A Chicago Shakespeare Theater World's Stage Series presentation
A pedestrian-based live art event for the City of Chicago
Created by Australian company one step at a time like this
Begins July 12, 2011
ChicagoJuly 5, 2011Chicago Shakespeare Theater's North American premiere of en route hits city streets from July 12 to August 13, 2011. Audience members are invited on an extraordinary journey through downtown streetscapes, building lobbies and cafés—guided by audio tracks and mobile phone communication—as their shifting perceptions make and remake the city they inhabit. Devised specifically for the City of Chicago by Australian company one step at a time like this, en route creates a place where the private and public, imaginary and concrete, intersect and overlap. Melbourne-based artists Suzanne Kersten, Clair Korobacz, Paul Moir, Julian Rickert and Jackson Castiglione generate their work from collaborative investigations, shaped primarily by the environment of a specific place—inviting audience members to participate in the theatrical event, encouraging rich and personalized experiences. The company is the recipient of a London 2012 Festival Cultural Olympiad commission to create en route in London as part of next summer’s Olympic Games. The piece has received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Australia’s Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals.
The journey of en route incorporates audio tracks, cell phone communication, text messaging, downtown thoroughfares, hotel lobbies, passers-by and cafés. This pedestrian-based, live art event begins with a text message that gives instructions on where to meet the artists. Each of the travelers who go on the “journey” come with their cell phone and borrow a specially programmed Motorola ATRIX™ 4G smartphone, which enhances the experience with music from local Chicago musicians, and spoken text pieces.
Presented in association with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, en route is the centerpiece of Chicago’s 2011 summer tourism initiative, Urban Excursions: Explore Chicago. The presentation of en route is a partnership created by Chicago Shakespeare Theater presenting the signature, interactive pedestrian event with Richard Jordan Productions, Ltd; en route’s official hotel, Kimpton Hotels; additional support from Motorola Mobility Foundation; and assistance from the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. “En route provides an innovative way to see the City of Chicago as a unique form of theater," said Dorothy Coyle, Executive Director, Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture. “It is the perfect centerpiece for Urban Excursions: Explore Chicago, our 2011 summer initiative showcasing hundreds of treks and other urban adventures downtown and throughout the neighborhoods.”
The Chicago performances of en route are presented by Chicago Shakespeare Theater, one step at a time like this and Richard Jordan Productions, Ltd in association with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture. Tickets for en route are $35 and go on sale July 5, 2011. Performances are July 12–August 13, 2011, Tuesday through Saturday, with staggered departures beginning at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. each day. At least 24 hours prior to their scheduled departure time, audience members receive a text message directing them to a starting point just northeast of the Loop. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Chicago Shakespeare Theater box office at 312.595.5600.
About one step at a time like this
The works of Melbourne-based one step at a time like this have a preoccupation with the place and role of the audience. The company’s work is informed, above all, by an emphasis on relationships: between people, and qualities of space and time. The connective and often intimate nature of their work reflects the company's interest in engaging audience members in the activity—and by extension the creation—of a work of meaning. The hope is to create invitations, resonances and pathways toward a more engaged and particularized experience of live theatre and lived relations. In addition to presentations of en route at the 2010 Darwin Festival, 2010 Brisbane Laneways Festival, 2010 Adelaide Fringe Festival and 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival, the company’s recent works include: Contemplating Gold, a walk-in outdoor cinema installation (ANZ bank wall, Castlemaine, presented by Punctum Live Art organization, 2009); Pillow Talk, a bed for casual discourse (commissioned by Arts House, Look Out Between Season, 2009); war lounge (Melbourne Fringe Festival, 2008) in which audiences oscillated between a lounge-bar and three small concrete rooms where performers examined the conflict between their own mediated experience of war and the desire to respond; and Beast Banquet (commissioned by City of Yarra for the re-opening of Fitzroy Town Hall, 2007), which brought the audience to a dysfunctional wedding table as guests, confidants and interlopers.
About Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) offers a broad spectrum of theatrical experiences year-round, engaging and entertaining audiences from all walks of life and from around the world. CST has garnered acclaim under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, including 55 Joseph Jefferson Awards and three Laurence Olivier Awards. The Theater has experienced record growth since moving to its current, state-of-the-art facility on Navy Pier in 1999, and celebrates its 25th Anniversary this season.
The 38-play canon of William Shakespeare forms the core of CST's work and Subscription Series, complemented by other dramatic works—from traditional classical theater to new classics that resonate with Shakespeare's timeless insights into the human condition. Through a 48-week season encompassing more than 600 performances, Chicago Shakespeare leads the community as the largest employer of Chicago actors. CST also contributes to an international community of creative exchange through its World's Stage Series, which affords Chicago audiences prime opportunities to experience the cultural and artistic traditions of some of the world's iconic theater troupes as well as sending some of CST's best works abroad. Chicago Shakespeare is committed to making theater an expansive, ever-changing and lifelong relationship. For family audiences, CST Family presents abridged Shakespeare productions, timeless fables and fairy tales, interactive music concerts and world-premiere musical theater created with families in mind. CST's education outreach program, Team Shakespeare, has served over 1 million students and teachers throughout the Midwest, introducing the Bard's legacy to a new generation.
About the World's Stage Series
Chicago Shakespeare Theater's World's Stage Series gives Chicagoans the unique opportunity to experience different cultural and artistic traditions and some of the world's finest productions without leaving home. In curating the World's Stage, CST takes its cue from Shakespeare's high mark of quality and from the eclectic diversity of Europe's touring circuit, joining an international community of creative exchange. Since the inception of the Series in 2000, CST has hosted over 20 iconic troupes such as The Abbey Theatre (Dublin), Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (London), the Chekhov International Theatre Festival (Moscow) and La Comédie-Française (Paris). The works presented by these companies range from intimate one-man works like South African Omphile Molusi's Itsoseng to grand spectacles like the French troupe Ilotopie's Water Fools (Fous de Bassin), performed entirely atop the waters of Lake Michigan. Chicago Shakespeare Theater has contributed to this exciting international exchange by sending some of its best works abroad, including the Olivier Award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures (2003), Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, which marked CST's debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon (2006) and Funk It Up About Nothin', which garnered acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2008) and completed a six-week Australian tour this year before making its London debut at Theatre Royal Stratford East
Presenting Partners: one step at a time like this and Richard Jordan Productions Ltd
In Association with: Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture
International programming at Chicago Shakespeare Theater is supported, in part, by the Julius Frankel Foundation.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Additional support provided by Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants and Motorola Mobility Foundation.
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 Subscription Series at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Mainstage artistic productions in CST's Courtyard Theater are supported, in part, through a generous grant from the McCormick Foundation.