As the world commemorates the 400 years since Shakespeare’s death in 1616, Shakespeare 400 Chicago brings together the city’s resident world-class institutions across disciplines, welcoming leading artists from around the globe to make Chicago their stage. Spearheaded by Chicago Shakespeare Theater, this yearlong international arts festival will engage more than 500,000 Chicagoans and visitors in events spanning theater, opera, music, dance, cuisine, exhibitions, and workshops.
Even the kids are welcomed to experience the world famous Bard, with special experiences designed to introduce the younger set to the world of Shakespeare. Here are three kid-friendly ways to enjoy Shakespeare 400 Chicago.
Recommended for ages 10 and up, Short Shakespeare! Twelfth Night is a condensed (but certainly not dumbed-down) 75-minute version of the original. Before the a Short Shakespeare show even begins, one of the ensemble members takes a moment to speak to the kids in the crowd. The message: "If you are having trouble understanding our words, look to our actions. Listen to us as if you were listening to a new song."
This new adaptation by director Kirsten Kelly makes an outstanding introduction to Shakespeare for audiences of all ages. As an added bonus, after each Saturday morning performance, the actors remain on stage for a question-and-answer session, before joining the audience in the Lobby for one-on-one conversations and photo opportunities.
Saturday, March 5 - 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, March 12 - 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, March 19 - 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, March 26 - 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, April 2 - 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, April 9 - 11:00 a.m.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier
800 E. Grand Avenue
Shakespeare is carried into the modern age of video games
the Knave, a highly interactive digital game that gives everyone a
chance to design, direct and act in scenes from Shakespeare's plays,
karaoke-style. A motion-capture camera maps each player's movements onto a 3D
avatar that mirrors their gestures. All ages are invited to play, and each
player will receive a free video of their digital performance to edit or share
Thursday, April 28
Northwestern University's Hagstrum Room
University Hall #201
1897 Sheridan Rd. Evanston, IL
Chicago's summer tradition, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, is the perfect excuse to pack a picnic and spend a summer night under the stars. This year will feature a FREE, 75-minute abridged production of Twelfth Night at neighborhood parks across the city.
Set up your picnic blanket and enjoy a packed dinner while taking in a little Shakespeare. This is the perfect opportunity to introduced even your littlest ones to the Bard; the relaxed, park picnic setting means they can get out their jiggles and wiggles on the playground between acts.
Save the date: These performances set stage later throughout summer 2016