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Social and Political Issues Take Center Stage

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Announces 2013 World’s Stage Presentations
Stories from Belarus, South Africa, Nigeria and Italy Come to Chicago

Chicago—November 19, 2012―Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announced today four new World’s Stage presentations in 2013—bold theatrical events from across the globe, each in its own voice, provoking discussion on issues of international significance. On the heels of celebrating the Year of Creative Scotland with two critically acclaimed National Theatre of Scotland productions this fall, Chicago Shakespeare Theater continues to demonstrate its commitment to engage audiences in global issues, bringing to Chicago conversations of searing social and political importance through the work of internationally acclaimed theater artists.

Following its widely acclaimed 2010 production of Being Harold Pinter, the provocative Belarus Free Theatre returns to Chicago this winter, exploring the nature of sex in one of Europe’s last surviving dictatorships with Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker (January 30–February 3, 2013). In February, Chicago Shakespeare partners with The Market Theatre of Johannesburg to present the world premieres of Cadre, written by and featuring South African artist Omphile Molusi. Revealing the consequences of change in a fledgling democracy, Cadre is inspired by true events in the life of an activist during, and after, the apartheid era, and explores the journey of a young South African man struggling to navigate his way through the tumultuous political landscape (Chicago: February 15–23, 2013; Johannesburg: March 18–April 14, 2013). In the spring CST presents the American premiere of the Olivier Award-winning Roadkill, a site-specific performance for which audience members are transported by mini-van to an apartment in Chicago and are confronted with the brutal realities of sex trafficking. Drawn from the harrowing details of a young Nigerian woman trapped in a living nightmare, this production is the catalyst for The British Council’s collaboration with CST and St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York City to create a public program that engages local partners in a dialogue on the impact of human trafficking (Chicago: May 11–26, 2013; New York: June 4–30, 2013) . This June, Chicago Shakespeare joins the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago to commemorate the Year of Italian Culture in America with the American premiere of Piccolo Teatro di Milano’s Inner Voices. Written by Eduardo De Filippo, one of Italy’s most translated and respected writers, the play investigates perceptions of morality amidst a devastating post-war landscape (June 25–29, 2013).

Committed to shining a spotlight and fostering dialogue on the substantial international issues explored in the 2013 World’s Stage Series, Chicago Shakespeare is encouraging broad-based participation from across the City. In support of this engagement initiative, all tickets for Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker and Cadre are $20.

“Chicago Shakespeare’s World’s Stage presentations, commissions and international touring have redefined the Theater’s reach and importance to Chicago,” said CST Executive Director Criss Henderson. “We are actively contributing to an aspiration of the City’s Cultural Plan—to be a ‘global destination for creativity, innovation and excellence in the arts,’ by stimulating the international conversation on critical global issues.”

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s line-up of international presentations is emblematic of the scope of work presented in the World’s Stage Series—a year-round initiative that brings the world’s most exciting theatrical events to Chicago audiences and presents Chicago Shakespeare’s work abroad. Chicago Shakespeare has collaborated with more than 600 international artists representing 16 countries on five continents ,engaging audiences in a dialogue with the world’s established and emerging theater artists. Strengthening its reputation as a leader in cultural diplomacy, CST partners regularly with respected international affairs organizations, including the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago Consular Corps, Chicago Sister Cities and World Business Chicago.

"Chicago Shakespeare's international exchange is a great asset to Chicago and enhances the city's global reputation," said World Business Chicago President Rita Athas. "Chicago Shakespeare Theater is making important connections and these efforts contribute greatly to the global city we continue to build."

Since the inception of the World’s Stage Series in 2000, Chicago Shakespeare has imported international productions ranging from pedestrian-based live art events ( Australia’s one step at a time like this ) to grand aerial and water spectacles ( France’s Compagnie Transe Express and Ilotopie ); to iconic theaters such as Shakespeare’s Globe (London), the Maly Drama Theatre  (St. Petersburg) and La Comédie-Française (Paris). As a leading cultural ambassador, Chicago Shakespeare has presented its work at the Royal Shakespeare Company ( Stratford-upon-Avon ), The Donmar Warehouse (London), on tour in Germany and Australia, and this past spring, was among the 37 international companies that came together for an unprecedented 37-play “Globe to Globe” festival for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

