Showing posts with label Chicago Shakespeare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Shakespeare. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

William Shakespeare’s ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL at Chicago Shakespeare Theater April 22–May 29, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces cast and creative team

William Shakespeare’s


directed by Shana Cooper

in the Courtyard Theater, April 22–May 29, 2022

Featuring Alejandra Escalante, Dante Jemmott, Ora Jones, Francis Guinan, Emma Ladji, Mark Bedard, Elizabeth Ledo, William Dick, Patrick Agada, Casey Hoekstra, Joseph Aaron Johnson, Jeff Kurysz, Pablo David Laucerica, and Tanya Thai McBride

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces the cast and creative team for the upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, staged by acclaimed director Shana Cooper. No challenge can match the power of a determined woman. In love with a young man who does not return her affection, the resourceful Helena will go to any length to turn her visions of romance into reality—only to discover that happy endings are never quite as simple as they seem in fairy tales. Shakespeare’s rarely seen dark comedy is brought to new life in the uniquely intimate setting of the Courtyard Theater, April 22–May 29, 2022.

"The beautiful thing about All’s Well That Ends Well is that it’s about these transitional moments in life—about growing up and growing older—in the midst of profound loss and major shifts in the world… and I think we’re all in that space," shared director Cooper. "It’s ultimately a joyful ride through the intricacies of self-exploration and self-discovery."

Director Shana Cooper is known for her visceral approach to both classical texts and new works, often infusing movement and music to complement the muscularity of language. A company member at the acclaimed Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Cooper has directed at leading companies, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, and Yale Repertory Theatre. She notably staged the world premiere of Terra Firma off-Broadway in 2019. Her work has most recently been seen in Court Theatre’s The Lady from the Sea.

Appearing as Helena is Alejandra Escalante, a veteran of seven seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In addition to credits at American Players Theatre and Guthrie Theater, Escalante has also notably appeared at Goodman Theatre as Isabella in Measure for Measure and in featured roles in 2666, The Upstairs Concierge, and Song for the Disappeared. Portraying Bertram, the young nobleman at the center of Helena’s affection, is Dante Jemmott—who recently made an acclaimed debut as Romeo in R+J at the Stratford Festival in 2021. 

Esteemed performer Ora Jones is Bertram’s mother, the Countess of Roussillon. Jones has appeared on Broadway as Madame de Volanges in Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Mrs. Phelps in Matilda the Musical, both on Broadway and in the first national tour. Her notable Chicago Shakespeare roles include Katherine of Aragon in Henry VIII, Queen Charlotte in The Madness of George III, and Maria in Twelfth Night. Francis Guinan portrays the ailing King of France. An ensemble member since 1979, Guinan has appeared in more than 40 productions at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He made his Chicago Shakespeare debut in the world premiere of The Book of Joseph.

Emma Ladji is Helena’s accomplice, Diana. With multiple credits at Chicago Shakespeare, Writers Theatre, and Goodman Theatre, Ladji has also been an artist-in-residence at Links Hall and presented work at the New Now Festival in Amsterdam. Appearing as Parolles is Mark Bedard, who has performed off Broadway in Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in addition to seven seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Jeff Award-winner Elizabeth Ledo plays Lavache, the clown of the Countess’s court. An artistic associate of About Face Theatre and recipient of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship, Ledo has memorably appeared at Chicago Shakespeare as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Phoebe in As You Like It, and Myrtle in The King’s Speech. William Dick is Lafew. Highlights of Dick’s long theatrical career include Blind Date and Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, and 3) at the Goodman Theatre; We All Went Down to Amsterdam at Steppenwolf; and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Henry VIII at Chicago Shakespeare. 

The company also includes Patrick Agada (Second Lord Dumaine), Casey Hoekstra (First Lord Dumaine), Joseph Aaron Johnson (Rinaldo), Jeff Kurysz (First Soldier), Pablo David Laucerica (Ensemble), and Tanya Thai McBride (Mariana).

