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Chicago Public Schools' partnership with
Chicago Shakespeare Theater showcased at
National Council of Teachers of English
100th annual convention

CPS students and teachers demonstrate transformative
power of language with excerpt from
CPS Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew

Chicago—November 3, 2011—Chicago Shakespeare Theater's (CST) arts-in-education partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS), CPS Shakespeare!, will be showcased at the 100th annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in Chicago on November 18, 2011, at the International Ballroom of the Hilton Chicago. CPS students and teachers will demonstrate the transformative power of language with an excerpt of CPS Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew, with CST Director of Education Marilyn Halperin joining leading national literacy specialists Kelly Gallagher and Carol Jago as a keynote speaker. Prior to the NCTE convention, full performances of CPS Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew will be presented in CST's Courtyard Theater on Friday, November 4 at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 5 at 10:30 a.m.

"In a time when so much of the local and national dialogue about public schools focuses on challenges, we are honored to share our inspirational work with CPS teachers and students in front of an international audience of educators," says Halperin. "In a literate society, language gives us power. For students who participate in CPS Shakespeare!, taking on Shakespeare's language as their own through the rehearsal process and performance is an act of personal empowerment—both cognitively and emotionally."

CPS Shakespeare! is a central component of CST's Team Shakespeare arts-in-education program, which has served over 1 million students and teachers since its inception in 1991. This unique collaboration brings CPS teachers and students together to work side-by-side as peers and colleagues throughout an intensive five-week rehearsal process, led by a team of theater professionals, including text coaches and a fight choreographer. The script for CPS Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew, adapted by Director Kirsten Kelly, includes portions of verse in Spanish to represent the diversity of the 35-member student and teacher ensemble. Ten high schools from across the Chicago Public School system, including some of the city's most at-risk and underserved programs, collaborated on this year's production: Alcott High School for the Humanities,Al Raby High SchoolCurie Metropolitan High SchoolGage Park High SchoolMather High SchoolMulticultural Academy of ScholarshipPhillips Academy High School,Prosser Career Academy High SchoolSteinmetz Academic Centre and Taft High School.

In addition to the demonstration of Chicago Shakespeare's work with Chicago Public Schools in CPS Shakespeare!, CST Director of Education Marilyn Halperin will join CPS Shakespeare! Assistant Director Sandra Shimon (Prosser Career Academy), Dr. Karen Boran (Chicago Public Schools) and Dr. Timothy Duggan (Northeastern Illinois University) for an NCTE classroom session on the Theater's Bard Core Curriculumteacher training program on November 19, 2011, entitled "Bard Core in Practice: Bringing Difficult Text to Life with Struggling Readers and Writers in Urban Schools." Bard Core is Chicago Shakespeare Theater's year-long professional development seminar that mentors English teachers from some of the most at-risk Chicago public schools, exploring best practices in literacy through drama-based strategies. Many Bard Core teachers go on to participate in CPS Shakespeare! with their students.

The National Council of Teachers of English, with over 35,000 members and subscribers worldwide, is dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. For more information, please contact Millie Davis at public_info@ncte.org or 217-278-3634 or visit www.ncte.org.

About Team Shakespeare

Since its establishment in 1991, Team Shakespeare has served more than 1 million students and teachers—making Chicago Shakespeare Theater one of the nation's largest providers of performing arts-in-education theater programming. As part of CST's strong and continuing commitment to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the Theater has developed two successful programs targeting at-risk youth: Bard Core and CPS Shakespeare! Bard Core, a professional development seminar offered annually to CPS teachers, explores how the skills of theater practitioners link directly to best practices in literacy, offering practical reading strategies and exercises for CPS students. A number of Bard Core teachers go on to participate in CPS Shakespeare!, which brings together a citywide cast of CPS high school teachers and students to stage an adapted Shakespeare production in CST's Courtyard Theater each fall. Throughout the year, free weekend workshops are offered to teachers looking to innovate their lesson plans, with an upcoming Chicago Shakespeare production used as a central touchstone. Additionally, CST reserves nearly 100 professional Shakespeare matinees for student audiences—and the Theater's annual Short Shakespeare!, an abridged production of a Shakespeare classic, conducts a five-week tour each spring to public, private, parochial, urban and rural schools throughout the Midwest. Reaching 40,000 students and teachers annually, Team Shakespeare is part of CST's commitment to lifelong learning, introducing Shakespeare's legacy to a new generation.

About Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this season, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company, known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare's genius for intricate storytelling, musicality of language and depth of feeling for the human condition.

Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare's work has been recognized internationally with three of London's prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards, and by the Chicago theater community with 55 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Artistic Excellence. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines andExecutive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to producing extraordinary classic productions, new works and family fare; unlocking Shakespeare's work for educators and students; and serving as Chicago's cultural ambassador through its World's Stage Series. At its permanent, state-of-the-art facility on Navy Pier, CST houses two intimate theater spaces: the 500-seat Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the 200-seat Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare.

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Chicago Shakespeare Theater
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