2013 World’s Stage Series

Belarus Free Theatre’s
Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker
Performed in Russian with projected English translation
January 30–February 3, 2013 | Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare
text by Natalia Kaliada with Nicolai Khalezin | directed and adapted by Vladimir Shcherban

Belarus Free Theatre returns to Chicago following its widely acclaimed 2010 production of Being Harold Pinter . Now, one of the world’s most provocative and inspiring companies presents a new work entitled Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker . In a sexually repressed society, Minsk 2011 laments for the city that has lost its way, pining for a beloved home that has turned ugly and for a people who cannot express themselves. Belarus Free Theatre was founded in 2005 in Europe’s last surviving dictatorship, and the company is one of the most outspoken critics of Belarus’ repressive regime. Despite the loss of jobs, freedom and home, the company continues to develop award-winning work with the support of artists and theater companies around the world. Tickets are on sale now for $20.

World Premiere of Cadre br /> Chicago | February 15–23, 2013 | Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare
Johannesburg | March 18–April 14, 2013 | The Market Theatre of Johannesburg
written by Omphile Molusi

Chicago Shakespeare and the The Market Theatre partner to present the world premieres of Cadre in Chicago and Johannesburg. South African artist Omphile Molusi's play is inspired by true events in the life of an activist during, and after, the apartheid era. Following Molusi’s internationally acclaimed production Itsoseng, presented by Chicago Shakespeare in 2010, Cadre reveals the consequences of change in a fledgling democracy and explores the journey of a young South African man struggling to navigate his way through the tumultuous political landscape of apartheid. Soldiering through the perils of a country consumed by war, he desperately clings to the memory of his first love and the hope of a sweet reunion. Cadre is a personal tale of dreams and change, honoring families, friends and all the unsung heroes who died hoping for a better future. Molusi, one of South Africa’s leading young theater artists, was the first recipient of the Royal Shakespeare Company/Baxter Theatre Brett Goldin Bursary Award, which earned the young playwright a life-changing scholarship to study with the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. Presented with Richard Jordan Productions in association with The Market Theatre of Johannesburg and the Adelaide Festival of Arts. Tickets are on sale now for $20

American Premiere of Roadkill
Chicago | May 11–26, 2013 | Location TBD
New York | June 4–30, 2013 | Location TBD
text by Stef Smith | conceived and directed by Cora Bissett

Following sold-out runs in London (where it received the Olivier Award) and Paris, Roadkill has its American premiere in Chicago. Based on the real-life experiences of a young woman trafficked from Nigeria, Scottish writer/director Cora Bissett's critically acclaimed, site-specific theatrical and multi-media event explores the terrifying complexities of human trafficking. Transported by mini-van to an apartment in a Chicago neighborhood, audiences will come face-to-face with the brutal and hidden truth behind the newspaper headlines—sharing the intimate, harrowing details of a young woman trapped in a living nightmare. Roadkill premiered at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was the first production in history to win every major theatre award of the Festival, as well as a special Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. The British Council partners with CST in Chicago and St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York City to create a public program that engages local partners with a vested interest in the eradication of sex-trafficking, exploring the impact of this issue on these two important American cities. Presented with Pachamama Productions and Richard Jordan Productions in association with Traverse Theatre.

Piccolo Teatro di Milano’s
American Premiere of Inner Voices

Performed in Italian with projected English translation
June 25–29, 2013 | Courtyard Theater
by Eduardo De Filippo | directed by Toni Servillo

Chicago Shakespeare joins the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago to commemorate the Year of Italian Culture in America with the American premiere of Inner Voices, a production by one of Italy’s most important theaters, Piccolo Teatro di Milano. The Piccolo was last in Chicago in 2005 when CST presented Arlecchino, Servant of Two Masters. In collaboration with Théatre du Gymnase, Marseille on the occasion of Marseille Capitale de la Culture 2013, The Piccolo will debut Inner Voices written by Eduardo De Filippo , one of the most translated and respected Italian writers in the world. Written in 1948 as a reaction to the post-war period, the characters of Inner Voices move against the backdrop of the wreckage of World War II– with startling relevance to the rubble of today’s economic crisis. Following his successful production of Goldoni’s Vacation Trilogy at New York’s Lincoln Center Festival, acclaimed Italian director Toni Servillo will stage Inner Voices in CST’s Courtyard Theater. Produced by Teatri Uniti/Piccolo Teatro di Milano in association with Teatro d’Europa and Teatro di Roma.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com

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