Award-winning choreographer Stephanie Martinez is the production’s Movement Designer. In addition to being the founder and artistic director of contemporary dance company PARA.MAR, Martinez has devised original creations for Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispánico, and Luna Negra Dance Theater, among others. Joining Cooper and Martinez on the creative team are Scenic Designer Andrew Boyce, Costume Designer Raquel Barreto, Lighting Designer Adam Honoré, Sound/Composition by Paul James Prendergast, and Hair & Make-up Designer Richard Jarvie. The team also includes Magic Consultant Nate Dendy (who memorably appeared as Ariel in Aaron Posner and Teller’s production of The Tempest at Chicago Shakespeare in 2015), Verse Coach Gregory Linington, Assistant Director Mallory Metoxen, Assistant to the Movement Designer Noelle Kayser, Intimacy Director Sarah Scanlon, and Casting by Bob Mason. The stage management team features Katrina Herrmann as Stage Manager and Kate Ocker as Assistant Stage Manager. Katie Lupica and Manna-Symone Middlebrooks are Assistants to the Director.

Chicago Shakespeare strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Accessible performances for All’s Well That Ends Well include:

Open-captioned Performances – Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

A text display of the words and sounds heard during a play, synced live with the action onstage.

ASL Duo-interpreted Performance – Friday, May 20, 2022, at 7:30 p.m.

All dialogue and lyrics are translated into American Sign Language by two certified interpreters.

Audio-described Performance – Sunday, May 22, 2022, at 2:00 p.m

A program that provides spoken narration of a play’s key visual elements for patrons who are blind or have low vision.

More information on the production at or on social media at #cstAllsWell.

All’s Well That End’s Well is presented April 22–May 29, 2022, in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater. Single tickets ($49–$90) are on sale now. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at

Chicago Shakespeare’s most up-to-date health protocols can be found at


A Regional Tony Award recipient, Chicago Shakespeare Theater produces a year-round season—featuring plays, musicals, world premieres, family productions, and theatrical presentations from around the globe—alongside nationally recognized education programming, each year serving tens of thousands of students, teachers, and lifelong learners. Founded in 1986, the Theater’s onstage work has expanded to as many as twenty productions and 650 performances annually. Dedicated to welcoming the next generation of theatergoers, one in four audience members is under the age of eighteen. As a nonprofit organization, Chicago Shakespeare works to embrace diversity, prioritize inclusion, provide equitable opportunities, and offer an accessible experience for all. On the Theater’s three stages at its home on Navy Pier, 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.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

REVIEW: Writers Theatre Wows With New Adaptation of Julius Caesar Through October 16th

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Writers Theatre opens its 25th Anniversary season with a new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s 
Julius Caesar

Adapted and Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam 
and Scott Parkinson

Now Playing Through October 16, 2016

All Photos By Michael Brosilow 

Hail Caesar indeed! Writers Theatre's hybrid of this classic is well deserving of praise. Michael Halberstam and Scott Parkinson work their magic adapting and directing a stellar cast. I've seen a number of theaters attempt Julius Caesar set in present day dress and sets, and as period pieces, yet never both. Writers Theatre deftly merges past and present day politics, style and technology in a compelling mash up that has space for cell phones, emojis and selfies alongside iambic pentameter and togas. Highly recommended.

With an imposing wall of seven Stonehenge-like columns, vaguely suggestive of both ruins and Roman Doric Columns. The show begins with a montage of natural disasters and powerful storms, portent of things to come. The set is impressive in scope, yet deceptively simple. Writers Theatre makes excellent use of the entire set as screens, projecting impressive, ever changing backdrops that add much to the production.

This production is not without humor, particularly with the infusion of cell phones and slogans "Make Rome Great Again".  Yet it's true strength lies in the intensity. Caesar's death scene in slow motion with ribbons of blood was powerful and poetic, and the energy of the mob scenes is brilliant. Scott Parkinson (Adaptor, Director, Cassius), Kareem Bandealy (Brutus), Madrid St. Angelo (Julius Caesar), and Arya Daire (Portia/Decia/Soothsayer) are true standouts and masters at their craft. The cast more than does justice to Shakespeares' infamous, age old phrases, with timely relevance and modern storytelling techniques. Writers Theatre has given Chicago a gift with this stunning new adaptation. This is truly a must see for the fall season. 

