Welcome to SHAKES@HOME: our new digital platform updated regularly with engaging, original content from our artists, educators, and staff. Whether you are hungry for culture, seeking a little motivation or a momentary escape, you can turn to us for inspiration, community—and a little fun along the way. Together, let’s connect, learn something new, and bring the Bard home! Explore the categories below:
SPOTLIGHT ON SHAKESPEARE
Chicago actor Robert Schleifer shares an evocative interpretation of Sonnet 145 (“Those lips that Love's own hand did make...”) in American Sign Language alongside the text, as part of our ongoing Living Room Sonnet Series.
Chicago actors are refining their audition technique with a free weekly webinar from Casting Director Bob Mason via Zoom. Each Monday, Bob coaches three artists through Shakespeare monologues. All are welcome to observe and dive deeper into an actor’s process.
Get a front row seat to this past winter’s Chicago Shakespeare SLAM Final Bout! After countless hours of rehearsals and workshops, 500 high school students, friends, and families filled The Yard to cheer, dance, and geek out over Shakespeare.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s “asides”—when characters speak directly to the audience and pull them into the story—this podcast dives deeper into our work with valuable insights from our team of scholars.
In collaboration with the Pritzker Military Museum & Library to honor our armed forces, Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and scholar Stuart Sherman discuss the soldier’s role in Shakespeare’s plays, through the lens of her Tug of War saga.
Dive into our archives with a playlist of memorable moments from Chicago Shakespeare musicals through the years. Ranging from Sondheim classics to summer family musicals, let us sing out and lift your spirits through song.
A stellar line-up of special guests celebrated our namesake’s 456th birthday with a 30‑minute tribute to the Bard hosted by Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Creative Producer Rick Boynton. Stream the event on-demand now!
We’ve gathered some of our favorite Chicago Shakespeare moments in a video playlist to help lift your spirits during these uncertain times. Go ahead: take the stage, “speak the speech,” and sing along!
Our namesake wrote a lot about food—he even baked some characters into it! Discover recipes with actor/chef John Tufts (Nell Gwynn, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Tug of War) from his new book, Fat Rascals: Dining at Shakespeare's Table.
From classic hits to pop favorites, we've put together the perfect playlist just for you. Kick off your weekend with Shakespeare-inspired songs we’ve been playing on repeat. (We think the Bard would tune in, too.)
Every summer, collaborations with neighborhood organizations across the city embody the unifying spirit of the Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour. Many of these partners are now standing up against injustice, engaged in powerful, on-the-ground relief efforts that you can help support.
We’ve long welcomed to our stages the ABLE Ensemble—an artistic collective for young adults with Down syndrome and other developmental differences. Tune in to the first episode of their new web series re-imagining The Comedy of Errors.
NBC‑5 profiles Stream & Study, our free education initiative launched in response to unprecedented challenges in the transition to remote learning. During the spring semester, thousands of students nationwide streamed our 2017 Romeo and Juliet and engaged in activities tailored for their virtual classrooms.
Leading civic and cultural figures paint a vibrant portrait of how Shakespeare comes alive in Chicago through theater, opera, ballet, improv, and contemporary art.
In partnership with UIC, our production team is mobilizing people across the city to sew thousands of desperately needed patient face masks for hospitals—and providing a source of income to skilled costume artisans at the same time.
CREATE & LEARN
Try your hand at bringing the stage to the page with a Shakespeare-inspired coloring book for all ages created by the artisans on our production team. There’s no limit to the magic you can create!
For the students in your life—whether you are a teacher practicing remotely, or a family helping children learn at home—these drama-based activities will engage students with complex texts—and have fun in the process!
Parents, engage your children—away from the screen—with print-at-home (and fun to look at) activity pages, inspired by a few of our favorite summer family musicals. Let’s learn, create, and play together!
“The game is afoot”—flex those mental muscles with interactive diversions inspired by Shakespeare and our productions. Try your hand with digital jigsaw puzzles, mad libs, and word searches for the whole family.
Our teacher handbooks are NOT JUST FOR TEACHERS! Each offers historical background, play summaries, a glimpse into a production’s design—and dozens of active, up-on-your-feet activities for anyone who could use some creative fun with Shakespeare!
THE ART OF CRAFT
In 2021, we join Lyric Opera in presenting Blue, chronicling the tragedy of a Black police officer’s family when their son is killed by another officer. Librettist/Director Tazewell Thompson shared, "I add my voice to those of the characters singing in the opera, and to those of the real families suffering great losses."
Amir Abdullah—who performed the title role in our 2018 abridged production of Macbeth for 30,000 students—provides insight into how exhilarating live theater can be: “It’s like being on a roller coaster...you don’t know where it’s going to take you.
Looking to spruce up your space? Assistant Properties Supervisor Persephone Lawrence-Wescott demonstrates how to transform a piece of furniture with simple DIY reupholstering techniques that you can try at home.