Just as London has its newly constructed Globe theatre overlooking the Thames, Chicago will soon have a sparkling new Shakespeare theatre at the Navy Pier overlooking Lake Michigan. Work is set to begin in early 1998 on the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the permanent home of the Shakespeare Repertory Company.
The theatre's exterior design will be modern with glass facades. The interior will include an intimate 550-seat thrust stage theatre modeled on the Royal Shakespeare Company's Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. The complex will also include a studio theatre, rehearsal rooms, a Shakespeare resource center for scholars, and a lobby and reception area with views of Lake Michigan and the skyline.
Foundation work is slated to begin in January, with the actual building construction scheduled for next fall. The theatre is expected to open in time for Shakespeare Rep's 1999-2000 season.
The building will cost approximately $22 million. The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority is investing $12 to cover design fees and exterior construction, and Shakespeare Rep is planning to raise the additional $10 million needed to develop the building's interior.
The decade-old Shakepeare Repertory is known for its accessible, creative productions of the Bard's plays. Earlier this month the company's Hamlet was awarded a Jefferson Award for Best Production of the Year
-- By Rebecca Paller