Welcome to SHAKES@HOME: our digital platform updated regularly with engaging, original content from our artists, educators, and staff. Whether you are hungry for culture, seeking a little motivation or a momentary escape, you can turn to us for inspiration, community—and a little fun along the way. Together, let’s connect, learn something new, and bring the Bard home! Explore the categories below:
SPOTLIGHT ON SHAKESPEARE
Through weeks of online collaboration and rehearsals during a semester of remote learning, 250 students from 39 area high schools unleashed the power of their imaginations in conversation with Shakespeare. Hear directly from this year’s SLAM participants and watch excerpts from a Hamlet unlike any you’ve witnessed before.
In celebration of Black History Month, we take inspiration from Ira Aldridge, the nineteenth-century American actor who rose to fame in the face of discrimination. WTTW explores his enduring legacy in Lolita Chakrabarti’s Red Velvet, which graced our stage in 2017, and in an Art Institute of Chicago painting.
Actor Phoebe González, who most recently appeared as Luciana in The Comedy of Errors, shares her interpretation of Shakespeare's Sonnet 14 (“Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck...”), as part of our Living Room Sonnet Series.
Take on the day with a song in your heart thanks to this musical playlist inspired by the Bard. Curated by Casting Director Bob Mason, the song list includes beloved favorites from West Side Story and Kiss Me, Kate, and hidden gems like off-Broadway's Love’s Labor’s Lost. Happy listening!
Chicago actors are refining their audition technique with a free weekly webinar from Casting Director Bob Mason via Zoom. Each Monday, Bob coaches three artists through Shakespeare monologues. All are welcome to observe and dive deeper into an actor’s process.
Our namesake wrote a lot about food—he even baked some characters into it! Discover recipes with actor/chef John Tufts (Nell Gwynn, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Tug of War) from his new book, Fat Rascals: Dining at Shakespeare's Table.
Get a front row seat to the 2019 Chicago Shakespeare SLAM Final Bout! After countless hours of rehearsals and workshops, 500 high school students, friends, and families filled The Yard to cheer, dance, and geek out over Shakespeare.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s “asides”—when characters speak directly to the audience and pull them into the story—this podcast dives deeper into our work with valuable insights from our team of scholars. Binge all five episodes of Season 1 now!
Even when times feel dark, the spark of creation burns bright—and it cannot and will not be extinguished. Introduced by talented theater-makers (and her parents!) Henry Godinez and Nancy Voigts, the remarkable Lucy Godinez performs a number from The Children of Eden.
Explore the scary, strange, and supernatural in Shakespeare’s work with Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Teller (of famed magic duo Penn & Teller) in Chicago ShakesFEAR. This 30-minute streaming event features never-before-seen clips from our productions of Macbeth, Hamlet, and more.
Dive into our archives with a playlist of memorable moments from Chicago Shakespeare musicals through the years. Ranging from Sondheim classics to summer family musicals, let us sing out and lift your spirits through song.
We’ve gathered some of our favorite Chicago Shakespeare moments in a video playlist to help lift your spirits during these uncertain times. Go ahead: take the stage, “speak the speech,” and sing along!
From open air...to on the air! This 30-minute TV program brings your favorite summer tradition to the small screen, featuring illuminating interviews with artists, community leaders, and partner organizations, memorable moments from past years’ tour productions, and highlights of summer 2020’s inventive virtual experience.
Named after the opening acts in Shakespeare’s day, 18 local artists take the virtual stage, performing in a variety of vibrant, multicultural traditions—from spoken word poetry to West African Dance, hip hop, mariachi, flamenco, and more. Stream the entire collection now!
Explore a new-to-you Chicago neighborhood! Get to know the 18 parks we visit every summer and get involved with the many grassroots organizations leading vital initiatives in each community. Plus, support a small business with our cast and crew recommend neighborhood eats!
To respond to the unique challenges facing schools navigating the complexities of remote learning, our Team Shakespeare education program—one of the most comprehensive and highly respected in the country—moves online this season. Director of Education Marilyn Halperin shares how “necessity became the mother of invention.”
In December, the Theater hosted an online pop-up shop in support of local theater-makers and community artists. Twenty-five artisans showcased 200+ one-of-a-kind, homemade wares. One hundred percent of proceeds directly benefited the artists, all impacted by the extended industry-wide COVID‑19 shutdown.
We’ve long welcomed to our stages the ABLE Ensemble—an artistic collective for young adults with Down syndrome and other developmental differences. Tune in to the first episode of their new web series re-imagining The Comedy of Errors.
Leading civic and cultural figures paint a vibrant portrait of how Shakespeare comes alive in Chicago through theater, opera, ballet, improv, and contemporary art.
In 2020, our production team mobilized people across the city in partnership with UIC to sew thousands of desperately needed patient face masks for hospitals—and provided a source of income to skilled costume artisans at the same time.
CREATE & LEARN
For the students in your life—whether you are a teacher practicing remotely, or a family helping children learn at home—these ready-to-use activities will engage students with complex texts—and have fun in the process!
Gizmology (the mad “science” of gizmos) is all about making things out of other things. Cassandra Westover throws down the gauntlet in this challenge. You just need some promising old “junk” around your home inside or out, simple tools—and, most important, your creativity.
Try your hand at bringing the stage to the page with a Shakespeare-inspired coloring book for all ages created by the artisans on our production team. There’s no limit to the magic you can create!
“The game is afoot”—flex those mental muscles with interactive diversions inspired by Shakespeare and our productions. Try your hand with digital jigsaw puzzles, mad libs, and word searches for the whole family.
Parents, engage your children—away from the screen—with print-at-home (and fun to look at) activity pages, inspired by a few of our favorite summer family musicals. Let’s learn, create, and play together!
THE ART OF CRAFT
Thousands of audience members—from Santiago to Seoul and beyond—discovered Chicago Shakespeare’s artistry through our free streaming Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure in December. Get a peek at the onstage magic of design, technology and special effects with this interactive platform.
Ever wondered what it would be like to walk into an attic filled with armor, ballroom gowns, and doublets and ruffs? How a 3,000-pound wall "flies" away? How a ghost light got its name? Now's your chance as we lift the curtain and take you backstage!
Amir Abdullah—who performed the title role in our 2018 abridged production of Macbeth for 30,000 students—provides insight into how exhilarating live theater can be: “It’s like being on a roller coaster...you don’t know where it’s going to take you.
Looking to spruce up your space? Assistant Properties Supervisor Persephone Lawrence-Wescott demonstrates how to transform a piece of furniture with simple DIY reupholstering techniques that you can try at home.