January 13 & 14, 2021

Streamed Online

Watch two different casts each perform their own unique production of Hamlet!

January 13 Cast     January 14 Cast



Teams representing high schools from across the Chicago region worked together through the fall semester to explore and interpret the work of Shakespeare—and to celebrate the power of their own voices in the Theater's fourth annual Chicago Shakespeare Slam. Due to the ongoing impact of COVID‑19, the SLAM program goes remote this year—and culminates in a collaborative, recorded production of Hamlet, to be streamed online in two unique performances on consecutive evenings, Wednesday, January 13, and Thursday, January 14. Each night, a different cast presents its own Hamlet.

In a world gone wrong, Hamlet wrestles with betrayal, alienation, and self-doubts. His journey is one that has had special resonance to students as they attempt to cope with the many unanticipated ramifications in their own lives facing a global pandemic and the struggle for racial justice and equity.

A series of filmed workshops, accompanied by school rehearsals (largely remote, as well), and live video conference gatherings are preparing the teams for their role in this year’s program. Each team rehearsed, performed, and recorded its contribution to the SLAM community’s unique staging of Hamlet. Their recorded scenes will tell the story of a Hamlet inextricably bound to students' own stories as their lives collide with history in the making.

The Chicago Shakespeare Slam is, more than anything, an ensemble program—building community, both among the members of a school’s team and between the teams participating across the 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.

2020 Participating Schools

Addison Trail High School, Addison
Alcott College Prep, Chicago
Beacon Academy, Evanston
Benet Academy, Lisle
Benito Juarez Community Academy, Chicago
Bishop Noll Institute, Hammond
Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago
Crystal Lake South High School, Crystal Lake
Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove Village
Francis W. Parker School, Chicago
Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor
Huntley High School, Huntley
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
Marengo Community High School, Marengo
Morgan Park Academy, Chicago
Multicultural Arts High School, Chicago

Mundelein High School, Mundelein
New Trier High School, Winnetka
Niles North High School, Skokie
Northside College Preparatory High School, Chicago
Oak Park and River Forest High School, Oak Park
O-School, Chicago
Plainfield East High School, Plainfield
Prosser Career Academy, Chicago
Proviso West High School, Hillside
Rickover Naval Academy, Chicago
Ridgewood High School, Norridge
Round Lake High School, Round Lake
Senn Arts High School, Chicago
Simeon Career Academy, Chicago
South Shore International College Prep, Chicago
Sullivan House High School, Chicago
University of Chicago Laboratory School, Chicago
Warren Township High School, Gurnee
William Howard Taft High School, Chicago




Video: What does it mean "TO BE" part of SLAM?


Video: Reflections on the SLAM’s significance in COVID times


Video: Introduction to Voice and Movement at the first “Hamlet Hangout”




More to Explore

Hamlet Viewer’s Guide

Check out a “play-ful” Viewer’s Guide to help you follow along as you watch the SLAM community perform Hamlet.
Read More

SLAM Goals

What goals do the SLAM teams strive to achieve in their performances? From our first online gathering through teams’ final recording for our ensemble production of Hamlet, there are five of them...
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“We OWN this space!”

As each team takes their own virtual stage, the students introduce their school name followed by the now-familiar chant, “…and we OWN this space!”
Read More

Education Team

Marilyn Halperin Director of Education, Ray and Judy McCaskey Chair
Jason Harrington Education Outreach Manager and Chicago Shakespeare Slam Program Director
Sara B.T. Thiel Public Humanities Manager
Matt Hawkins Senior Instructor
Kevin Long Senior Instructor
Aurora Real de Asua Chicago Shakespeare Slam Creative Lead
Cage Sebastian Pierre Chicago Shakespeare Slam Creative Lead


Additional Pages