Stream FREE now, in celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday!
To be, or not to be… there is no question. Starting April 23, Chicago Shakespeare invites audiences everywhere to celebrate the power of the arts with a free streaming event, TO BE. “All the world’s a stage” with a series of performances at the Theater’s home on Navy Pier and beyond. Through song, poetry, and boundless creativity, this 25-minute program celebrates the ways in which the spirit of Shakespeare moves us all.
A JOURNEY BACK TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
TO BE pays tribute to Chicago Shakespeare’s history with an appearance by Bruce A. Young, who spoke the first words in the inaugural production of Henry V on the roof of the Red Lion Pub, joined by esteemed Chicago actors Timothy Edward Kane and Elizabeth Ledo.
SPOTLIGHT ON COMMUNITY ARTS PARTNERS
Over the past 12 years of Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, the Theater has collaborated with community arts partners who embody the vitality of the arts in Chicago. Now, we are thrilled to share performances by some of those partners in the Courtyard Theater, including:
- An original spoken word piece by actor, poet, and storyteller Jose iasEL Gonzalez
- A performance by Yin He Dance, a company rooted in Chicago's Chinese American community
PERFORMANCES BY POWERHOUSE
Neala Barron, Luke Nowakowski, Juwon Tyrel Perry, and Cherise Thomas perform on the Courtyard Theater stage, with music direction and accompaniment by David Fiorello.
HONORING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR BARBARA GAINES
Outgoing founding Artistic Director Barbara Gaines is honored with the Spirit of Shakespeare Award, celebrating her incredible 37-year tenure at the helm of Chicago Shakespeare and the vital role she has played in the city’s performing arts community.
Thank you to the sponsors of the Spirit of Shakespeare Awards 2023, whose support also helps make programs like TO BE available to all to enjoy. Their generosity fuels the Theater’s acclaimed arts-in-literacy and community connectivity programs. Each year, these initiatives support the work in classrooms, bringing Shakespeare to life for tens of thousands of students, and connect Chicago Shakespeare with neighborhood partners across the city.
Mark Ouweleen and Sarah Harding
Burton X. and Sheli Z. Rosenberg
The Jentes Family
Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan
The Segal Family Foundation
Steve and Robin Solomon
Allstate Insurance Company
Bartlit Beck LLP
Bulley & Andrews
The Crown Family
Kent and Liz Dauten,
Virginia and Gary Gerst
Jenner & Block LLP
Judy and John Keller
Ray and Judy McCaskey
Shelia Penrose and Ernie Mahaffey
Ropes & Gray LLP
Timothy R. Schwertfeger and Gail Waller
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom,
Brian and Yasmina Duwe
Carl and Marilynn Thoma
Pam and Doug Walter
as of April 18, 2023