The line-up also includes the production which will mark the troupe's debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company: Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 directed by Barbara Gaines. That staging will run a limited preview engagement May 13-June 11, 2006, in preparation for a July 6 opening in the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. CST is part of a select group of theatre companies from around the world invited to produce Shakespeare's complete literary works.
The fall Chicago season begins Sept. 2-Nov. 12 with the oft-produced and much-analyzed study of prejudice, vengeance and justice, The Merchant of Venice, staged by Gaines.
Next up are a pair of plays that are part of The World's Stage series. Compagnie du Hanneton's La Veille des Abysses (Nov. 16-20), a piece of physical theatre—"acrobatics, music, dance, contortionism, trapeze, juggling and old-fashioned clowning"—created by James Thiérrée, grandson of Charlie Chaplin, and son to circus impresarios Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée and Victoria Chaplin. This will be followed up by Il Piccolo Teatro di Milano's and their rendering of Goldini's Servant of Two Masters (Nov. 22-27, 2005). The classic play and its central harlequin figure, Arlecchino, have become the calling cards of famed Italian theatre director Giorgio Strehler and his Piccolo Theater. Ferruccio Soleri will play Arlecchino.
A new adaptation of Georges Feydeau's farce A Flea in Her Ear by David Ives, will run Dec 9, 2005-Jan 29, 2006. Associate artistic director Gary Griffin—director of many acclaimed Sondheim musicals, as well as the pre-Broadway The Color Purple in Atlanta and several Encores! productions—directs the piece.
Finally, Marti Maraden directs Much Ado About Nothing Feb. 11-April 23, 2006. No casting has been announced for any of the above productions. For further information, contact the Chicago Shakespeare Theater box office at (312) 595-5600.