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A Chicago Shakespeare Theater World’s Stage Presentation
Launches United States Tour from the UK
October 16 – 27, 2013
Chicago—September 18, 2013―Chicago Shakespeare Theater kicks off this season’s World’s Stage Series with The Table, a Blind Summit production from the United Kingdom, which launches its first United States tour Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare for a limited two-week engagement, October 16 to 27, 2013. This imaginative performance introduces audiences to Moses, a cantankerous puppet with a cardboard head immersed in an existential crisis on a table. The Table will be performed in the Upstairs Theater at Chicago Shakespeare October 16 – 27, 2013.
Premiered at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival to a sold-out run, The Table was honored with a Fringe First Award for outstanding new work. Time Out London calls The Table “absolutely sublime, the best thing this excellent company has ever done.” London’s The Guardian declares, "Blind Summit are the UK's puppet masters, a company whose shows have proved that puppetry doesn't have to come either with apologies or strings attached." Since then, it has toured to 15 countries with over 150 performances. The Table was featured in the UK Now Festival in China in 2012 and completed an extensive European tour in the spring and summer of 2013. Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s presentation of The Table marks the launch of the production’s first American tour.
Founded by Mark Down and Nick Barnes in 1997, Blind Summit Theatre brings together internationally renowned puppetry innovators to devise new works and engage in stunning collaborations. They have created puppetry for Anthony Minghella’s award-winning opera Madam Butterfly and Simon McBurney’s famed Complicite theater company. In Danny Boyle's dramatic opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics in London, Blind Summit marshaled 50 puppeteers to bring giant puppets of Voldemort, Captain Hook, Cruella De Ville and the Queen of Hearts to life. The Table is devised by the Blind Summit founders in collaboration with Sarah Calver, Sean Garratt, Mabel Jones, Irena Strateiva and Ivan Thorley.
Intended to be a theatrical interpretation of the biblical story of Moses, The Table is performed by a grizzled, crotchety old man. But the grumpy puppet narrator strays far from the planned storyline and winds up playing out his own hilarious, existential crisis as his puppeteers improvise and interact with each other and the audience.
The Table is created in the Japanese Bunraku style, performed completely on the table top with multiple puppeteers visible to the audience. Blind Summit’s puppeteers breathe poignant life into the character using humor and improvisation, revealing something of ourselves in the cardboard, wood and fabric creation onstage.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s limited two-week engagement of The Table will run Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare October 16 through 27, 2013. Tickets are on sale now for $35 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets available for patrons under 35. All patrons receive a 40% discount on guaranteed parking in Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets or a season subscription, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
Chicago Shakespeare Theater is one of America’s largest and most celebrated theaters, producing and presenting a year-round season encompassing more than 600 performances at its home on Navy Pier. Its productions are also featured around the globe at the world’s most venerable theaters and festivals, including the Donmar Warehouse, Market Theatre of Johannesburg, Royal Shakespeare Company, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival. Recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare’s work has been recognized 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 productions of classics, new works and family fare; to unlocking Shakespeare’s work for educators and students; and to serving as Chicago’s cultural ambassador through its World’s Stage Series, an initiative that brings the world’s most exciting theatrical events to Chicago audiences and presents Chicago Shakespeare’s work abroad. www.chicagoshakes.com.
ABOUT CST’S WORLD’S STAGE SERIES
The presentation of extraordinary international artists as well as the international touring of new work developed by Chicago Shakespeare defines the expansive scope of CST’s World’s Stage Series. Chicago Shakespeare has collaborated with more than 600 international artists representing 18 countries on six 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.