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, opens its 25th Anniversary Season with a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, directed and adapted by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Scott Parkinson. The show runs September 7 – October 16, 2016 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. 
**25th Anniversary For Writers Theatre’s** 
**400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's Death**

Shakespeare’s masterpiece of power and conspiracy, friendship and betrayal, stands as the greatest political drama ever written. Caesar has made Rome the world’s most powerful Empire through his brilliant military strategies, and upon his return from the wars the citizens of Rome wish to abandon the Republic and crown him king. When his fellow senators decide that his advancement must be halted, they come to a brutal and extreme solution: the great man must fall. 

With a newly streamlined adaptation by Michael Halberstam and Scott Parkinson that is both epic in scale and arrestingly intimate, this fresh and innovative look at the text will immerse audiences in the struggle for global supremacy, raising important questions about the responsibilities of a citizenry when confronting radicalism and tyranny.

Tuesdays – Fridays: 7:30pm
(with 3:00pm Wednesday matinees on September 21 and 28)
Saturdays: 3:00pm (except September 10) and 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm and 6:00pm (except September 11, 25 and October 2)

Run Time: 1:45 (no intermission)

Location: Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

Prices: Prices for all performances range from $35 – $80
Purchase early for best prices      
Box Office: The Box Office is located at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe;


“Caesar has been on my bucket list of passion projects for some years,” says Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. “But the way I have wanted to stage it has always been beyond the capabilities of our venues. That is, until now! Now that we finally have a home where the sophistication of our theatres matches the sophistication of our artistic ambitions we can take a serious look at a play that has never been more relevant. We are in the heart of an election season unlike any in my lifetime and, therefore, I cannot think of a better time to explore Shakespeare’s remarkable play about global politics, world power and the nuances and grayness of great political movements. Scott Parkinson’s considerable knowledge of the play and his expertise with the language has made him an ideal collaborator in manifesting an adaptation that seeks to streamline the play and lift the relationship between Brutus and Cassius, creating an actor-driven realization of the political landscape in which they find themselves.”

The cast includes: Kareem Bandealy (Brutus), Christine Bunuan (Calphurnia/Metella Cimber), Arya Daire (Portia/Decia/Soothsayer), Sydney Germaine (Cinna/Octavius Caesar), Matt Hawkins (Caius Ligarius/Lepidus), Thomas Vincent Kelly (Mark Antony/Trebonius), Julian Parker (Cobbler/Caska), Scott Parkinson (Cassius) and Madrid St. Angelo (Julius Caesar).

Creative team: Courtney O’Neill (Scenic Designer), Mara Blumenfeld (Costume Designer), Jesse Klug (Lighting Designer), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (Original Music and Sound Design), Mike Tutaj (Projections Designer), Breon Arzell (Movement Director) and Bobby Kennedy (Dramaturg). David Castellanos is the Production Stage Manager.

William Shakespeare (Playwright) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. He rose to fame in London as a playwright, actor and partner in a company of players known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. King James I, after ascending to the throne in 1603, would eventually patron the group, thereby changing the name to The King’s Men. During Shakespeare’s career, he wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets and several other famous epic poems. There are many apocryphal plays thought to be Shakespeare’s and he alone is credited with contributing close to 2,000 words to the English language. He is without question the most highly regarded and studied playwright in the history of literature. In 1613, Shakespeare is said to have retired to the place of his birth. It is believed that he died there on his birthday, April 23, 1616. Past WT productions of Shakespeare’s plays include Hamlet, As You Like It, Othello and Richard II.

