Chicago Shakespeare's 25th Season Has Follies, Midsummer, Pinocchio Musical and McDiarmid in Timon of Athens

News   Chicago Shakespeare's 25th Season Has Follies, Midsummer, Pinocchio Musical and McDiarmid in Timon of Athens
The Tony Award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theatre announced that Timon of Athens starring Tony winner Ian McDiarmid, and a new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, among other works, will join the previously announced Follies in the 2011-12 season on Navy Pier. A world premiere Pinocchio musical is also on tap.

CST artistic director Barbara Gaines and executive director Criss Henderson announced programming for the 25th anniversary season on March 22.

Shakespeare's Timon of Athens, the playwright's rarely produced look at greed and friendship, will play April 24-June 17, 2012. The respected international actor Ian McDiarmid (who won a 2006 Tony as Best Featured Actor in a Play for Faith Healer) is known for performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company and on Broadway, as well as for his turn as Senator and Evil Emperor Palpatine in the "Star Wars" films.

The company's World's Stage Series will welcome a company of artists from across the Arabic-speaking world for the U.S. premiere of One Thousand and One Nights (June 25-July 3, 2011) dramatized and directed by Tim Supple.

Gaines' production of Timothy Findley's Elizabeth Rex, "a contemporary play imagining Queen Elizabeth's visit with Shakespeare's acting troupe the night before her rumored lover's execution," will appear Nov. 29, 2011-Jan. 22, 2012.

A special CST collaboration with Chicago's Redmoon, The Tempest... (Jan. 18-March 4, 2012), boasts "the text of Shakespeare's play of revenge and redemption" colliding "with extraordinary puppets, original music and hypnotic animations." It's co-created and co-directed by Jessica Thebus and Frank Maugeri, with adaptation by Thebus, and design by Frank Maugeri. Associate artistic director Gary Griffin will direct Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies (Oct. 4-Nov. 6, 2011) and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Feb. 7-April 8, 2012).

Family and educational programs begin this summer with The Adventures of Pinocchio (July 13-Aug. 28, 2011), a CST-commissioned family musical by Neil Bartram (music/lyrics) and Brian Hill (book), who garnered four Drama Desk Award nominations for their Broadway premiere of The Story of My Life in 2009.

The season also offers families a CST collaboration with The Chicago Chamber Musicians — celebrating their own 25th Anniversary — with the co-commissioned concert Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare.

Chicago Shakespeare's annual "Short Shakespeare!" production will be a 75-minute abridged production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew (Feb. 25-March 31, 2012), presented to student groups and family audiences.

For more information, visit the Theater's website at or call the CST box office at (312) 595-5600.

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