJCA auditorium in fall 2012. Together CST and BJCA hope to demonstrate how great art crosses all barriers, illuminating our shared humanity, despite differences in time and place.
About Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this season, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company, known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare's genius for intricate storytelling, musicality of language and depth of feeling for the human condition. Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare's work has been recognized internationally with three of London's prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards, and by the Chicago theater community with 62 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Artistic Excellence. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to producing extraordinary classic productions, new works and family fare; unlocking Shakespeare's work for educators and students; and serving as Chicago's cultural ambassador through its World's Stage Series.
At its permanent, state-of-the-art facility on Navy Pier, CST houses two intimate theater spaces: the 500-seat Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the 200-seat Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Through a year-round season encompassing more than 500 performances, CST leads the community as the largest employer of Chicago actors and attracts 200,000 audience members annually—including nearly 16,000 subscribers and 40,000 students and teachers.