Michael Halberstam (Adapter, Director) is the co-founder and artistic director of Writers Theatre. He has directed over 35 productions for the company, including Not About Heroes (starring Nicholas Pennell), Private Lives, Look Back In Anger, Candida, The Father, Crime and Punishment, Benefactors, The Seagull, The Duchess of Malfi, Othello, The Savannah Disputation, the world premiere musical A Minister’s Wife, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, She Loves Me, The Real Thing, Hamlet, Sweet Charity, Days Like Today, Isaac’s Eye, Arcadia and Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody (which he co-directed with Stuart Carden). Halberstam has appeared in numerous Writers Theatre productions, including Richard II (title role), Loot and Misalliance. Previously, he spent two years at The Stratford Festival in Ontario and performed in Timon of Athens, The Knight of the Burning Pestle (title role), Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It. Halberstam’s other Chicago acting credentials include productions with Wisdom Bridge Theater, Court Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Elsewhere he directed The Gamester (Northlight Theatre), A Man for All Seasons (Peninsula Players Theatre), Hamlet (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), Candida (Jean Cocteau Repertory in New York), Ten Little Indians (Drury Lane Theatre), a highly acclaimed revival of Crime and Punishment, which Writers Theatre produced off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in New York City, Enchanted April and State of the Union (Milwaukee Repertory Theater). In 2011 he directed A Minister’s Wife at Lincoln Center Theater, and also directed the west coast premiere at San Jose Repertory Theatre in 2013. His forays into opera have included The Rape of Lucretia (Chicago Opera Theater), Francesca da Rimini featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and Le Freyshutz, a Berlioz adaptation of the Weber opera conducted by Christoph Eschenbach in its North American Premiere (Ravinia Festival). He spent two and a half years teaching Shakespeare at The Theatre School at DePaul University and has received awards for excellence in theater management and/ or artistic achievement from The Chicago Drama League, The Arts & Business Council, Chicago Lawyers for the Creative Arts and The Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival. He also received the 2010 Zelda Fichandler Award, the 2013 Artistic Achievement Award from the League of Chicago Theatres, and was named Chicago Tribune's 2013 "Chicagoan of the Year" for Theater. He currently serves on the board of the Arts Club of Chicago.

**Scott Parkinson’s 10th production with Writers Theatre**

Scott Parkinson (Adaptor, Director, Cassius) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in Arcadia, Hedda Gabler, Hamlet, Crime and Punishment, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Booth, Candida, The Glass Menagerie and Marriage and Bears. Chicago credits include 16 productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, including the title role in Richard II, the Fool in King Lear, Caesar in Antony & Cleopatra and Speed in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Other Chicago credits include Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Guys and Dolls (Court Theatre), Angels in America (The Journeymen), Northlight Theatre, Goodman Theatre, title roles in Hamlet and Richard III, Iago in Othello (Shakespeare on the Green). Regional credits include An Iliad, Cock (Studio Theatre), Angelo in Measure for Measure, Cassius in Julius Caesar, The Persians (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Treplev in The Seagull (The Old Globe), The School for Scandal (Mark Taper Forum), Hartford Stage and La Jolla Playhouse. Off-Broadway credits include Hamlet (Classic Stage Company), You Belong to Me (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Stage Manager in David Cromer’s Our Town, Orson’s Shadow (Barrow Street Theatre), The Third Story (MCC Theater), Rose Rage and Crime and Punishment. National tours include The 39 Steps. Broadway: The Coast of Utopia (Lincoln Center Theater). Featured interviews include North American Players of Shakespeare.

Kareem Bandealy (Brutus) has appeared at Writers Theatre in Hamlet, The Caretaker and Heartbreak House. Chicago credits include A Christmas CarolRock 'N' RollGas for Less and King Lear (Goodman Theatre), The Wheel (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Oklahoma! (Paramount Theatre) The Good Book, The Illusion (Court Theatre), Moby DickThe Little PrinceBig Lake Big CityBengal Tiger at the Baghdad ZooThe Last Act of Lilka KadisonPeter Pan, Blood Wedding (Lookingglass Theatre Company), Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Edward II, Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Blood and Gifts (TimeLine Theatre Company), Othello (The Gift Theatre) and many others. Regional credits include The Merry Wives of WindsorThe Three Musketeers, The Tempest (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Notre Dame Summer Shakespeare), Julius Caesar, Stuff Happens (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical) and four seasons at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. He has appeared in several films including The Merry Gentleman directed by Michael Keaton. Television credits include Chicago Fire (NBC). He is an artistic associate of Lookingglass Theatre Company and a recipient of the 2011 3Arts Artist Award. 

Christine Bunuan (Calphurnia/Metella Cimber) is thrilled to make her debut at Writers Theatre. She was most recently seen in Chimerica at TimeLine Theatre Company. Her other credits include the first national tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (David Stone Productions), Avenue Q (Mercury Theater Chicago), Frederick (Chicago Children’s Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), Kafka on the Shore (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Jade Heart (Chicago Dramatists) and many more. This December she will be performing her solo cabaret show called Christmas at Christine’s (Silk Road Rising). Special thanks to Stewart Talent, her family and the love of her life, Sean.

