Skyler Adams Is Pinocchio in World Premiere of Bartram & Hill Musical, July 13-Aug. 28 | Playbill

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News Skyler Adams Is Pinocchio in World Premiere of Bartram & Hill Musical, July 13-Aug. 28 Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier has been transformed into a European-style marionette theatre for its world-premiere summer musical The Adventures of Pinocchio by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, the writers of Broadway's The Story of My Life. Previews begin July 13.

Don Forston and Skyler Adams
Don Forston and Skyler Adams Photo by Peter Bosy

A commission by CST Family, the new musical about the puppetmaker Geppetto and his wooden puppet Pinocchio will play to Aug. 28. Bartram (music and lyrics) and Hill (book) are Drama Desk Award nominees for their two-character musical The Story of My Life. Opening is July 21.

Based on Carlo Collodi's classic tale of a wooden puppet who yearns to be a real boy, the musical features Chicago newcomer Skyler Adams (Lyric Theater of Oklahoma, Music Theatre of Wichita) as Pinocchio; five-time Jeff Award nominee Don Forston as woodcarver Geppetto; Melody Betts as Blue Fairy; Derek Hasenstab as Fox; Heidi Kettenring as Cat (through July 31); Ericka Mac as Cat (beginning Aug. 3); Liz Pazik as The Driver; Ron Rains as Puppet Master; Hannah Sielatycki as Mary; Dylan Saunders as Lampwick; and Katie Spelman as Annette.

Rachel Rockwell, who staged last summer's world-premiere CST Family musical The Emperor's New Clothes, directs.

Pinocchio was developed in several workshops at CST, with creative producer Rick Boynton leading the way.

According to the Tony Award-winning CST, "Woodcarver Geppetto, mourning the loss of his wife, carves a wooden boy named Pinocchio in honor of the son they never had. Pinocchio is eager to explore the world and, before long, the fun-loving boy is tricked into working for a puppet master, swindled by smooth-talking scam artists Fox and Cat, and tempted to climb aboard a dangerous coach bound for 'Terra di Ragazzi,' the Land of Boys. Through their journey together, Pinocchio and Geppetto learn about the importance of family — and that making choices is one of the most important and precious parts of being human." Bartram & Hill's other musicals include Somewhere in the World, The Nightingale and the Rose and Not Wanted on the Voyage. Bartram is a past recipient of the Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, a Dramatist's Guild Fellowship and a Dora Award.

The production team for The Adventures of Pinocchio includes scenic designer Kevin Depinet, costume designer Rachel Healy, lighting designer Jesse Klug, sound designer James Savage, puppetry designer Meredith Miller, wig and make-up designer Melissa Veal and properties master Chelsea Meyers.

The musical is for children five years old and up. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at (312) 595-5600 or visit

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