in Love

April 15

June 11, 2017

at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

based on the screenplay by Marc Norman + Tom Stoppard
adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
directed by Rachel Rockwell

Riotously funny

The Sunday Times (UK)


The Play

Young playwright Will Shakespeare is stuck. He is overdue in finishing his latest play—a half-baked mess of a comedy called Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter. He finds his muse in Viola de Lesseps, who is driven to do anything—even disguise herself as a man—to fulfill her dream of performing onstage, where no women are permitted. Surrounded by familiar players, including Queen Elizabeth herself, backstage antics collide with onstage dramas. Will and Viola’s passionate, forbidden love affair goes on to inspire Shakespeare’s masterpiece—the most romantic tragedy ever written.



Gallery: On Stage

Gallery: Building Shakespeare's London

Gallery: Rehearsal Photos


More to Explore

The Story

Meet Will Shakespeare, poet for hire, who longs for a muse struggles with his new comedy, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter.
Read More

Q&A with the Director

Rachel Rockwell on plotlines paralleling real life, portraying historical figures, and creating Shakespeare's world.
Read More

A Scholar's Perspective

What we know and don't know about Shakespeare from his biographers, and the inherent guesswork in creating a historically-based play.
Read More


The Players

Creative Team

Marc Norman Original Screenplay

Tom Stoppard Original Screenplay

Lee Hall Adaptor

Rachel Rockwell Director

Scott Davis Scenic Designer

Susan E. Mickey Costume Designer

Robert Wierzel Lighting Designer

Ray Nardelli Sound Designer

Richard Jarvie Wig & Make-up Designer

Neil Bartram Composer / Music Director

Matt Hawkins Fight Choreographer

Eva Breneman Dialect & Verse Coach

Jo Cattell Associate Director


Nathaniel Braga Sam / Ensemble

Scott Danielson Lambert / Wabash / Ensemble

Jerre Dye Sir Robert de Lesseps / Tilney / Ensemble

Fred Geyer Adam / Boatman / Ensemble

Dennis Grimes Wessex / Ensemble

Alana Grossman Kate / Ensemble

Jake Helm John Webster (alternating)

Ron King Ralph / Ensemble

Jeff Kurysz Peter / Frees / Ensemble

Ryan McBride Robin / Ensemble

Kate McGonigle Viola de Lesseps

Andrew Mueller Nol / Ensemble

Michael Perez Kit Marlowe

Ron E. Rains Fennyman

Linda Reiter Queen Elizabeth / Molly / Ensemble

Nick Rehberger Will Shakespeare

Catherine Smitko Nurse / Ensemble

Luigi Sottile Ned Alleyn

Timothy D. Stickney Burbage

Matthew Uzarraga John Webster (alternating)

Larry Yando Henslowe

Additional Pages