Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announced today four new World's Stage presentations in 2013-bold theatrical events from across the globe, each in its own voice, provoking discussion on issues of international significance. On the heels of celebrating the Year of Creative Scotland with two critically acclaimed National Theatre of Scotland productions this fall, Chicago Shakespeare Theater continues to demonstrate its commitment to engage audiences in global issues, bringing to Chicago conversations of searing social and political importance through the work of internationally acclaimed theater artists.
Following its widely acclaimed 2010 production of Being Harold Pinter, the provocative Belarus Free Theatre returns to Chicago this winter, exploring the nature of sex in one of Europe's last surviving dictatorships with Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker (January 30–February 3, 2013). In February, Chicago Shakespeare partners with The Market Theatre of Johannesburg to present the world premiere of Cadre, written by and featuring South African artist Omphile Molusi. Cadre tells the story of a former soldier in the Azanian People's Liberation Army during and after Apartheid, juxtaposing South Africa's violent and passionate past with its disillusioned present (Chicago: February 15–24, 2013; Johannesburg: March 18–April 14, 2013). In the spring CST presents the American premiere of the Olivier Award-winning Roadkill, a site-specific performance for which audience members are transported by mini-van to an apartment in Chicago and are confronted with the brutal realities of sex trafficking. Drawn from the harrowing details of a young Nigerian woman trapped in a living nightmare, this production is the catalyst for The British Council's collaboration with CST and St. Ann's Warehouse in New York City to create a public program that engages local partners in a dialogue on the impact of human trafficking (Chicago: May 11–26, 2013; New York: June 4–30, 2013). This June, Chicago Shakespeare joins the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago to commemorate the Year of Italian Culture in America with the American premiere of Piccolo Teatro di Milano's Inner Voices. Written by Eduardo De Filippo, one of Italy's most translated and respected writers, the play investigates perceptions of morality amidst a devastating post-war landscape (June 25–29, 2013).
Committed to shining a spotlight and fostering dialogue on the substantial international issues explored in the 2013 World's Stage Series, Chicago Shakespeare is encouraging broad-based participation from across the City. In support of this engagement initiative, all tickets for Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker and Cadre are $20.
"Chicago Shakespeare's World's Stage presentations, commissions and international touring have redefined the Theater's reach and importance to Chicago," said CST Executive Director Criss Henderson. "We are actively contributing to an aspiration of the City's Cultural Plan-to be a 'global destination for creativity, innovation and excellence in the arts,' by stimulating the international conversation on critical global issues."
Chicago Shakespeare Theater's line-up of international presentations is emblematic of the scope of work presented in the World's Stage Series-a year-round initiative that brings the world's most exciting theatrical events to Chicago audiences and presents Chicago Shakespeare's work abroad. Chicago Shakespeare has collaborated with more than 600 International Artists representing 16 countries on five continents, engaging audiences in a dialogue with the world's established and emerging theater artists. Strengthening its reputation as a leader in cultural diplomacy, CST partners regularly with respected international affairs organizations, including the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago Consular Corps, Chicago Sister Cities and World Business Chicago.
"Chicago Shakespeare's international exchange is a great asset to Chicago and enhances the city's global reputation," said World Business Chicago President Rita Athas. "Chicago Shakespeare Theater is making important connections and these efforts contribute greatly to the global city we continue to build."