The Shakespeare Project of Chicago presents free theatrical readings (October through April) of William Shakespeare and other classic dramatists at our five Chicago-area venues: The Newberry Library (Chicago), The Niles Public Library, The Highland Park Public Library, The Vernon Area Public Library (beginning with the 2015-2016 season), and The Wilmette Public Library. 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.
Our fee-based Education Outrreach program includes our long-running production of "50-Minute Hamlet" which is performed in the school. Contact firstname.lastname@example.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 individual donors who support our mission of making Shakespeare accessible to all. 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.
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 20 years, the books become invisible as the play progresses because you are so preoccupied with hearing the story clearly spoken and becoming immersed in it 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 energy completely 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 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 “talk back” to ask questions and interact with the actors and creative team to further enrich your experience.
We invite you to come and see for yourself. And, if you like what we do, tell a friend.
The Shakespeare Project of Chicago
THE SHAKESPEARE PROJECT OF CHICAGO
P.O. BOX 25126
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60625