In a high-risk world of quick profits and borrowed luxury, Timon is a god among men. But can this titan survive when the tides of fortune turn? From performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company and on Broadway to the Star Wars film series and beyond, internationally celebrated actor Ian McDiarmid is brilliantly matched to the challenging role of Timon. And Artistic Director Barbara Gaines' gripping new production features the kind of inventive staging and electrifying performances that always makes an evening at Chicago Shakespeare one to remember—book your tickets today!
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Timon of Athens
Media Sponsor: WTTW11 | 98.7WFMT
Timon of Athens is presented in the Jentes Family Auditorium.
Timon is the toast of Athens. His pocketbook is open to all and the admiring hordes sing his praises and lavishly share his wealth. Alcibiades, the great defender of Athens, is among those who feast on Timon's bounty. Timon's gifts seem endless and, as his followers gather at this banquet table, their benefactor toasts to the power and reciprocity of friendship. But Timon's money is not his own and creditors come calling. Ignoring the warnings of his loyal steward Flavius and assured he can rely on the support of friends, Timon asks for help all over Athens. He receives excuses in return. Even as they enjoy his gifts, his former friends abandon him. Crazed by their betrayal, Timon throws a final banquet of stones and warm water to his stunned guests.
Alcibiades, too, is surprised by ingratitude. Despite his service to the city, the senators banish him from Athens for daring to intervene in the trial of a friend. Alcibiades vows to round up his former army and ransack the city.
Vowing to shun all society, Timon seeks refuge in the woods beyond Athens' walls and denounces all humankind. Hungry, he digs in the earth for nourishment but finds only gold. Word spreads of Timon's newfound wealth and friends predictably return, seeking him out in his cave. Raging in his misanthropy, Timon tells all of Athens to go hang, but it is himself he hangs, committing suicide and leaving behind only his epitaphs as Alcibiades negotiates with the senators and enters the city in peace.