Teams representing high schools from across the region have come together yet again to celebrate the enduring power of Shakespeare—and their own voices—in our fifth annual Chicago Shakespeare Slam. Due to the ongoing impact of COVID‑19, the SLAM program goes remote again for one more year, culminating in a collaborative, filmed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to be shared online in February.
Now is indisputably, irrefutably time for a comedy, a chance to laugh together at some of Shakespeare’s most playfully confused characters and all that they conjure up in their resemblances to us. Irrational, blind love. Unleashed, overpowering jealousy. BFFs turned archenemies. Swirling circumstances beyond our control. And parents with their own (sometimes) off-base notions. Sound familiar? It did to us, and we thought it might strike a chord with some members of our SLAM community. If nothing else, it would provide plenty of fodder for creative play!
Throughout the fall, teams rehearsed at their schools and gathered (virtually) for a series of community- and skill-building Saturdays. Each team rehearsed, performed, and recorded its contribution to the SLAM community’s unique staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their recorded scenes, edited together into two unique productions of “Dream,” re-imagine Shakespeare’s story, inextricably bound to the students’ own stories as their lives continue to collide with history in the making.
The Chicago Shakespeare Slam is, more than anything, an ensemble program—building community, within a school’s team and among the many teams participating from across our entire region. Together, participants have the opportunity to dive deep into a shared text—and do so through an infinite number of lenses crafted out of students’ own imaginations.
The 2021/22 SLAM Schools
Benet Academy, Lisle
Bishop Noll Institute, Hammond
The Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago
Francis W. Parker School, Chicago
Hancock College Preparatory High School, Chicago
Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor
Infinity Math, Science and Technology High School, Chicago
John F. Kennedy High School, Chicago
Kenwood Academy High School, Chicago
Lincoln Park High School, Chicago
Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Chicago
Morgan Park Academy, Chicago
Multicultural Arts School, Chicago
Mundelein High School, Mundelein
New Trier High School, Winnetka
Niles North High School, Skokie
Oak Park and River Forest High School, Oak Park
Orr Academy High School, Chicago
Prosser Career Academy, Chicago
Proviso West High School, Hillside
Rickover Naval Academy, Chicago
Round Lake High School, Round Lake
Senn Arts High School, Chicago
Simeon Career Academy, Chicago
South Shore International Preparatory High School, Chicago
Sullivan House High School, Chicago
Tri-Point High School, Cullom
University of Chicago Laboratory School, Chicago
Warren Township High School, Gurnee
More to Explore
From our first online gathering through teams’ final recording for our ensemble production of Midsummer, there are five goals that SLAM teams strive to achieve.
Here's a summary of the key characters and events of the play.
Aquí hay un sinopsis de los personajes principales y acontecimientos de la obra.
Marilyn Halperin Director of Education, Ray and Judy McCaskey Chair
Kim Hedlin Learning Programs Manager
Sadaf Zara Habib Arts Leadership Fellow
Matt Hawkins Senior Instructor
Kevin Long Senior Instructor
Devon Glover Educator Artist
Aurora Real de Asua Slam Dance Choreographer
Cage Sebastian Pierre Slam Dance Choreographer