A Regional Tony Award recipient, Chicago Shakespeare Theater produces a bold and innovative year-round season—plays, musicals, world premieres, family productions, and theatrical presentations from around the globe—alongside education programming for students, teachers, and lifelong learners, and engagement with communities and artists across the city.
Founded in 1986, the Theater has evolved and expanded to present as many as twenty productions and 650 performances annually and has been honored with numerous national and international awards. Chicago Shakespeare is the city’s leading presenter of international work and has toured its own productions to five continents. The Theater is dedicated to welcoming the next generation of theatergoers; one in four of its audience members is under the age of eighteen.
Recognized as a national leader in the field, the Theater’s arts-in-literacy programs support the work in classrooms across the region for tens of thousands of students each year by bringing complex texts to life onstage f and through a variety of professional learning opportunities for teachers. Now in its twelfth year, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks remains a key component of the Theater’s Community Practice, a year-round program rooted in engagement with neighborhoods and collaborations with local artists.
As a nonprofit organization, Chicago Shakespeare is committed to the values of service, ingenuity, and collaboration. At its core, it is about people: connecting audiences and artists, partnering with teachers and students, and sharing with friends and neighbors. It is in this spirit that the Theater upholds its commitment to be an increasingly diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible organization. The Theater strives to engage today’s artists and audiences in active and critical conversations with the work of its namesake playwright, William Shakespeare.
Located on Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier, Chicago Shakespeare’s campus features the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, and the Thoma Theater Upstairs. Onstage, in classrooms and neighborhoods across the city, and in venues around the world, Chicago Shakespeare is a multifaceted cultural hub—inviting audiences, artists, and community members to share powerful stories that connect and inspire.