Here are the stats: Between July 19 and Aug. 16, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST), in association with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District and Boeing,will continue the annual citywide summer tradition of Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, presenting 24 free performances of “Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits,” in 17 neighborhood parks. But, while in previous seasons, CST staged abridged editions of a single play, this time around it will home in on Shakespeare’s most memorable characters in a surprising mash-up of scenes from his most celebrated plays.
Now entering its fourth summer season, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks also will inaugurate cultural programming in a newly created Chicago Park District park – Steelworkers Park – a former industrial site now reclaimed as public green space in the Calumet region. This transformation of a 10th Ward site has been hailed by environmentalists, community groups and urban planners.The tour of the Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks production of “Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits” (made possible by production sponsor BMO Harris Bank), will kick off at the newly dedicated Steelworkers Park on Sunday, July 19 at 4:00 p.m.
Other parks scheduled to be visited, rain or shine, include: Tuesday, July 21–Tuley Park; Wednesday, July 22 & Thursday, July 23–Humboldt Park; Friday, July 24 & Saturday, July 25–Loyola Park; Sunday, July 26–Columbus Park; Tuesday, July 28–Gage Park; Wednesday, July 29–Piotrowski Park; Thursday, July 30–Hamilton Park; Friday, July 31 & Saturday, August 1–Frank J. Wilson Park; Sunday, August 2–Garfield Park Conservatory; Wednesday, August 5 & Thursday, August 6–Dvorak Park; Friday, August 7 & Saturday, August 8–Welles Park; Sunday, August 9–Riis Park; Tuesday, August 11–Marquette Park; Wednesday, August 12 & Thursday, August 13–Ridge Park; Friday, August 14 & Saturday, August 15–Eckhart Park; Sunday, August 16–Washington Park. Performances Tuesday through Saturday begin at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday performances begin at 4:00 p.m. (The Garfield Park Conservatory performance will begin August 2 at 3:00 p.m.).
In a prepared statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel noted: “Chicago prides itself on offering residents and visitors growing access to the arts and culture, and the incredibly popular Night Out in the Parks program brings hundreds of events each year to neighborhoods all across the city. Through performances like Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, we are able to showcase the best Chicago has to offer while providing people of all ages with accessible, world-class cultural opportunities.”
Since the inception of the Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks program, more than 50,000 Chicagoans have taken advantage
of these free performances in their communities.
On each stop of the tour, a specially equipped truck rolls into the park, a stage unfolds, and a company of professional actors struts its stuff. “Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits” will be staged by Jeff Award-winning director Dominic Missimi who has re-imagined some the Bard’s most celebrated scenes- from “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth,” “As You Like It” and others – to create a lively medley of Shakespeare’s stories. The multi-talented ensemble will feature such skilled performers as Jasmine Bracey, Lillian Castillo, Patrick Clear, Ronald Conner, Kyle Curry, Angela Ingersoll, Emma Ladji, Colin Morgan, Steve O’Connell, Sean Parris and Bri Sudia.
NOTE: Partnering with the Chicago Park District, CST is again offering ASL-interpreted performances at six of the 17 Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour stops—two in each of the South, West and North Park District regions. Sign-interpreting the performances will be Elizabeth Bartlow Breslin (CI/CT) and Will Lee (NIC).
ASL Duo-interpreted performances of “Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits” are scheduled for:
|Sunday, August 2, at 3:00 pm||Garfield Park Conservatory (4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.)|
|Saturday, August 8 at 6:30 pm||Welles Park (2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.)|
|Sunday, August 9 at 4:00pm||Riis Park (6100 W. Fullerton Ave.)|
|Wednesday, August 12 at 6:30pm||Ridge Park (1817 W. 96th St.)|
|Friday, August 14 at 6:30pm||Eckhart Park (1330 W. Chicago Ave.)|
|Sunday, August 16 at 4:00pm||Washington Park (5531 S. Russell Dr.)|
For more information on Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/parks.