Performances on Navy Pier


As in our schools across the country, theaters, too, are responding to a world changed by the presence of COVID‑19. As we continue to work through various models for a performance calendar and programming for next year, we hope to hear from you, our teachers. Would you take a few minutes and help us think about how best to serve our community of teachers and students in the coming months by completing this short survey?

We can’t wait to see you and your students back with us next year in a variety of ways—at performances, teacher workshops, our high school SLAM. To all of you, here’s to a summer ahead of refueling and healing—and learning—as we all continue to navigate, in the best ways that we can, these uncharted spaces of education.

“I felt like I was a part of it. I could not take my eyes off the stage.”

–Student, Glenbard East High School, Lombard, IL

“Our deepest appreciation for all you do for our students. Your caring, patience, and professionalism are unmatched. You’ve given them giant advantages in understanding Shakespeare and language arts.”

–Teacher, Byrne Elementary School, Chicago

Throughout the academic year, morning and mid-day matinee performances are scheduled to accommodate school schedules and are reserved entirely for student audiences—and with the support of charitable community sponsorships and individual donations, Chicago Shakespeare offers deeply subsidized ticket prices to our full-length and abridged mainstage productions. Extending your students’ experience beyond the theater and into the classroom, we provide free teacher workshops and complimentary teacher resource guides.

Student Group Ticket Prices

For student groups (of 15 or more), ticket prices are: $24 per student for our full-length student matinee productions; $13 per student for our abridged Shakespeare productions. Teachers receive one complimentary chaperone ticket for every 20–25 students, depending upon the students’ ages.

Student group pricing is also available for our subscribed public performances, as well, as low as $35 per student. Teachers receive one complimentary chaperone ticket for each student group attending a subscribed public performance.


Because of the high demand for our student matinees, reservations should be made several months in advance. Reservations for full-length and our abridged productions begin the previous spring. A reservation is not final until the contract has been signed and the 25% deposit is received.

Payment Policy

25% of the total cost of the ticket purchase is due as a deposit two weeks after a phone reservation has been made and the contract/s received in the mail. The balance (75%) is due no later than three weeks prior to the performance. Payments must be made in a single sum with credit card, a single check, or cash (in person only). Separate checks from individual students are not accepted.

Adding/Reducing Tickets

We understand that the number of students attending a performance may change as the actual date approaches. Up to four weeks prior to the scheduled performance, schools may decrease a reservation by up to 10% of the original number of purchased tickets. If more tickets are required and seats are still available, schools may add tickets by prior arrangement, speaking with a member of the Education Department, 312.595.5676, no later than two business days before the scheduled performance. Additional students without prior reservation cannot be accommodated at the time of the performance.

Cancellation Policy

Once a contract has been signed for a performance, it is a final sale. To avoid cancellations, we urge teachers to check their school calendar before making a reservation for:

  • test dates
  • holidays
  • report card pick-up dates
  • professional development days
  • special school activities

Group Size

Reservations may be made for groups of 15 or more students. So that we may serve students from many different schools and communities, a limited number of tickets may be reserved by each school.

  • Full-length student matinees: maximum 90 students
  • Abridged Shakespeare, morning performances: maximum 200 students
  • Abridged Shakespeare, afternoon performances: maximum 500 students
  • All public performances: maximum 90 students (per performance date)


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, depending upon the ages of the student group; additional chaperones pay full Team Shakespeare price. For groups larger than 120 students, CST requires each chaperone to return a signed Chaperone Agreement Form in advance.


Many options for lunch on Navy Pier are available. Groups can bring lunches to eat in the Crystal Gardens or other public spaces on Navy Pier, or visit the Navy Pier food court. Brown bag lunches can be stored at room temperature during the show in cartons provided by the school or in bins provided at our doors before students are seated. (Names on lunch bags are appreciated!)

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 Jean Baptiste Point DuSable 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 Jean Baptiste Point DuSable 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.


Bus Parking: 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 $35 fee. No reservation is needed. Please visit 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; 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:

  • 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.




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