Welcome to The Shakespeare Project of Chicago

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago presents free theatrical readings (October through April) of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries at our six Chicago-area venues.  Click the Performances link above for performance dates and times.  We give performances at:

The Highland Park Public Library
The Mount Prospect Public Library
The Newberry Library, Chicago
The Niles-Maine District Library (formerly NilesPublic Library)
The Vernon Area Public Library (Lincolnshire, IL)
The Wilmette Public Library

Beginning with the 2018-2019 theatrical reading season, The Shakespeare Project will be giving Wednesday evening performances at Plymouth Place Senior Living in LaGrange Park, IL.  

Complete the form at the bottom of this page to join our email list and receive updates on our FREE performances in our theatrical reading season.  Be sure to "Like" our Facebook page, too.  facebook.com/shakespeareprojectchicago

Our fee-based Education Outrreach program includes our long-running production of "50-Minute Hamlet" which is performed in the school. Contact outreach@shakespeareprojectchicago.org for pricing and performance availability.

Our theatrical readings and education outreach productions are presented by professional actors who are members of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors.

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago is primarily funded by our venue sponsors and individual donors who support our mission of making Shakespeare accessible to all.  Additional funding is provided by the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization.  All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  To make a donation, click on the Benefactors link above.

"A Woman Killed With Kindness" by Thomas Heywood.  Left to right:  Cassandra Bissell, Tim Kazurinsky, Will Clinger, Joe Lehman, Matthew Fahey, Barbara Zahora, Michael Joseph Mitchell, Fredric Stone, Dan Rodden and Marcia Kazurinsky.  January 20, 2013 in Highland Park, Illinois.

What is a theatrical reading?

What can you expect when you come to one of our theatrical readings?  The first thing you may notice is that the actors are performing book-in-hand. However, as our audiences have told us many times over the past 21 years, the scripts become invisible after the first few minutes as you listen to Shakespeare's language come alive as it is acted by some of the best professional actors in Chicago. 

I often explain to people that have not seen our work before that their experience of the play won’t be less, but more because by placing our focus exclusively on Shakespeare’s text we allow the play to emerge in an unencumbered setting that reveals new insights into the play's characters and themes.  Many have told us that after seeing a theatrical reading from The Shakespeare Project they truly “get” the play for the first time. 

Our performance is completely staged – meaning that actors make entrances and exits and move across the stage as they would in a full production.  You won’t see elaborate sets, props or costumes.  You will hear some music and sound from time to time which is only there to augment your experience and add to your understanding of the play. 

We provide a 360 degree experience of the play.  Our dramaturge will introduce the play to you in a brief prologue to give you some background on the play’s history and point out things to watch and listen for during the performance.  After the reading, we hope you stay for our post-show discussion to interact with the actors and creative team and further enrich your experience.

We look forward to seeing you at our next show.  And, if you like what you see, please tell a friend.

Peter Garino
Artistic Director
The Shakespeare Project of Chicago

P.O. BOX 25126
(773) 710-2718
Email:  peter@shakespeareprojectchicago.org

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