Initial Events of Shakespeare 400 Project Announced

By Hedy Weiss

Shakespeare 400 Chicago – the yearlong international festival that will run throughout 2016, and is designed to commemorate the four hundred years since Shakespeare’s death in 1616 – has announced the events planned for January through March, 2016. The full line-up of the year’s productions and other events will be announced in January.

+ From RUSSIA: Cheek by Jowl & Moscow Drama Pushkin Theater in “Measure for Measure,” by William Shakespeare. Directed by Declan Donnellan presented by Chicago Shakespeare Theater in CST’s Courtyard Theater, Jan. 27–31, 2016. Performed in Russian with projected English translation. Tickets: $68–$78; Call (312) 595-5600; www.chicagoshakes.org

+ From BELARUS: Belarus Free Theatre in “King Lear,” by William Shakespeare. Directed by Vladimir Shcherban, adapted by Nicolai Khalezin and presented at Chicago Shakespeare Theater Upstairs, Feb. 5–14, 2016. Founded in 2005 under Europe’s last surviving dictatorship, Belarus Free Theatre is one of the most outspoken critics of Belarus’ repressive regime and is banned from performing in their own country. Many company members have served time in prison, lost their jobs, gone into hiding or been exiled. Despite this, the company continues to create award-winning work with the support of artists around the world. Performed in Belarusian with projected English translation. Tickets: $48–$58. Call (312) 595-5600; www.chicagoshakes.com.

+ Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chicago Shakespeare Theater in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” conducted by Edwin Outwater and adapted and directed by David H. Bell at Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Center. The Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with Chicago Shakespeare Theater ,developed two programs as part of the CSO’s annual school and family concert series. The CSO orchestra, conducted by Edwin Outwater, and a cast of Chicago Shakespeare actors directed by David Bell, perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for schools and families with children ages 5–11. The performances include memorable scenes by the cast as the orchestra highlights various composers’ interpretations of these classic Shakespeare stories. Feb. 13, 2016 – 11:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Tickets: $6–$57. Call (312) 294-3000; www.cso.org.

+ Lyric Opera of Chicago in “Romeo & Juliet,” by Charles Gounod. Conducted by Emmanuel Villaume and directed by Bartlett Sher. At Lyric Opera of Chicago, Feb. 22–March 19, 2016. Performed in French with projected English translation. Tickets: $20–$239. Call (312) 827-5600; www.lyricopera.org.

+ Chicago a cappella & Chicago Shakespeare Theater in “Shakespeare a Capella,” adapted & directed by Tom Mula, with musical direction by John William Trotter. Locations across Chicago, Feb. 13–21, 2016. The words of William Shakespeare are illuminated through innovative and artful a cappella music as actors from Chicago Shakespeare join singers from Chicago a cappella onstage to enhance the drama. Sonnets and soliloquies are set to music by composers from around the world. Tickets: $12–$38. Call (773) 281-7820; www.chicagoacappella.org.

+ UChicago Arts in “Music in the Time of Shakespeare,” at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, Feb. 27 2016. This concert features the Decani, the professional semi-chorus of the Rockefeller Chapel Choir, in an a cappella celebration of Thomas Tallis and the Elizabethans, including Tallis’ famous “Lamentations,” paired with settings of Shakespeare texts by Shulamit Ran. Tickets: $20, free to all students with university ID. Call: (773) 702-ARTS; www.arts.uchicago.edu.

Published in the Chicago Sun-Times.