Menu

Press

Chicago Shakespeare Theater 
Welcomes Artists Back to Make Theater Again

Casts and Creative Teams Announced for Upcoming Productions 
Presented on Chicago ShakesSTREAM platform

In October 2021, audiences return to the Theater for AS YOU LIKE IT infused with The Beatles

 

Chicago—March 5, 2021—Chicago Shakespeare Theater welcomes artists back to make theater again as dozens of actors, directors, designers, and technicians are busy creating upcoming productions, captured live in the Theater's performance spaces and streaming on-demand for audiences at home via the new Chicago ShakesSTREAM platform. Rehearsals and creative team meetings are underway for the line-up of virtual offerings beginning in March, including the I, Shakespeare series of solo shows I, Banquo and I, Cinna (the poet), a repertory ensemble cast performing both Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night as enhanced audio experiences, and We Are Out There, an imaginative digital prologue to the new musical It Came from Outer Space before the world premiere production next year. Additionally, a newly edited film of the 2017 production of Love’s Labor’s Lost, recorded by multiple cameras in front of a live audience in the Courtyard Theater, will be released on the platform. 

In October 2021, Chicago Shakespeare plans to safely and joyously welcome audiences back to in-person performances with a highly anticipated production of As You Like It infused with the hit songs of The Beatles. Adapted and directed by Daryl Cloran, this vibrant adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy set in the ‘60s lifts the playwright’s verse in beautiful harmony with the timeless music of the “Fab Four.” The exuberant celebration of love features nearly 20 musical numbers, performed live onstage, including “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Let It Be,” and “Here Comes the Sun.”

The all-new Chicago ShakesSTREAM platform brings the power of live performance and the unparalleled artistry of Chicago Shakespeare’s work directly to audiences, wherever they may be. In addition to hosting newly created experiences tailored for the virtual environment, the site will offer audiences the opportunity to engage with highlights from the Theater’s collection and special streaming programs. Existing season ticket holders receive full access as part of their membership.

Artistic Director Barbara Gaines shared, “Shakespeare wrote that ‘joy’s soul lies in the doing’—and I can’t think of a better balm for our souls right now than to once again be doing creative work with this outstanding collective of artists and sharing in that joy with our audiences. Despite the many challenges, this past year has stretched our imaginations with innovative ways of collaborating and creating, and it’s been surprisingly magical to explore the new artistic possibilities of these times.” 

Beginning in March, Shakespeare’s supporting characters step into the spotlight in the I, Shakespeare series featuring a pair of solo shows written by Tim Crouch: I, Banquo and I, Cinna (the poet). Following the strictest health and safety protocols, the Theater has been transformed into a soundstage with remote-operated cameras positioned throughout the set to capture the actor’s uninterrupted, live performance from multiple perspectives. A virtual command center allows members of the creative team—working safely distanced at the Theater as well as remotely across time zones from Chicago, Puerto Rico and Japan—to collaborate synchronously.

Directed by Marti Lyons, I, Banquo (March 22–April 18, 2021) reexamines Macbeth through the eyes of the title character’s murdered friend. The betrayed Banquo considers how he might have responded to the prophesies of the Weird Sisters had he been in Macbeth’s position—questioning his own motives, desires, and temptations. Portraying Banquo is Dan Waller, who has appeared at Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre and Steppenwolf. Also making an appearance is Patrick Scott McDermott as Fleance. The I, Banquo creative team features Scenic Designer Yu Shibagaki, Costume Designer Raquel Adorno, Associate Costume Designer Gregory Graham, Lighting Designer Jason Lynch, Sound Designer Mikhail Fiksel, Video Designer Mike Tutaj, and Production Stage Manager Shannon Golden. Gabrielle Randle-Bent and Matt Randle-Bent are the production’s dramaturgs. 

The North American Premiere production of I, Cinna (the poet) (April 5–May 2, 2021) is staged by Tyrone Phillips, founder and artistic director of Definition Theatre. In Julius Caesar, the humble, apolitical poet Cinna hardly says a word before being mistaken for a conspirator against Caesar, and torn to pieces by an angry mob. Now Cinna searches for the subject of his new poem and invites the audience to write along with him in this timely exploration of words and actions, protests and power. Jeff Award-winner Julian Parker portrays Cinna. The creative team also includes Scenic Designer Yu Shibagaki, Costume Designer Christine Pascual, Lighting Designer Jason Lynch, Sound Designer Mikhail Fiksel, Video Designer Mike Tutaj, and Production Stage Manager Jinni Pike. 