Arya Daire (Portia/Decia/Soothsayer) is delighted to be making her Writers Theatre debut. Chicago credits include Samsara and Disconnect (Victory Gardens Theater), Principal Principle (Stage Left Theatre), Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Emerald City Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Rasaka Theatre Company) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Beverly Arts Center). Television credits include A Christmas Carol—The Concert (PBS holiday special, Emmy Award-nominated) and Chicago Fire (NBC). Arya received her B.S. in Radio/TV/Film and English Literature at Northwestern University. Warmest of thanks to my mom and dad, friends, Michael Halberstam, Stephen Schellhardt, Cheryl Graeff, Ross Lehman, Jeremy Sonkin and an inspiring cast and crew. Arya is represented by Stewart Talent.

Sydney Germaine (Cinna/Octavius Caesar) makes their Writers Theatre debut in Julius Caesar. They were recently seen as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (First Folio Theatre), as Minnie Fay in The Matchmaker (Goodman Theatre), the world premiere of Zipped and Pelted by Lucas Baisch (2015 Chicago Fringe Festival), as well as a couple of web series about queer life (Afternoon Snatch and In Real Life). They have a background in fire breathing, aerial arts and other forms of circus, as well as burlesque. They are represented by Gray Talent.

Matt Hawkins (Caius Ligarius/Lepidus) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Matt is a Chicago-based director, actor and fight choreographer. He is a Founding Member of The House Theatre of Chicago and an Artistic Associate with Strawdog Theatre Company. He is on the music theatre faculty at Northwestern University and is also an adjunct lecturer at Loyola University Chicago. He holds a B.F.A. in Acting from Southern Methodist University and an M.F.A. in Directing from The University of Iowa. He has been nominated for 12 Joseph Jefferson Awards and has received five. This upcoming year he will direct Going to a Place Where You Already Are (Redtwist Theatre) and choreograph violence for The Great Gatsby, Urinetown (Northwestern University); Tug of War: Civil Strife, Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare in Love (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). He is married to actress Stacy Stoltz. 

Thomas Vincent Kelly (Mark Antony, Trebonius) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in Look Back in Anger. Chicago credits include Hotspur in Henry IV, part 1, Pistol in Henry IV, part 2 and Henry V (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), A Touch of the Poet, Zoot Suit (Goodman Theatre), Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Hildy Johnson in The Front Page, Almost Blue and Coriolanus (Next Theatre), Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble), and as a founding member of Irish Theatre of Chicago (formerly Seanachai Theatre Company) he played Joe Hynes in Scenes from the Big Picture, Anton Chekhov in Chekhov in Yalta and Charlie Doyle in And Neither Have I Wings to Fly. Regional credits include Good People, A Steady Rain (Alliance Theatre), A Steady Rain (Guthrie Theater), The Wind Cries Mary (San Jose Repertory Theatre and East/West Players), Bell, Book and Candle, Opus, (Ensemble Theatre), Eastville (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), As You Like It, Hamlet (American Players Theatre) and Shakespearean festivals in Utah, Florida, Illinois and Idaho. Television credits include Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CBS), Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC), Saving Grace (TNT), The Closer (TNT), 24 (FOX), Without a Trace (CBS) and numerous other guest appearances. Tom is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Julian Parker (Cobbler, Caska) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in Hamlet and the reading of Saint Joan in collaboration with The Chicago Inclusion Project. Chicago credits include GenesisDutchmanThe Brothers’ Size (Definition Theatre Company); Prowess (Jackalope Theatre); Hairy Ape (Joseph Jefferson Award—Actor in a Principal Role, Oracle Productions), Charm (Northlight Theatre), The Royale (American Theater Company); Gospel of Franklin (First Look Series—Steppenwolf Theatre Company); BlackTop Sky (Garage Repertory—Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Head of Passes (understudy—Steppenwolf Theatre Company). Television credits include Chicago P.D. (NBC). Julian is a Founding Member and Casting Director of Definition Theatre Company. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Represented by Grossman & Jack Talent. 

