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Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces 2012/13 Season

Chicago—March 12, 2012—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson announced today CST's2012/13 Season, which begins with a major new production of Sunday in the Park with George by musical team Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, and also includes theChicago premiere of The School for Lies by playwright David Ives and productions of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Henry VIII. The Theater's extensive World's Stage lineup of international programming for 2012/13 ranges from the American premiere of A History of Everything by Belgian company Ontroerend Goed to the return of the National Theatre of Scotland's internationally acclaimed Black Watch and its inventive, supernatural The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart. CST's annual CST Family programming kicks off this summer with Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Additional productions will be announced for the 2012/13 Season later this summer, including an ongoing collaboration between Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Australia's one step at a time like this (en route) creating for the City of Chicago a world premiere pedestrian-based live art event inspired by Shakespeare's Measure for Measureand set in the city's urban landscape.

The Theater's 2012/13 Subscription Series in CST's Courtyard Theater begins with a major new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George under the direction of CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin (Chicago Shakespeare's Follies, Broadway's The Color Purple and upcoming Honeymoon in Vegas). Turning CST's Courtyard Theater into a life-sized masterpiece from September 26 to November 4, 2012, the production is inspired by Georges Seurat's famous paintingA Sunday on La Grande Jatte–1884, which hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago's permanent collection. Playwright David Ives continues his relationship with Chicago Shakespeare in the 2012/13 Season, following his world premiere CST commission of an adaptation of Georges Feydeau's A Flea in her Ear, with Artistic Director Barbara Gaines' production of The School for LiesDecember 4, 2012–January 20, 2013. Hilarious rhyming couplets and contemporary slang abound in Ives' deliciously off-color tribute to Molière, set in the seventeenth century and based on the plot of The Misanthrope. Next in the season is William Shakespeare's Julius CaesarFebruary 5–March 24, 2013, staged by director Jonathan Munby, whose credits include productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse in London. Using the fractured political landscape of present-day Washington as a backdrop, Munby's staging of Shakespeare's tale of conspiracy, assassination and civil unrest will draw current events into eerily sharp focus. In the spring, Barbara Gainescloses the 2012/13 Subscription Series and marks new territory for CST with its first production of William Shakespeare's Henry VIIIApril 30–June 16, 2013. This story of England's most notorious king—known for his six marriages and frequent public beheadings—reveals the political machinations and sexual exploits of Anne Boleyn's rise to power.

On the heels of the previously announced World's Stage presentation of Simon Callow inBeing Shakespeare April 18–29, 2012, at the Broadway Playhouse, CST's 2012/13 World's Stage programming continues in May with the American premiere of Belgian company Ontroerend Goed's A History of EverythingMay 25 to June 3, 2012, Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. One of the most talked-about theater collectives in the world, Ontroerend Goed creates intimate, unique experiences that communicate with audiences in surprising ways. In A History of Everything, the artists take on the mammoth task of telling our collective history, from the present day all the way back to the Big Bang—in one extraordinary evening. Chicago Shakespeare also brings the National Theatre of Scotland back to Chicago for a limited run of its internationally acclaimed Black Watch,October 10–21, 2012, at the Chicago Park District's expansive Broadway Armory. This return engagement gives Chicago audiences another chance to witness the impassioned telling of a heroic Scottish regiment's tour in Iraq, widely ranked among Chicago's best plays of 2011. CST also presents another wholly unique production from the National Theatre of Scotland in 2012: David Greig's new verse play The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart. Supernatural storytelling, Scottish border ballads and devilish encounters combine in this dream-like journey of self-discovery about uptight academic Prudentia. The Faustian tale unfolds among and around the audience Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, September 26–October 28, 2012, in a music-filled romp of rhyming couplets that The Herald's five-star review raved is "rambunctiously life-affirming and touchingly beautiful."

This summer, Chicago Shakespeare Theater continues its commitment to present affordable, professional family theater with Jeff Award-winning director Rachel Rockwell's staging of Disney's Beauty and the BeastJune 28–August 26, 2012Tickets start at just $18 for this 75-minute musical tale of a prince who must obtain a beautiful woman's love in order to break the spell that transformed him into a wretched beast. Previously, Rockwell directed the critically acclaimed, world premiere CST Family musicals The Adventures of Pinocchio and The Emperor's New Clothes in the summers of 2011 and 2010. Family and educational programming for the 2012/13 Season also includes CST's annual Short Shakespeare! presentation, a 75-minute abridged production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet presented to student groups and family audiences at CST, February 23–March 23, 2013, before embarking on a Midwest school tour as part of the Theater's commitment to reach 40,000 students and teachers annually.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 2012/13 Season Calendar

Productions announced as of press time March 12, 2012

FROM ENGLAND – Simon Callow in
Being Shakespeare 

April 18–29, 2012

by Jonathan Bate | directed by Tom Cairns

FROM BELGIUM – Ontroerend Goed's
A History of Everything

May 25–June 3, 2012
directed by Alexander Devriendt | presented by Ontroerend Goed, Sydney Theatre Company, Drum Theatre Plymouth, Richard Jordan Productions Ltd and Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam in association with Sydney Festival

Disney's Beauty and the Beast

June 28–August 26, 2012
music by Alan Menken | lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice | book by Linda Woolverton | directed by Rachel Rockwell

Sunday in the Park with George

September 26–November 4, 2012
music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim | book by James Lapine | directed by Gary Griffin

FROM SCOTLAND – The National Theatre of Scotland's
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

September 26–October 28, 2012
created by David Greig | directed by Wils Wilson

FROM SCOTLAND – The National Theatre of Scotland's
Black Watch

October 10–21, 2012
by Gregory Burke | directed by John Tiffany

The School for Lies

December 4, 2012–January 20, 2013
based on Molière's The Misanthrope | by David Ives | directed by Barbara Gaines

Julius Caesar

February 5–March 24, 2013
by William Shakespeare | directed by Jonathan Munby

Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet

February 23–March 23, 2013
by William Shakespeare

Henry VIII

April 30–June 16, 2013
by William Shakespeare | directed by Barbara Gaines

A broad selection of affordable tickets are available for Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 2012/13 Season, providing opportunities for a diverse audience base to interact with the Theater in different ways—ranging from a season-long subscription and imported works from across the world, to family-friendly productions and ongoing discounts for students and young professionals. Tickets for Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 2012/13 Season are on sale now, with three- and four-play subscription packages staring at $132. Through the Theater's "CST for $20" program, thousands of $20 tickets each season are available to young professionals and students under the age of 35. Tickets for CST's World's Stage productions of Being Shakespeare and A History of Everything begin at just $35. Tickets to CST Family performances of Disney's Beauty and the Beast start at $18. For more information on purchasing tickets, visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com or call the CST Box Office at 312.595.5600.

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