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Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Announces 2013/14 Season
Stephen Sondheim and Richard M. Daley to Receive Spirit of Shakespeare Award
Chicago—March 11, 2013—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson announced today CST’s 2013/14 Season, which includes William Shakespeare’s popular comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Artistic Director Barbara Gaines; Shakespeare’s epic history play Henry V, staged by acclaimed British director Christopher Luscombe; and Edmond Rostand’s classic romance Cyrano de Bergerac, directed by Penny Metropulos and featuring Harry Groener (CST’s The Madness of George III, Jeff Award) in the title role. Continuing CST’s exploration of the Stephen Sondheim canon—which started with the Olivier and Jeff Award-winning Pacific Overtures (2001) and most recently with the highly acclaimed productions Follies (2011) and Sunday in the Park with George (2012)—Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin stages two musicals spanning Sondheim’s prolific career, each propelled by uncompromising characters in pursuit of the American Dream. In productions scheduled to run simultaneously in two CST theater spaces, Gypsy will be produced in the Courtyard Theater and Road Show, formerly under the title Bounce and reworked and premiered at The Public Theater in 2008, will be re-imagined by Griffin in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare.
“Every production in the 2013/14 Series will breathe new life into some of the most alluring characters to inhabit cherished, classic stories,” said Artistic Director Barbara Gaines. “From Falstaff to King Henry V, Cyrano to Momma Rose and the restless Mizner brothers, we will bring larger-than-life personalities into intimate proximity with our audience. Each production will illuminate the human condition—in love and war, success and failure—with bold drama, laughter and music.”
Chicago Shakespeare’s heralded World’s Stage Series continues to bring international artists to Chicago, develop new work with theater artists from around the globe and export CST productions abroad. The initial offerings slated for the 2013/14 World’s Stage Series include: From Cornwall, England, comes the long-awaited Chicago debut of the internationally acclaimed Kneehigh (The Wild Bride, Brief Encounter, The Red Shoes), with their audacious signature work Tristan & Yseult; and Australia’s one step at a time like this returns to Chicago following their acclaimed 2011 urban journey, en route, with a second CST-commission inspired by Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. Touring Chicago-made productions abroad, CST-commissions Cadre by Omphile Molusi and Othello: The Remix, created by the Q Brothers, are slated for future international engagements next season, with travel to London, Edinburgh, Melbourne and Adelaide. Additional World's Stage productions will be announced in the months ahead.
In a season that embarks on Chicago Shakespeare’s boldest exploration of the Sondheim canon, it is especially fitting that Tony Award® and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim will receive from CST the Spirit of Shakespeare Award, along with Mayor Richard M. Daley. Artistic Honoree, Stephen Sondheim, will be recognized for his preeminent contribution to American theater and the celebrated productions of his work staged by CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley, honored for the first time since leaving office, is aptly this year’s Civic Honoree. The Theater will recognize Daley’s unparalleled commitment to strengthening the artistic landscape of our City and advancing Chicago as a global cultural destination. The Spirit of Shakespeare awards will be presented at CST’s annual Gala kicking off the new season on June 17, 2013. Both honorees will be in attendance.
Productions in the Chicago Shakespeare 2013/14 Season join previously announced productions: Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet (Saturdays at 11 a.m. through March 23, 2013) staged and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell; the CST-commissioned Othello: The Remix (March 12–April 28, 2013), written, directed and with music by Chicago’s own Q Brothers, following its world premiere at the 2012 Cultural Olympiad at Shakespeare’s Globe; Roadkill (May 11–26, 2013), the site-specific theatrical and multi-media event conceived and directed by Cora Bissett; William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII (April 30–June 16, 2013), directed by Barbara Gaines; the celebration of The Year of Italian Culture in America with Piccolo Teatro di Milano’s production Inner Voices (June 25–29, 2013); and the summer family production Shrek The Musical (July 13–September 1, 2013) staged and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell, offering family friendly ticket prices of $18–25.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 2013/14 Season
Cyrano de Bergerac
September 24–November 10, 2013 | Courtyard Theater
by Edmond Rostand | translated and adapted for the stage by Anthony Burgess
directed by Penny Metropulos
Cyrano, a brilliant soldier and intellectual with a rather large nose, believes he is too ugly to be loved. Eloquently expressing his passion for Roxane in poetry through a handsome, young cadet, he courts his love to humorous and near disastrous results. Staged by Penny Metropulos and featuring Harry Groener in the title role, Cyrano de Bergerac reunites the artistic team of CST’s acclaimed 2011 production The Madness of George III (Jeff Award, Production of a Play) in this homage to love and poetry.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
December 3, 2013–January 19, 2014 | Courtyard Theater
by William Shakespeare | directed by Barbara Gaines
Chicago Shakespeare Theater celebrates the holidays with Sir John Falstaff, one of Shakespeare’s favorite clowns, rollicking through his misadventures in the play that is considered one of the world’s first situation comedies. Merriment ensues as the shenanigans of the lovable rogue find him hard up for money, wooing the wives of Windsor’s gentlemen with hilarious consequences.
