The Shakespeare Project Announces 17/18 Season

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago has announced the lineup for its 17-18 readings, featuring two Shakespearean comedies, one tragedy, and a work by Shakespeare’s contemporary Thomas Middleton.

The company’s 23rd season kicks off in October with Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy “As You Like It.” J.R. Sullivan directs. Shakespeare’s CORIOLANUS arrives in January, directed by Barbara Zahora, the Project’s associate artistic director, followed in February by WOMEN BEWARE WOMEN by Thomas Middleton directed by Michelle Shupe and Kelly Lynn Hogan. The season wraps up in May with Shakespeare’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, directed by Shakespeare Project Artistic Director Peter Garino.

Each reading will be performed at six Chicago-area venues, including the Newberry Library, the Project’s downtown Chicago home, as well as the Niles-Maine, Wilmette, Highland Park, Vernon Area (Lincolnshire) and Mount Prospect public libraries.

All performances are free and feature an introduction to the play prior to the curtain.

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago’s 23rd Theatrical Reading Season (from the press release)

By William Shakespeare
Directed by J.R. Sullivan
October 20-25, 2017

Duke Senior has been banished from court by his evil brother Duke Frederick. Soon thereafter, he banishes Senior’s daughter, young princess Rosalind. Rosalind, accompanied by her cousin Celia, then disguises herself as a man and ventures into the Forest of Arden, where she encounters a memorable cast of characters — including her love, Orlando — in this witty, subversive comedy whose themes meditate on the dream of a simple life and the ideal of romantic love. J.R. Sullivan, who helmed last season’s Henry V, returns to direct.

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Barbara Zahora
January 12-16, 2018

One of Shakespeare’s Roman tragedies, the play recounts the journey of a successful Roman general, who after achieving multiple successes in the military, turns his ambition to politics and leadership of his people. However, his personality and temperament are ill-suited for his new role and he is ultimately deposed. Seeking revenge against his enemies, and in his attempt to reclaim his power and prestige, he forges alliances with others that ultimately lead to his demise. Associate Artistic Director Barbara Zahora directs.

By Thomas Middleton
Directed by Michelle Shupe & Kelly Lynn Hogan
February 23-27, 2018

In a world where men have all the power, what happens when women decide to take power for themselves? Marriages crumble, lust reigns supreme, widows are beguiled, passions slaked, revenge plotted and power brokers may be caught in their own web. Women Beware Women by Thomas Middleton is hailed as a masterpiece of Jacobean drama: smart, slick and hilarious, it is arguably the playwright’s crowning achievement. A deliciously decadent soap opera of a play, it showcases bad behavior — featuring possibly the bloodiest, most inventive climactic scene in Jacobean literature — giving new meaning to “murder most foul.”

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Peter Garino
May 4-8, 2018

Don Pedro and his fellow soldiers, Benedick and Claudio, have returned from war and visit the estate of Leonato, Pedro’s friend. There, Claudio falls deeply in love with Leonato’s daughter, Hero, while Benedick rekindles an old friendship with Leonato’s niece Beatrice. The stage is set for the ultimate battle of wits to ensue, combined with some intrigue stirred up by Pedro’s bastard brother Don John. Join us for one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, featuring a cast of Shakespeare Project favorites directed by Artistic Director Peter Garino.

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