Madrid St. Angelo (Julius Caesar) makes his Writers Theatre debut in Julius Caesar. He is an award-winning and Joseph Jefferson Award-nominated actor. A graduate of New York's Neighborhood Playhouse and the New School for Acting, he trained under Sanford Meisner and William Alderson. He is a member of Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Guild of Italian American Actors and Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. Chicago credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Silk Road Rising, Vitalist Theatre and UrbanTheater Company. Television credits include ER (NBC), Boss (Starz) and Chicago Fire (NBC). He is represented by Paonessa Talent (commercial, film/television/theatre) and Grossman & Jack Talent (voiceover).

**Kareem Bandealy, Julian Parker and Scott Parkinson return to the stage together at Writers Theatre in Julius Caesar, having previously appeared together on the WT stage in Hamlet. Of the cast of nine, four will be appearing at Writers for the first time: Christine Bunuan, Arya Daire, Sydney Germaine and Madrid St. Angelo.**


Accessible Performances
ASL-Interpreted performance: Saturday, October 15 at 7:30pm
Open-Captioned performance: Sunday, October 16 at 2:00pm

Post Show Conversation: The Artist
Join us after every Wednesday evening performance (excluding previews and extensions) for a 15-minute talk-back featuring actors from the production, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Post Show Conversation: The Word
Join us after every Tuesday evening performance (excluding previews and extensions) for a 15-minute discussion of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Sunday Spotlight—Sunday, October 2, 2016
This one-hour event will follow the matinee performance and feature an expert in a field related to the themes or setting of Company, moderated by a member of the WT Artistic Team. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.

The Making of… Series—Monday, October 17, 2016
Writers Theatre will once again host its popular The Making of… Series, providing insight into a different aspect of creating the productions seen on our stages. The Making of… events are FREE and open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.

For more information about Writers Theatre Audience Enrichment programs visit

In an effort to promote taking public transit to the Theatre, Writers Theatre launched a new promotion in 2013. Any audience member who purchases a ticket to a Writers Theatre production and rides Metra’s Union Pacific North Line to the Theatre may snap a photo of themselves on the train and post it to their Facebook page or Twitter feed with a tag of @WritersTheatre and #[the title of the show], and upon showing the post at the Writers Theatre Box Office, receive $5 in cash to put toward the cost of your fare as a thank you for going green.

This promotion is available for a limited time only, and may end without warning. Ticket must have been paid for in advance. Not valid on comp tickets. More information available at

Writers Theatre is pleased to recognize BMO Harris Bank as the 25th Anniversary Season Sponsor for the 2016/17 season. Northern Trust and NES Rentals will serve as Major Corporate Sponsors for Julius Caesar and ComEd will be the Official Lighting Sponsor of the season. Additionally, Writers Theatre is grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their support of Julius Caesar: Maryellen and Richard Keyser as Artists Council Sponsors; and Carol and Joel Honigberg, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Seth Traxler and Jessica Aspen and an anonymous donor as Director’s Society Sponsors.

For more information about Writers Theatre’s 2016/17 Partners, visit

For 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues. 

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at or follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter. For more information, visit

**This production is the 1st Shakespearean work performed in Writers Theatre’s new theatre center. Among his many directorial credits, Michael Halberstam previously directed Hamlet (2012) and Othello (2007), along with Tom Stoppards’ Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (2009).**

Monday, March 18, 2013

TONIGHT: Dueling Caesars In More Ways Than One


Beware the Ides of March indeed!   (That was March 15th, for those of you wondering...  an infamous line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and thought to be his assassination date.   In lucky 2013, Chi-town has not one but TWO productions of Julius Caesar currently playing.   Babes With Blades dueling Julius was in previews and Chicago Shakespeare's version was well into their run for the Ides of March.    

ChiIL Live Shows will be there for opening night tonight, and we can't wait.    They're one of our local favorites for sure.   I've been a sucker for stage combat since I took college level classes in fencing, and stage fighting as part of my theatre/pr/marketing degree at Miami of Ohio.   

As far as this Julius goes, Babes With Blades is doing an all female version...fair play turnabout for all the years Shakespearian women were played by men!   We've been impressed for years by their creative staging, and adept casts.   We'll have a full review up shortly. 

