Chicago Shakespeare Theater has announced it will expand its space at Navy Pier with a $35 million development called The Yard, according to the Chicago Tribune. The news was announced by the theatre at a press conference March 2.
As reported in the Tribune, the plans involve a re-purposing of the space formerly occupied by the concert and performance venue known as the Skyline stage, greatly expanding CST's producing and presenting space. The new theatre will be erected under Skyline's existing white canopy, which will become a support for stage lights. It is set to feature nine seating towers that can be arranged in a variety of configurations – from a proscenium, to a thrust, to an arena-style stage – and will allow up to 850 patrons. New lobby areas will attach the Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater to the existing Chicago Shakespeare building.
“We are building a theater for the future,” Barbara Gaines told the Tribune, artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare. “We think we will have one of the most forward-looking and innovative spaces in the world,” added executive director Criss Henderson, “in terms of flexibility, sustainability and responsiveness.”
The Yard is designed by Chicago architects Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill in consultation with the British theater design firm Charcoalblue; construction will begin soon with an opening projected for fall 2017.