Since the earliest days of Chicago Shakespeare, the company has been known for the immediacy and accessibility of Shakespeare’s language in performance—and a pairing of plays envisioned as enhanced audio experiences will put the playwright’s poetry and actors’ interpretations into sharp focus in April. Henry Godinez will direct Shakespeare’s searing Measure for Measure (April 19–May 16, 2021), as a video-enhanced audio play set in 1959 Cuba in the turbulent times before Castro takes power, featuring video by Rasean Davonte Johnson. Taking inspiration from the immortal line “if music be the food of love, play on,” Artistic Director Barbara Gaines directs Twelfth Night (April 19–May 16, 2021) as an audio play with music featuring original songs composed by Joriah Kwamé. The directors have assembled a single repertory company for the productions, including: Yao Dogbe (Barnadine/Elbow/Valentine/Sebastian), Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel (Isabella/Maria), Kevin Gudahl (Duke/Sir Toby Belch), Lakeisha Renee (Julietta/Escalus/Viola), Timothy Edward Kane (Provost/Friar/Orsino/Fabian), James Vincent Meredith (Angelo/Antonio/Captain), Daniel José Molina (Claudio/Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Monica Orozco (Nun/Mistress Overdone/Mariana/ Olivia), Paul Oakley Stovall (Lucio/Feste), and Larry Yando (Pompey/Friar/Malvolio). The Measure for Measure creative team also includes Sound Designer Pornchanok Kanchanabanca, Supervising Sound Editor Lindsay Jones, and Dramaturg Maria de los Angeles Torres. Twelfth Night features Music Direction by Roberta Duchak, and Sound Design and Supervising Sound Editing by Lindsay Jones.

Later this spring, the Theater will debut We Are Out There (May 24–June 20, 2021)—an imaginative, digital prologue to the new musical It Came from Outer Space from creators Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair—before the world premiere production takes the stage next year. The new musical, commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare and developed with Creative Producer Rick Boynton, spins the cult classic ‘50s sci-fi film from Universal Pictures with a clever score and physical humor—examining society’s fear of outsiders and embracing the wonder of what lies just beyond the stars. The program will take the shape of a mockumentary, hosted by an investigative reporter digging into the extraterrestrial activity around Sand Rock, giving audiences a hilarious look at the madcap musical alongside performances of all-new songs from the show. We Are Out There is created by Joe Kinosian, Kellen Blair, and Daniel Schloss, with Creative Consultant Laura Braza, Orchestrator Macy Schmidt, and Music Director Jermaine Hill. Casting is yet to be announced. 

First up on Chicago ShakesSTREAM is a newly enhanced film of the Theater’s 2017 production of Love’s Labor’s Lost (March 15-28, 2021), recorded by multiple cameras in front of a live audience in the Courtyard Theater. Directed by Marti Maraden, the puns fly and wordplay takes flight in this playful romantic comedy about young love set in the decadent eighteenth-century courts of the Age of Reason. The company includes Taylor Blim (Katherine), Manny Buckley (Marcáde), Nate Burger (Berowne), Allen Gilmore (Don Adriano de Armado), Alex Goodrich (Costard), Jennie Greenberry (Princess of France), Mario Guzman (Le Beau), Julian Hester (Dumaine), Drew Johnson (Forester), Aaron Lamm (Moth), Jennifer Latimore (Maria), David Lively (Holofernes), James Newcomb (Boyet), Madison Niederhauser (Longaville), Maggie Portman (Jaquenetta), Steve Pringle (Dull), Laura Rook (Rosaline), John Tufts (King of Navarre), and Greg Vinkler (Sir Nathaniel). The creative team includes Scenic Designer Kevin Depinet, Costume Designer Christina Poddubiuk, Lighting Designer Greg Hofmann, Composer and Music Director Keith Thomas, Wigs & Make-Up Designer Richard Jarvie, Choreographer Matt Raftery, Verse Coach Larry Yando, and Production Stage Manager Deborah Acker

For more information on Chicago Shakespeare’s programming, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/stream.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 2021 Offerings

RECORDED IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE

Love’s Labor’s Lost

by William Shakespeare | directed by Marti Maraden
Available on Chicago ShakesSTREAM

March 15–28, 2021

 

A NEW THEATRICAL FILM

I, Banquo

Part of the I, SHAKESPEARE series
written by Tim Crouch | directed by Marti Lyons
Available on Chicago ShakesSTREAM

March 22–April 18, 2021

 

A NEW THEATRICAL FILM

I, Cinna (the poet)

Part of the I, SHAKESPEARE series
written by Tim Crouch | directed by Tyrone Phillips
Available on Chicago ShakesSTREAM

April 5–May 2, 2021

 

VIDEO-ENHANCED AUDIO PLAY

Measure for Measure

by William Shakespeare | adapted & directed by Henry Godinez
Video by Rasean Davonte Johnson
Available on Chicago ShakesSTREAM

April 19–May 16, 2021

 

AUDIO PLAY WITH ORIGINAL MUSIC

Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare | adapted & directed by Barbara Gaines
Original Music by Joriah Kwamé
Available on Chicago ShakesSTREAM

April 19–May 16, 2021

 

A DIGITAL PROLOGUE TO THE NEW MUSICAL
IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE

We Are Out There

Created by Joe Kinosian, Kellen Blair, and Daniel Schloss
Available on Chicago ShakesSTREAM

May 24–June 20, 2021

 

AUDIENCES RETURN TO CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE

As You Like It

by William Shakespeare | adapted & directed by Daryl Cloran
conceived by Daryl Cloran and the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

October 2021

 

# # #

   

 

Contact Us
 

Cathy Taylor
cathy@cathytaylorpr.com
Cathy Taylor Public Relations
773.564.9564

Hannah Kennedy
Public Relations Director
hkennedy@chicagoshakes.com
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Media Office
312.667.4968

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
on Navy Pier
800 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Additional Pages