BWBTC's All-Female-Cast Production of 
"Julius Caesar"
Babes With Blades Theatre Company reprises our popular all female-cast format to present Shakespeare's tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal.  As classical simplicity meets modern ambiguity -  when the honorable path is clouded by conspiracy - how do you choose where to stand?

3/9 - 4/20/13
Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark St., Chicago
(Lot parking / easy street parking)

Opening M 3/18, 8:00
Run Th-Sa 8:00, Su 3:30

The performance on Thursday, March 21 will be a Theatre Thursday event, held in collaboration with The League of Chicago Theatres. Patrons are invited to come to Fritzy’s Tavern, directly across the street from Raven Theatre at 6156 N Clark, at 6:00PM for a pre-show wine tasting event. A professional wine consultant from PRPWine International will be directing a tasting of six different wines, as well as sharing food/wine pairing ideas and other tasty suggestions. Light refreshments will be served. Tickets are $25, and reservations can be made online at or by calling 773-904-0391 and mentioning “Theatre Thursdays.”

More information about Fritzy’s Tavern:

More information about PRPWine International:

In addition to the Theatre Thursday event, BWBTC is pleased to announce the following updates and discounts:
·         The Thursday performances of 3/28, 4/4, 4/11, 4/18 are industry nights; tickets will be half-price for anyone with proof of industry affiliation (call/walk-in only).
·         The Sunday performances of 3/31, 4/7, 4/14 will be Pay-What-You-Can shows (call/walk-in only).
·         There will be a prize drawing each week of the run. Audience members get one free drawing entry with admission and can purchase additional entries for $2, or three for $5.
·         During the final weekend of the show, April 18-20, BWBTC will be accepting donations for Sarah’s Circle (, which provides housing assistance, case management, referral services, and life necessities for women who are homeless or in need of a safe space.
·         Additional discount codes will be made available to BWBTC’s Facebook friends.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.  For special pricing and events during the show run, please visit our website.

Director: Wyatt Kent
Violence Design: Libby Beyreis*
CAST: Diana Coates (Antony), Alison Dornheggen* (Casca), Catherine Dvorak (Trebonius), Ashley Fox (Lucius), Kim Fukawa* (Portia), Sara Gorsky (Cassius), Kimberly Logan* (Brutus), Kalina "Kitten" McCreery (Metellus), Jennifer L. Mickelson* (Cinna), Aila Peck (Calphurnia), Maureen Yasko (Caesar)
STAFF: Leigh Barrett* (Lighting Design), Leigh Barrett* & Amy E. Harmon* (Production Managers), David Blixt (Dramaturgy), Kjerstine Humiston* (Stage Manager), Kimberly Morris (Costume Design), Grant Sabin (Scenic Design), Melissa Schlesinger (Sound Design)

*denotes BWBTC ensemble members

Fighting Words

Our 2013 new plays development series continues!  Want to be a part of the creative process? Please join us for the first readings of these exciting new plays and give your input.

180 Degree Rule by M.E.H. Lewis & Barbara Lhota*
5/4, 1pm at Profiles Alley Stage (4147 N. Broadway, Chicago) 

Patchwork Drifter by Jennifer L. Mickelson*
6/8, 1pm at Profiles Alley Stage (4147 N. Broadway, Chicago)

Want to know more about Fighting Words?  Go here.
*denotes BWBTC ensemble members

Check Out These Babes

Dawn Alden moved to Los Angeles in January of 2009 to pursue film and television work.  Since arriving in SoCal, she has appeared in indie features, short films, webseries, on stage, and even an episode of "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant."  She is still pursuing her goal of a recurring role on a sci-fi television series.  Updates on her adventures are at her website,

Brooke Elliot is starring in Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva as Jane/Deb. Check it out! 

Lisa Herceg is now an Ensemble Member with Stage Left Theatre, as well as an Artistic Associate with Babes With Blades Theatre Company.  She will be appearing as Dana Wing in SLT's upcoming Leapfest X production of Blue Whitney by Steven Haworth, opening in June at the Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph.   

