Chicago is throwing a really big yearlong party celebrating the past 400 years since the death of the Bard in 1616.
The all encompassing celebration, Shakespeare 400, brings together the city’s world-class institutions and welcomes leading artists from around the globe to celebrate, interpret and re-imagine Shakespeare’s work.
Spearheaded by Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson the international arts festival is expected engage more than 500,000 Chicagoans and visitors.
The scope of the celebration is enormous–with 850 events and 1000 artists.
The festival will take place on stages, in museums, restaurants, parks, schools and neighborhoods across the city with events spanning theater, opera, music, dance, exhibitions, workshops, discussion series and more.
Even Chicago foodies and celebrity chefs will be involved in a special culinary tribute to Shakespeare. Curated by Alpana Singh the tribute features 38 chefs and 38 plays exploring food and theater as it relates to the Bard. To learn more about this celebration, check out Show Me Chicago’s sibling blog Chicago Eats.
Highlights for the year include:
Joffrey Ballet has announced Romeo and Juliet as part of its fall season.
The Grant Park Chorus will perform Shakespeare selections at the Grant Park Music Festival this summer.
The Gift Theatre Company’s Richard III featuring Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton in the title role will be presented in the Steppenwolf Garage, in partnership with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s epic six-play history cycle Tug of War will be presented as a two-part theatrical event: Foreign Fire (beginning May 11) and Civil Strife (beginning September 14).
Yo-Yo Ma will join musicians from Chicago Symphony Orchestra to perform A Distant Mirror, exploring the musical worlds inspired by Shakespeare and Cervantes.
Chicago Mariachi Project will debut a new work, El eterno Shakespeare (The Eternal Shakespeare), which weaves themes from the Bard’s plays into the traditional sounds of mariachi.
The Harris Theater for Music and Dance and Chicago Shakespeare will be presenting Shanghai Peking Opera’s The Revenge of Prince Zi Dan (Hamlet), directed by Shi Yukun at the Harris Theater, September 28 and 29.
The Q Brothers will present their award-winning Othello: The Remix after international tours to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, South Korea, New Zealand, Poland, the United Arab Emirates and beyond.
Chicago’s own band of actor/musicians The Lincoln Squares will premiere their Gravediggers’ Hamlet.
Tickets are on sale now for many Shakespeare 400 Chicago events at Shakespeare 400.
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