Chicago Shakespeare Theater Season Will Feature Puppets, Operas and Shakespeare From Around the Globe

By Carey Purcell
19 Jun 2014

Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Tony Award-winning classical theatre on Navy Pier, has announced the lineup for its 2014-15 World's Stage Season.



The season will feature productions from eight internationally acclaimed theatre companies from Australia, South Africa, Paris, London, Scotland and Belgium.

The theatre is also touring CST-produced work abroad to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Since I Suppose, a world premiere commissioned by and created with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, will be presented by Melbourne-based artists one step at a time like this. Performances begin Aug. 28 and continue through Sept. 21. Here's how the production is billed: "Based on Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, this site-responsive pedestrian theatrical experience incorporates digital technologies, city locales and inhabitants to take audiences through downtown Chicago. Since I Suppose will chiefly employ screen-based technologies and augmented reality, moving the audience through places of power, prayer and pleasure."

South Africa's Isango Ensemble will present the U.S. premiere of The Magic Flute, with performances running Sept. 25-28. "The Magic Flute re-imagines Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's most beloved operatic work, incorporating African singing, pulsating beats and spirited storytelling into this 223-year-old classic," press notes state. "With a score transposed for an orchestra of marimbas, drums and percussion, thirty actors and musicians fill the stage with sheer exuberance, celebrating the spirit of contemporary Africa." The production is produced by Eric Abraham, adapted and directed by co-founder Mark Dornford-May with words and music by Mandisi Dyantyis, Mbali Kgosidintsi, Pauline Malefane and Nolufefe Mtshabe.

Ionesco Suite, a montage encapsulating seven plays by Eugène Ionesco, will play its only U.S. engagement Oct. 15–19 at Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Here's how the production is billed: "The scene is set in a seemingly ordinary dinner party attended by five characters. The gathering descends into an absurdist nightmare, making for a lively rampage against social conventions and a scathing parody of human behavior."

Chicago Shakespeare will kick off 2015 with the International Puppet Festival, with presentations of Blind Summit's The Table from the United Kingdom and Freeze! from Belgium, Jan. 14–25, 2015. "The Table features the unforgettable Moses, a cantankerous and loveable puppet with a cardboard head faced with an existential crisis — on a table," press notes state. "Freeze! blurs the line between performer and audience as all collectively experience the unexplainable harmony that comes from balance and focus."

These presentations join previously announced productions of Hamlet from Shakespeare's Globe and Dunsinane, David Greig's sequel to Shakespeare's Macbeth, from Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre of Scotland. Chicago Shakespeare's Othello: The Remix will join Since I Suppose to travel to Melbourne Festival in Australia, and Othello: The Remix will also go on to New Zealand's Aukland Arts Festival in March 2015.

For more information call (312) 595-5600 or visit chicagoshakes.com.