For available dates, please call the Education Department at 312.595.5678.
Each year, 40,000 students are introduced to Shakespeare through the work on our stages. For 2,000 middle school and high school teachers, our work supports and enriches the work in classrooms across Chicagoland and the Midwest. It is said sometimes that "Shakespeare is intended to be seen, not read"—a statement that oversimplifies the relationship between print and stage, but does point to the importance, unmatched power, and pleasure of Shakespeare in performance. We know that there is simply no better way to actively engage students in Shakespeare than through performance.
With the support of charitable community sponsorships and individual donations, Chicago Shakespeare Theater can offer subsidized, deeply discounted tickets to both full-length and adbridged mainstage productions. Throughout the season, morning matinee performances are scheduled to accommodate school schedules and are reserved entirely for student audiences. Chicago Shakespeare Theater also offers free teacher workshops and complimentary educational materials to extend the experience beyond the theater and into the classroom.
Discounted Ticket Prices
For groups of 15 or more students, tickets are $17 per student for full-length productions and $10 per student for abridged Short Shakespeare! productions. Teachers receive one complimentary chaperone ticket for every 20–25 students.
Because of the high demand for student matinees, reservations should be made several months in advance. Reservations for full-length and abridged Short Shakespeare! shows typically begin the previous spring. Schools may make a reservation by calling CST's Education Department at 312.595.5678. A reservation is not final until the contract has been signed and a 25% deposit received.
25% of the total cost will be due as a deposit no later than two weeks after a phone reservation has been made and a contract received in the mail. The balance (75%) is due three weeks prior to the performance. Payments must be made in a single sum with credit card, check, or cash (in person). Separate checks from individual students are not accepted.
CST understands that the number of students attending the performance may change as the actual date approaches. Schools may decrease a reservation (by up to 10% of the original number) up to four weeks prior to the scheduled performance. Schools may increase a reservation in advance of a scheduled performance, if seats are still available.
Once a contract has been signed for a performance, it is a final sale. To avoid cancellations, please check your school calendar for test dates, holidays, report card pick-up dates, special activities, etc. before making your reservation.
Reservations may be made for student groups of 15 or more. To serve students from many different schools and communities, a limited number of tickets may be reserved by each school. (Limits apply per school for the entire run of a show.)
• Full-length student matinees: maximum 120 students
• Abridgment AM: maximum 200 students
• Abridgment PM: maximum 470 students
• All Public performances: maximum 90 students (per performance)
Adult chaperones are responsible for ensuring that their students' conduct is appropriate during their theater visit. CST offers one complimentary chaperone ticket per 20-25 students; additional chaperones pay full Team Shakespeare price. For groups larger than 120 students, CST requires each chaperone to sign an agreement form.
There are numerous options for lunch on Navy Pier. Groups can choose to bring lunches to eat in the Crystal Gardens or other public spaces on Navy Pier, or visit the Navy Pier food court. For sit-down dining, CST offers special student discounts through Riva Restaurant.
Getting to Navy Pier
From the North
East on I-90/94 (Kennedy Expressway) to Ohio Street. East on Ohio. Right on Fairbanks/Columbus Drive. Left on Illinois Street, driving east to Navy Pier. Or, south on Lake Shore Drive to Grand Avenue/Illinois Street exit. Left on Illinois (2nd light), driving east to Navy Pier.
From the South
West on I-90/94 (Dan Ryan to Kennedy Expressway) to Ohio Street. East on Ohio. Right on Fairbanks/Columbus Drive. Left on Illinois Street, driving east to Navy Pier. Or, north on Lake Shore Drive to Grand Avenue/Illinois Street exit. Right on Illinois (1st light), driving east to Navy Pier.
From the West
East on I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway). Continue east (expressway ends) on Congress Parkway to Columbus Drive. Left on Columbus to Illinois Street. Right on Illinois, driving east to Navy Pier.
There is no bus parking or tarrying allowed on Navy Pier. Free on-street day bus parking is available at four locations approximately 10 minutes from Navy Pier. Motorcoach parking is also available at McCormick Place for a $20 fee. No reservation are needed. Please visit www.choosechicago.com and link first to 1) Travel Professionals and then 2) Motorcoach Parking for a map to bus parking.
Van and Minibus Parking
15-passenger vans and minibuses shorter than 7'9" may park on the first floor of the East parking garage only. Minivans, and other vehicles shorter than 6'7" may park on any floor of the West garage, where parking is dedicated for Chicago Shakespeare Theater patrons. Confirm the final number of vehicles you will be driving with the Education Department, at 312.595.5678. Any vehicle taller than 7'9" must be parked off Navy Pier. Interactive parking information for sites off Navy Pier is available at www.chicagoparkingmap.com; click "Downtown Chicago."
It takes time to welcome and seat each group. Late seating is very difficult in CST's courtyard-style theater, so to ensure the best possible experience for all students in attendance, please plan travel according to the following schedule:
• 9:30 a.m. curtain time, please arrive by 8:45 a.m.
• 10:00 a.m. curtain time, please arrive by 9:15 a.m.
• 10:30 a.m. curtain time, please arrive by 9:45 a.m.
• 12:30 p.m. curtain time, please arrive by 12:00 p.m.
Please call CST's Education Department with questions at 312.595.5678.