Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) recently presented the tenth anniversary performances from CPS Shakespeare! The immersive arts-in-education program supports public school teachers and students from across the Chicago area. Each ensemble works through a five-week rehearsal to master Shakespeare’s text and create a culiminating production on CST’s Courtyard Theater. Matt Hawkins, former Movement and Voice Director for CPS Shakespeare! will direct this year’s production of Macbeth.
The White House and First Lady Michelle Obama honored CPS Shakespeare! last November with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Its ten-year legacy of reaching students with untapped potential in under-resourced schools has been possible through the Eric’s Tazamanian Angel Fund, which includes monetary awards to participating teachers from each school.
Each year, this transformational program invites CPS high school students and their teachers from across the city into our rehearsal room to create a completely original Shakespeare production. Through a five-week intensive rehearsal process under the guidance of a full team of professional CST artists, this intergenerational ensemble works together to prepare a fully designed production, culminating in two performances on Chicago Shakespeare’s mainstage in the Courtyard Theater. CPS Shakespeare! develops students’ literacy skills as it builds confidence, empowering our city’s teens to approach life’s challenges with bravery and self-assurance. – CST website
In the past, CPS Shakespeare! has presented productions of Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello. This year, the program staged Macbeth with seventeen students and six teachers from seven Chicago schools on November 6 and 7. A thirty minute post-show discussion followed the performances.
For more information about the program, including video clips and national news coverage, visit the Chicago Shakespeare Theater website.