Barbara Lhota's play Echo is a Semifinalist for the 2013 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference.  The play has also been selected for the Athena Project Festival in Denver, Colorado, March 14-31.  The play has a one-in-four chance of full production by the Athena Project in 2014. 

Kimberly Logan is super-excited to be a newly-minted Artistic Associate with Stage Left Theatre.  After playing as Brutus in BWBTC's production of Julius Caesar, she will be appearing as Jan Jan in Fight Girl Battle World with Infusion Theatre (5/14 - 6/16).

Kathrynne Wolf and Dawn Alden can be seen on the new web series, "Dark Age" -

Niema Lightseed recently published a book, "Cosmonautica: Graphic Love Songs to God", a collection of poems based on the Heroine's Journey as channeled into a quest for the Beloved., check out her website:       
Calling all active & emeritus Babes: please keep us up-to-date on your activities! Email about a listing in the Babes With Blades BroadSheet!

Fabulous Women (and Friends) At Work  

Genesis Theatrical Productions (Elaine LeTraunik, Associate Artistic Director) will be producing Woman Before a Glass by Lanie Robertson as part of their Athena's Wisdom Series.  For more information, please visit the website.

Is your organization providing opportunities for women in theatre or film? Want the Babes to promote your work? Email about a listing in the Babes With Blades BroadSheet!  

Chicago Shakespeare's Caesar

by William Shakespeare
directed by Jonathan Munby
in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater
Navy Pier 600 E. Grand Through March 24, 2013
Audience Notice: Gunshots, strobe lights, loud sound effects, stage blood and haze will be used in the performance.
performances Tuesdays at 7:30pm, Wednesdays 1pm and 7:30pm, Thursdays/Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays 3pm and 8pm, Sundays 2pm and 6pm.  Tickets are $58-$78, and are available by phone (312-595-5600) or online (check for half-price tickets at  (Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes, includes an intermission)

When men feel they can no longer trust their elected leader, where is the line between patriotism and personal ambition? Acclaimed British director Jonathan Munby—whose work has graced the stages of Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare's Globe—ignites the fiery power of the most enduring political assassination in history. Within the uniquely personal setting of CST’s Courtyard Theater, audience members feel each spark of emotion as words are wielded like knives in Shakespeare’s epic tale of ambition, betrayal and consequence.
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours and 30 min (includes intermission)

all production photos by Liz Lauren

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Beauty and The Beast at Chicago Shakespeare #Giveaway

music by Alan Menken | lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice
book by Linda Woolverton | directed by Rachel Rockwell
in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater
June 28–August 26, 2012

Bring your whole family to Navy Pier for this 75-minute heartwarming musical adventure based on the Academy Award-winning Disney film. It recounts the "tale as old as time" of a clever beauty and her ferocious captor—a young prince trapped under an enchantress's spell, who must learn to love and be loved in order to break the curse. Dazzling production numbers, including the beloved title song and "Be Our Guest," will fill CST's Courtyard Theater. Audience members are invited to meet the cast in the lobby following each performance.
Approximate Running Time: 75 minutes

A CST Family production best enjoyed by ages 5 and up

ChiIL Mama/ ChiIL Live Shows will be there for the opening performance on July 7th and we'll have a photo filled review for you then.  We're also excited to offer one of our lucky readers 4 free tickets to your choice of dates between June 28th & July 13th.   Enter right here for your chance to win!

*Wait for Rafflecopter to load up right here (if you've gone through RSS feed or are scrolling down the blog and don't see it, click on the actual page title and it should pop right up).  Entries accepted nationwide.   Enter like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   Winning rocks!   

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

 The Magic of Shakespeare 1/21 & 22 Only

One weekend-4 shows only, come bring the littles and check out a fanciful hybrid of magic, mythical creatures, Shakespeare and chamber music!  If your kids are anything like ours, they already adore tales about WITCHES, WIZARDS,
 SPELLS AND ELVES.   We have a family 4 pack to your choice of dates, for one lucky winner.   We'll announce our winner on Friday the 13th.   

*Wait for Rafflecopter to load up right here (if you've gone through RSS feed or are scrolling down the blog and don't see it, click on the actual page title and it should pop right up).   Entries are easy.   Winning rocks!   Start your new year off right with music, myth and Shakespearean stage magic!

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