Seven Years of FREE Shakespeare

Seven Years of FREE Shakespeare

This summer, more than 30,000 Chicagoans were captivated by Artistic Director Barbara Gaines’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which traveled to 18 parks across the north, west, and south sides of the city as the centerpiece of Mayor Emanuel’s Night Out in the Parks Initiative. People of all ages fell for Shakespeare’s beloved comedy–and were dazzled by our Green Show opening acts, featuring an astounding array of young performers across disciplines, in recognition of Chicago’s "Year of Creative Youth". A special thanks to the hundreds of neighborhood teens across the city, who partnered with our community outreach team to spread the word about Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks and to encourage their neighbors to join us for a performance in the park.

With the support of the renewed cultural, civic, and corporate partnership between Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, and The Boeing Company, as well as the generosity of production sponsor BMO Harris Bank, 18 Chicago parks were activated by FREE Shakespeare. And, in honor of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, this year’s tour headed to Peoria’s Glen Oak Park for a special, two-night-only engagement, bringing free Shakespeare to our neighbors downstate.

Thanks to the City’s park supervisors, civic leaders, community groups, the thousands of picnickers, neighbors, families, Shakespeare enthusiasts—and you—for making Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks a summer tradition!

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