No other theatre in the world is quite like Chicago theatre. It’s real, elevated to an intensity you cannot turn away from. Even on your first visit, you can feel it. From joy to heartache and every feeling in between, Chicago’s exceptional ensemble of talent provides exhilarating experiences that make audiences come alive. Rising from a city of innovators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From the jaw-dropping productions of Broadway In Chicago to the intimate and honest storefront plays and improv, the spirit of the city can be found in our 200+ theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must experience our theatre. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Book your next show today! Learn more at ChicagoPlays.com or find half-price deals at HotTix.org.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare Theater has redefined what a great American Shakespeare company can be. The regional Tony Award-winning theater’s year-round season features as many as twenty productions and 650 performances—including plays, musicals, world premieres, family programming, and presentations from around the globe. The work is enjoyed by 225,000 audience members annually, with one in four under the age of eighteen. Rooted in the legacy of Shakespeare as an unparalleled theatrical innovator, CST’s unforgettable productions and bold theatricality are at the heart of its mission.
At the theater’s home on Navy Pier, audiences can see performances in three unique theater spaces: The 500-seat Jentes Family Courtyard Theater, where three seating levels wrap around a thrust stage fostering an immediate relationship between actors and the audience The 200-seat Thoma Theater Upstairs, which provides an intimate black box perfect for new work And The Yard, a one-of-a-kind space offering flexible configurations to match the unique vision for the scale and orientation of each production
Chicago Shakespeare works to make Shakespeare accessible to everyone. Through Team Shakespeare education initiatives, the theater partners with more than 400 local schools, 2500 teachers, and 40,000 students each year—making it one of the most comprehensive and highly respected arts education programs in the country. Team Shakespeare brings Shakespeare’s work to life in the school curriculum—through live performance, professional learning for educators, comprehensive teaching resources, and opportunities for students to perform Shakespeare. Key Team Shakespeare initiatives include Bard Core, a year-long professional learning seminar that introduces Chicago Public School teachers to drama-based strategies for engaging students with Shakespeare and other challenging texts, and the annual Chicago Shakespeare Slam, where hundreds of high school students and their teacher coaches from schools across the region come together to celebrate the power of Shakespeare and their own voices.
Chicago Shakespeare annually presents an abridged 75-minute Short Shakespeare! production, which welcomes 30,000 students during its seven-week run of weekday matinees, followed by a tour to schools across the region. Additionally, CST has an annual summer tradition of bringing Shakespeare’s plays to parks across the city free for all through Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks.
In addition to making Shakespeare accessible to students across Chicagoland and our neighborhoods, Chicago Shakespeare is Chicago’s leading producer of international theater. The WorldStage Series sparks conversations of artistic and social importance by bringing the world’s most exciting theatrical events to local audiences and sharing our signature productions globally. The program has imported 71 productions featuring over 1000 artists from 23 countries spanning 6 continents and has toured 18 original productions abroad, garnering multiple accolades including the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award.
Did you know that 2019 is the Year of Chicago Theatre? Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From joy to heartache and every feeling in between, Chicago’s exceptional ensemble of talent provides exhilarating experiences that make audiences come alive. This spirit of Chicago theatre is found in all of our neighborhoods, from downtown theatres to behind the storefronts, in a diverse collection of over 200 dynamic theatres. Learn more at ChicagoPlays.com.