A Message from Director of Education Marilyn Halperin
In our lives each of us seeks to make a mark. To make a difference. To influence real change. This is what we do—as educators, as artists, as citizens. When the CPS Shakespeare! ensemble fills this theater for five weeks, our entire staff—from the Production team backstage, to the Events, Advancement, Guest Services, Marketing and Education teams—galvanizes around this program, bringing all of our professional resources, and passion, to bear.
What is it, exactly, that we all find so compelling about CPS Shakespeare!—whether one is a high school sophomore, a National Board Certified English teacher, or a theater artist at the top of her craft? After years of experiencing the work we achieve together, I believe perhaps it is this: that CPS Shakespeare! at its core is an agent of change, a “defy-er” of boundaries. Of racial and cultural boundaries that demarcate one neighborhood from the next. Of boundaries defining our respective roles as students and teachers. Of the perceived boundaries swirling around complex texts, words, language and thought.
Boundaries that protect us from others. And boundaries that protect us from ourselves.
With the help of Shakespeare’s incomparable words, we have come to break down all sorts of walls in our work—and play—together. Taking on the greatest poet in the English language and making his words their own, students (and teachers, too) have come to discover their own voices. These are the lessons from our work as an ensemble.
It is a great privilege given to us that we witness life-changing discoveries, year after year, urged by Shakespeare’s words and nurtured by this wondrous process of exploration, rigor, learning, empathy and teamwork. Together, we experience the education process at its best: creative, engaged, collaborative. And full of challenge.