James Thierrée’s

The Toad Knew

September 19 - 23, 2017

The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

A World’s Stage Production
from France

★★★★ Spellbinding... a show of wonders and miracles

The Guardian (UK)

His design is undeniably alluring, his skill dazzling

Financial Times (UK)

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The Play

This fall, our new third theater, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, is home to a realm of wonder and enchantment as we welcome back cirque nouveau superstar James Thierrée (creator of CST’s sold-out runs of Farewell Umbrella and Bright Abyss). For nearly two decades, Thierrée has teased and twisted audiences’ imaginations with astonishing, theatrical creations—sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, always extraordinary. His newest invention, The Toad Knew, intertwines dreams with childhood terrors, burlesque, and realism to explore the wild, wondrous love shared among siblings. A collective of dancers, high-wire artists, and musicians create an intoxicating world evocative of Salvador Dalí and Tim Burton. This is artistry that defies categorization, but promises to stay with you long after you leave the Theater. 



Gallery: The Toad Knew

Video: The Toad Knew


More to Explore

About the Director

James Thierrée's dedication to his craft, so evident in his one-of-a-kind creations, started at a very early age.
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An Introduction from James Thiérrée

The creator gives his unique introduction to the spectacle that awaits.
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Critical Acclaim

“A spellbinding mix of ravishing visuals and breathtaking acrobatics,” applauds London’s The Guardian.
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The Players

Creative Team

James Thierrée Scenography and original music

Anthony Nicolas Technical Coordination

Thomas Delot Sound

Alex Hardellet & James Thierrée Lighting

Pascaline Chavanne Costumes

Victoria Thierrée Puppet

Additional Pages