Twelfth Night director Josie Rourke joins a distinguished list of international guests who have come to direct on our stages. Working with guest artists was an early priority for Chicago Shakespeare and continues to influence the direction of our work.
The first international guest directed Macbeth in 1992. Czech director Roman Polak used a translator to work with his all-Chicago company. Chicago audiences have seen the work of international guest directors regularly since then. Highlights include Michael Pennington's Twelfth Night (1996); Michael Bogdanov's Timon of Athens (1997) and The Winter's Tale (2003); Peter Brook's The Tragedy of Hamlet (2001), Le Costume (2002) and Fragments (2008); Brian Bedford's The School for Scandal (2000); and Marti Maraden's Much Ado About Nothing (2006) and Othello (2008).
Working with directors from different traditions benefits the theater by expanding approaches to the work. New ideas and techniques challenge practices in unexpected ways. Gaines established meaningful connections with artists abroad early on, and continues to travel regularly to see productions and meet artists. She attended Rourke's production of King John, part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Shakespeare Festival in 2006, and was taken with its great story-telling and theatricality.
Gaines' contributions in bringing together the artistic communities of Chicago and Great Britain have been recognized by being awarded an Honorary OBE, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.