2019/20 Season Announcement


Whether you are looking for inspired storytelling, artistic innovation, or an outing that the whole family can enjoy together, we believe that Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s expansive 2019/20 Season is for you.

Shakespeare’s genius is brought to our Courtyard Theater in the most famous love story of all time and, later in the season, in his most joyous comedy, interwoven with hit songs by The Beatles. Our stages will be transformed to create the North American Premiere of a play that inspired an Academy Award-winning film; a charming Jane Austen musical by a Tony Award-nominated composer; and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s long-awaited return to our city. A new collaboration with Lyric Opera of Chicago and powerful personal stories from around the globe remind us of all that binds us together. Plus, this summer brings a family musical on Navy Pier and the free Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a variety of flexible Season Ticket packages, designed for every taste, schedule, and budget.


Flexible Season Ticket Series


The King's Speech



The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
September 12–October 20, 2019

by David Seidler
directed by Michael Wilson

Paralyzed by his stammer and unable to speak to a nation in crisis, King George VI ascends the throne as England stands on the brink of war once again with Germany. Enter Lionel Logue, an Australian migrant with a career path as unexpected as the king’s. The remarkable true story of this unlikely bond between a reluctant king and a charismatic subject that inspired the Academy Award-winning film is now brought to the stage, where writer David Seidler first imagined it.


Romeo and Juliet


CST’s Courtyard Theater
October 31–December 22, 2019

by William Shakespeare
directed by Barbara Gaines

A city, two families, and a hatred so old that no one remembers its cause. Defying every boundary forged from their families’ enmity, Romeo and Juliet fall in love. In a society torn apart by hate, Shakespeare sets his immortal tale of love and senseless tragedy. For Chicago Shakespeare Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, now is the time to direct her first Romeo and Juliet, as Chicago awaits her vision for the most famous love story of all time.




CST's Courtyard Theater
January 28–March 15, 2020

based on the novel by Jane Austen | book, music & lyrics by Paul Gordon
directed by Barbara Gaines

Jane Austen’s beloved novel is now a deliciously charming musical, created by Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, Daddy Long Legs). Privileged, pampered, and preoccupied with romance, Emma Woodhouse indulges in her pastime of misguided matchmaking, but is clueless when it comes to her own feelings and a gentleman named Mr. Knightley. As our imperfect heroine learns that love cannot be predicted or channeled, we are swept up by Paul Gordon’s lyrical melodies.


As You Like It


CST’s Courtyard Theater
April 30–June 21, 2020

by William Shakespeare | adapted & directed by Daryl Cloran
conceived by Daryl Cloran and Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
in association with the Citadel Theatre and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre

It’s the 1960s, when all you need is love. Free spirits escape a world gone wrong to get back to the land—a place that promises safe harbor from the corrupt ways of the city, but no one is spared here from the hazards of love. The irrepressible Rosalind takes refuge in the forest. So, too, does her love Orlando, with much to learn from the woman of his dreams, now disguised in boy’s garb. This high-spirited, music-filled adaptation infuses Shakespeare’s comedy with the hit songs of The Beatles—lifting the playwright’s timeless verse in beautiful harmony with the immortal music of the “Fab Four.” As You Like It is adapted and directed by Daryl Cloran, Artistic Director of Canada’s acclaimed Citadel Theatre, and originated at Vancouver's Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.


Royal Shakespeare Company

WᴏʀʟᴅSᴛᴀɢᴇ from the United Kingdom


The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
April 14–May 3, 2020

In April 2020, Chicago Shakespeare is pleased to welcome the renowned Royal Shakespeare Company back to Chicago for the first time in 25 years with a signature production of a Shakespeare play. Following Chicago Shakespeare’s performances on the RSC stage in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the Complete Works Festival, both theaters have sought the opportunity for Chicago audiences to experience the RSC’s work onstage at Chicago Shakespeare—promising to be a theatrical highlight of the spring. Title to be announced in the coming months.