February 6–March 23, 2014 | Courtyard Theater
book by Arthur Laurents | music by Jule Styne | lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
directed by Gary Griffin
This great American musical was inspired by memoirs of the famous strip-tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee and features her larger-than-life, domineering stage mother. Under the direction of acclaimed Sondheim interpreter Gary Griffin, Madame Rose struggles to live out her dreams through her daughters’ careers during the waning years of the vaudeville circuit.
March 13–May 4, 2014 | Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare
music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim | book by John Weidman
directed by Gary Griffin
based on the story of Wilson and Addison Mizner
Constantly reinventing themselves to achieve success in the first part of the twentieth century, the legendary brothers Addison and Wilson Mizner embark on a musical journey that spans decades. Traversing America from Alaska to Florida, the brothers muscle through ‘get-rich-quick-schemes’ that explore the many sides of the American Dream.
April 29–June 15, 2014 | Courtyard Theater
by William Shakespeare | directed by Christopher Luscombe
Shakespeare’s epic history play filled with rallies to battle and wartime crises tells the legendary coming-of-age story of the charismatic monarch. The play that launched CST on the rooftop of a pub in 1986 will receive its first staging in the Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier, revealing the story behind the young king and celebrating the power of language to summon battlefields and ignite souls to action.
A WORLD’S STAGE PRODUCTION FROM AUSTRALIA
one step at a time like this
based on William Shakespeare’s
Measure for Measure
fall 2013 | various locations in Chicago
The Melbourne-based one step at a time like this focuses on the place and role of audience, emphasizing relationships between people and qualities of space and time. Following its acclaimed 2011 urban journey en route, the collective returns with a CST-commissioned, live art event inspired by Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and set in Chicago.
A WORLD’S STAGE PRODUCTION FROM CORNWALL, ENGLAND
Tristan & Yseult
March 30–April 13, 2014 | Courtyard Theater
by Anna Maria Murphy and Carl Grose | adapted and directed by Emma Rice
The twelfth-century poem, transformed into a twenty-first century theater production, tells the story of a love triangle that envelops an Irish beauty, a Cornish king and a French knight. Reclaiming Cornwall’s oldest love story, this audacious British company brings their brand of cheeky humor and Wagnerian intensity with a blend of comedy, live music, grand passion and tender truths.
Shrek The Musical
July 13–September 1, 2013 | Courtyard Theater
book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire | music by Jeanine Tesori
directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell
Based on the Academy Award-winning DreamWorks film and the book by William Steig, CST’s 75-minute production of Shrek The Musical, staged and choreographed by Jeff Award-winning director Rachel Rockwell, tells the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure to reclaim his once-secluded home. Accompanied by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon and rescues the cursed princess Fiona, discovering the value of friendship and realizing that true love is more than skin deep. Tickets are available for the family-friendly price of $18–$25.
Tickets for Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 2013/14 Season are on sale now, with three, four and five-play subscription packages starting at $135. 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.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater offers a broad selection of affordable tickets providing opportunities for a diverse audience to interact with the Theater in different ways ranging from season subscription packages with low-priced, preview series and discounted family subscriptions, to accessibly-priced, family-friendly productions, discounts for student groups and tickets for young professionals for as little as $20.
ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
Chicago Shakespeare Theater 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 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 70 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Artistic Excellence. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive 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.