Jessie Mueller and Heather Headley Will Help Give Chicago Its First Look at New Theatre | Playbill

Benefits and Galas Jessie Mueller and Heather Headley Will Help Give Chicago Its First Look at New Theatre Chicago Shakespeare Theatre will unveil The Yard at June 9 gala.
Heather Headley

Chicago Shakespeare Theater will unveil its new performing space, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, to attendees at its June 9 Gala 2017, celebrating the culmination of the troupe’s 30th anniversary season. Highlights of the gala will include performances by Tony Award-winning Broadway stars Heather Headley (Aida) and Jessie Mueller (Beautiful, Waitress).

The event, which will raise money in support of CST’s civic and educational initiatives, will take place in the soon-to-be-completed theatre on Navy Pier, giving attendees an exclusive preview of the innovative new space. The Yard will give CST a third performance venue that will be usable year round. CST said “the design features a series of mobile towers that allow for the space to be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes, with audience capacities ranging from 150 to 850. With this adaptable theatrical platform, artists will be able to shape their work without physical constraints.”

The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

The Yard is being built in the footprint of Navy Pier’s former Skyline Stage, and will be connected to CST’s two existing spaces—the Courtyard Theater and the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare—through expanded lobbies. The Yard is scheduled to open its first production, a limited engagement of James Thierrée’s The Toad Knew, in September 2017.

Funds raised at Gala 2017 will benefit the Tony Award-winning theatre‘s Chicago Shakespeare in Classrooms and Communities initiatives, which include the popular Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour.

Headley is best known for her performances as Nala in the original Broadway cast of The Lion King and the title role in Aida, for which she won the Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical. In 2016, she returned to the stage in the London premiere of The Bodyguard and the Tony-winning Broadway revival of The Color Purple.

Mueller earned her Tony playing Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. She most recently led the cast of Sara Bareilles’ musical Waitress (nominated for a Tony, Drama Desk and Grammy Award). Other Broadway credits include Nice Work if You Can Get It, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (Tony and Drama Desk nominations). She’s scheduled to return to Broadway in spring 2018 as Julie Jordan in a revival of Carousel.

For more information and to order tickets for Gala 2017, visit


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