WᴏʀʟᴅSᴛᴀɢᴇ & Collaborations



A Man of Good Hope

 WᴏʀʟᴅSᴛᴀɢᴇ from South Africa


CST's Courtyard Theater
October 4–13, 2019

Isango Ensemble, in co-production with the Young Vic
and in association with the Royal Opera, Repons Foundation, X and Y
based on the book by Jonny Steinberg | directed by Mark Dornford-May

A musical theater spectacle, pulsating with the glorious sounds of this Olivier Award-winning ensemble, is the story of one young refugee’s extraordinary odyssey across a continent. Asad, a Somali with a painful past, miraculous good luck, and a brilliant mind for business, sets off for South Africa—the promised land, where he believes he has found a place of safety. He is mistaken. Acclaimed in New York and London, Isango's 22-member cast tells Asad’s story through song and dance steeped in African tradition of unfailing hope in the face of adversity.



WᴏʀʟᴅSᴛᴀɢᴇ from México


Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare
October 23–27, 2019

Makuyeika Colectivo Teatral | directed by Héctor Flores Komatsu
Part of Destinos – Chicago International Latino Theater Festival

Woven from ancestral myths, traditional music and arts, and a three-person narrative, Andares reveals the extraordinary, untold stories of ordinary, humble people who inhabit México’s most remote corners. Created by director Héctor Flores Komatsu from his personal search to know and understand the original cultures of his homeland, Andares is a moving, fierce denunciation against a present that seems intent upon destroying what was once held as sacred.




The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
June 19–28, 2020

music by Jeanine Tesori | libretto by Tazewell Thompson 
directed by Tazewell Thompson
in collaboration with Lyric Opera of Chicago

Blue brings audiences into the emotional epicenter of an African-American family in which the father is a police officer and the son is a politically active teenager. When the son is killed by police, his death realizes the mother’s worst fear, and ignites his father’s rage and devastation. The new opera is inspired by contemporary events and Black literature, including Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, and focuses on the joys and sorrows of bringing a child into a world in which African-American families are forced to question if their sons’ lives matter. Blue is a coproduction of Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago.


Summer 2019





The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
May 14–August 4, 2019

by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss
directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage

Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived.
On the heels of its UK debut and wildly popular West End run, Chicago Shakespeare stages the North American premiere of SIX. The ex-wives of Henry VIII join forces for an electrifying pop-concert spectacle—shining a spotlight on these six women as never before. The queens take the mic to reclaim their identities out of the shadow of their infamous spouse—remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of twenty-first-century female empowerment. Backed by a band known as the “Ladies in Waiting,” the all-woman ensemble traverses the spectrum of modern-day pop with a soundtrack that has stormed to the top of the UK charts.


The Wizard of Oz


CST’s Courtyard Theater
July 6–August 25, 2019

by L. Frank Baum | with music & lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
adapted by John Kane | directed by Brian Hill | choreographed by Kenny Ingram

Take an unforgettable journey down the Yellow Brick Road to the magical land of Oz with Dorothy and her trusty pup Toto as they encounter new friends—including Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion—and face unexpected challenges in the musical stage adaptation of the landmark 1939 MGM film. Audiences of all ages will be dazzled by the spectacular setting and charmed by its timeless score, featuring such cherished classics as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”—ultimately to discover that there’s truly no place like home.


Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks



touring to neighborhood parks
July 18–August 18, 2019

by William Shakespeare | adapted & directed by David H. Bell

For the eighth year, Chicago Shakespeare, the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Boeing, and BMO Harris Bank partner to present the annual citywide summer tradition, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, on tour to neighborhood parks across Chicago, FREE FOR ALL. From Hamilton Park and Columbus Park to Loyola Park and Ping Tom Memorial Park, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks activates communities across the north, west, and south sides of the city. On each stop of the tour, a specially equipped truck rolls into the park, a stage unfolds, and a company of professional actors shares the delight of Shakespeare’s riotous The Comedy of Errors with families and neighbors. Tour details to be announced this spring.


Season Tickets On Sale Soon


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