Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s WorldStage Series returns with Wise Children’s
adapted and directed by groundbreaking theatermaker Emma Rice
The acclaimed international co-production from the United Kingdom
in a limited engagement in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare,
January 27–February 19, 2023
Chicago—December 8, 2022—Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s WorldStage Series returns with groundbreaking theatermaker Emma Rice’s exuberant reimagining of Emily Brontë’s gothic masterpiece, Wuthering Heights. The production combines live music, dance, puppetry, and a dash of impish irreverence to create an intoxicating revenge tragedy for our time. Hailed a Critic’s Pick by The New York Times, this wildly imaginative theatrical event from the UK is a co-production with the National Theatre, Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and York Theatre Royal in association with Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Wuthering Heights runs as a special limited engagement in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, January 27–February 19, 2023.
The production marks a return of Emma Rice’s boundary-pushing work to Chicago Shakespeare, previously seen in her celebrated Tristan & Yseult with Kneehigh Theatre in 2014 and the presentation of Wise Children’s musical comedy Romantics Anonymous, streamed live from Bristol Old Vic in 2020. Both productions were part of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s WorldStage Series, which has featured more than 1,300 artists in 96 productions from 22 countries spanning six continents to date. Wuthering Heights marks the return of in-person WorldStage performances after a two-year hiatus of international touring due to the pandemic.
The wild moors of Yorkshire are the setting for an epic story of love, revenge, and redemption. An orphaned Heathcliff is adopted by the Earnshaws and taken to live at Wuthering Heights—where he finds a kindred spirit in Catherine. As they grow up together, a fierce love ignites between them—and when forced apart, a brutal chain of events is unleashed.
London’s The Telegraph declares that the production “unleashes the fire and the fury of Brontë’s masterpiece in a full-throttle show,” and BroadwayWorld calls it “audacious, ingenious, and visually stunning…Rice’s ambition is unbounded.” The New York Times raves “this music-filled version is an embrace, an envelopment: a feat of storytelling that wraps itself around the audience, pulling us into its silliness and sorrow.”
The company features Sam Archer (Lockwood/Edgar Linton/The Moors), Leah Brotherhead (Catherine), Georgia Bruce (Isabella Linton/Little Linton/The Moors), Ricardo Castro (Robert/The Moors), Katy Ellis (Zillah/The Moors), Stephanie Elstob (Swing), Lloyd Gorman (Mr. Earnshaw/ The Moors), TJ Holmes (Dr. Kenneth/The Moors), Jordan Laviniere (The Leader of The Yorkshire Moors), Tama Phethean (Hindley Earnshaw/Hareton Earnshaw/The Moors), Eleanor Sutton (Frances Earnshaw/Catherine Linton/The Moors), and Liam Tamne (Heathcliff). The production’s live music is performed by Sid Goldsmith, Music Director Pat Moran, and Vincent De Jesus, with TJ Holmes and Lloyd Gorman.
In addition to adaptor and director Emma Rice, the creative team includes Composer Ian Ross, Scenic and Costume Designer Vicki Mortimer, Sound and Video Designer Simon Baker, Lighting Designer Jai Morjaria, Choreographer Etta Murfitt, Puppetry Designer John Leader, Fight Director Kev McCurdy, and Music Director Pat Moran.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s WorldStage Series exemplifies a landmark commitment to bring the world’s great theaters to Chicago and Chicago Shakespeare to the world. The series has welcomed some of the globe’s most exciting theatrical events, affording theatergoers prime opportunities to experience different cultural traditions and must-see international shows without leaving Chicago.
Chicago Shakespeare makes its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Accessible performances for Wuthering Heights include:
- Audio-described Performance – Sunday, February 12, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.
A program that provides spoken narration of a play’s key visual elements for patrons who are blind or have low vision.
- Open-captioned Performances – Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
A text display of the words and sounds heard during a play, synced live with the action onstage.
- ASL Duo-interpreted Performance – Friday, February 17, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.
All dialogue and lyrics are translated into American Sign Language by two certified interpreters.
More information at www.chicagoshakes.com/wutheringheights or on social media at @chicagoshakes or #WutheringHeights.
Wuthering Heights will be presented January 27–February 19, 2023, in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Single tickets ($59–$106) are on sale now. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com. Chicago Shakespeare’s most up-to-date health protocols can be found at www.chicagoshakes.com/health.
About Emma Rice
Emma Rice is the proud and excited artistic director of her company, Wise Children. She adapted and directed the company’s Bagdad Cafe (The Old Vic), Angela Carter’s Wise Children (The Old Vic/UK tour), and Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers (Bristol Passenger Shed/UK tour). For the ENO she directed Orpheus in the Underworld. As artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe (2016-18), she directed Romantics Anonymous, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Little Matchgirl (and Other Happier Tales). For the previous 20 years, she worked for Kneehigh as an actor, director, and artistic director. Her productions for Kneehigh include The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Tristan & Yseult, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, The Wild Bride, The Red Shoes, The Wooden Frock, The Bacchae, Cymbeline (in association with RSC), A Matter of Life and Death (in association with National Theatre), Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre), Brief Encounter (in association with David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers Productions), Don John (in association with the RSC and Bristol Old Vic), Wah! Wah! Girls (in association with Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal Stratford East for World Stages), and Steptoe and Son. Other work includes the West End production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Oedipussy (Spymonkey), The Empress (RSC), and An Audience with Meow Meow (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). In 2019 Rice received the UK Theatre Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre.
About Wise Children
Created and led by Emma Rice, Wise Children launched in April 2018 and is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. Based in Bristol, the company makes groundbreaking work with exceptional artists, and tours across the world. In the dark days of 2020, Wise Children led the field in livestreaming, becoming the first UK company to broadcast a fullstaged production, without social distancing, from a UK theatre after lockdown. Alongside shows, the theatre runs a unique professional development programme, The School for Wise Children, training a new and more diverse generation of theatre practitioners. www.wisechildren.co.uk
About Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Regional Tony Award-recipient Chicago Shakespeare Theater produces a bold and innovative year-round season—plays, musicals, world premieres, family productions, and theatrical presentations from around the globe—alongside nationally recognized education programming serving tens of thousands of students, teachers, and lifelong learners each year. Founded in 1986, the Theater’s onstage work has expanded to as many as twenty productions and 650 performances annually. Chicago Shakespeare is dedicated to welcoming the next generation of theatergoers; one in four of its audience members is under the age of eighteen. As a nonprofit organization, the Theater works to embrace diversity, prioritize inclusion, provide equitable opportunities, and offer an accessible experience for all. On the Theater’s three stages at its home on Navy Pier, in classrooms and neighborhoods across the city, and in venues around the world, Chicago Shakespeare is a multifaceted cultural hub—inviting audiences, artists, and community members to share powerful stories that connect and inspire. www.chicagoshakes.com
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