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Chicago Shakespeare Theater is led by Artistic Director Edward Hall and Executive Director Kimberly Motes who usher in CST’s next chapter with their inaugural season in 2024/25.

Close-up of Artistic Director Edward Hall, a man with short, tousled dark hair, wearing a dark jacket, looking slightly to the left with a neutral expression.


Artistic Director
Carl and Marilynn Thoma Chair

Acclaimed theater, television, and film director Edward Hall joined the Tony Award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater in October 2023 as Artistic Director, Carl and Marilynn Thoma Chair. In February 2024, he directed his debut production as Artistic Director—Richard III starring Tony nominee and Paralympic champion Katy Sullivan. He previously directed the Rose Rage trilogy of Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, and 3 at Chicago Shakespeare in 2003, garnering significant critical acclaim and the Jeff Award for Best Direction. This epic theatrical event went on to play the Duke on 42nd Street, marking Chicago Shakespeare’s off-Broadway and NYC debut.

Son of British theater legend and Royal Shakespeare Company founder Sir Peter Hall, Edward Hall has built his love of Shakespeare around original interpretations of the Bard’s plays, making this a central focus of his own career. In 1997, he founded the ensemble-based Propeller Theatre Company, performing Shakespeare’s plays in London’s West End and on tour to Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United States, and beyond. He has directed Julius Caesar, Henry V, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona for the Royal Shakespeare Company; and his production of The Taming of the Shrew was included as part of the RSC’s Complete Works Festival in 2006/07. The New York Times Magazine raved of his career, “what Edward Hall seems to do is work at the cellular level, cracking the DNA code of the text and replicating it onstage.”

Hall led London’s Hampstead Theatre for nearly a decade as Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive, where he was known for ground-breaking work, including the Olivier Award-winning Sunny Afternoon, Chariots of Fire, The Judas Kiss, and Ecstasy—all of which transferred to the West End. In 2019, he staged the UK premiere of the Pulitzer prize-winning Cost of Living, starring Adrian Lester and Katy Sullivan. Following his appointment to Hampstead Theatre in 2010, Hall took the company from the brink of bankruptcy through a dramatic transformation into one of the nation’s most successful theaters for new work development—producing over 100 world premieres. While at Hampstead, he championed wider accessibility in the theater industry: he launched the Downstairs incubator space for early career playwrights, rolled out discount ticket programs, young writers’ programs, and as far back as 2013 began innovating with “freestreaming” on global digital platforms.

His extensive film and television credits include the Sky TV holiday film The Heist Before Christmas, starring Timothy Spall as Father Christmas; Blithe Spirit starring Dame Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, and Leslie Mann; as well as Gentleman Jack; Restless starring Hayley Atwell and Charlotte Rampling; Partners in Crime;The Durrells; and the season finale for series 4 of the resoundingly successful Downton Abbey.

He is a member of The Arts Club of Chicago.

Professional headshot of a woman with short blonde hair and gold drop earrings, smiling.


Executive Director

Esteemed arts leader Kimberly Motes joined Chicago Shakespeare Theater in October 2023 as Executive Director, bringing more than 25 years of senior leadership experience within the performing arts and higher education in Minnesota and Washington, DC. For over seven years, Motes served as the Managing Director of the Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company (CTC), the nation’s largest and most acclaimed theater dedicated to serving multigenerational audiences. During her tenure, CTC produced 46 plays and musicals including 15 commissioned new works and six co-productions and transfers with the Alliance Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre, the Old Globe Theatre, Penumbra, Seattle Children’s Theatre, the New Victory; partnered with several commercial producers including Kevin McCollum and Universal Theatrical Group; and toured a production to South Africa and throughout the United States. While at CTC, Motes also increased contributed income, completed a $25 million capital campaign, and achieved the highest ticket sales in its history. She led two strategic planning processes, increased the theater’s equity, diversity, inclusion and justice efforts to eliminate barriers to participation for those underrepresented in theater, and forged many meaningful community partnerships.

In addition to her expertise in finance, fundraising, strategy, producing, branding, and operations, Motes possesses a proven track record for driving impactful programming in classrooms and communities, which aligns with Chicago Shakespeare’s core values and compliments the Theater’s artistic strengths. Additionally, Motes has served the Twin Cities arts communities as the Managing Director of Theater Latté Da, and the first Executive Director of the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts, where she led the efforts to build, develop, and actualize this new arts center.

Motes began her career in Washington, DC at the Washington Ballet. She then spent five years at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she was responsible for adult arts education programming and created a national ballet training program with legendary ballerina Suzanne Farrell. Motes was the Director of Development at Arena Stage at the start of Artistic Director Molly Smith’s tenure, where Motes produced Arena’s 50th Anniversary Gala and reversed a five-year downward trend in giving.

Motes also spent five years in higher education senior leadership. As the Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the University of St. Thomas, she led a comprehensive re-branding of the university and as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the College of Saint Benedict, she produced the Centennial Celebration year for the college. An active community member, she currently serves on the board of directors of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable (where she chairs the membership committee) and Meet Minneapolis.

She is a member of The Chicago Network.