The Shakespeare Project of Chicago has been coming to the Library since 2016 with their annual season of theatrical readings for patrons to see and hear Shakespeare and his contemporaries in a new light. As there are no sets, props, or costumes, audiences find the Project’s readings help truly experience Shakespeare’s words. A sampling of previous titles include:
“Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.”
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.
Women Beware Women
“Never were finer snares for women’s honesties /than are devis’d in these days.”
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 and features possibly the bloodiest, most inventive climactic scene in Jacobean literature, giving new meaning to “murder most foul.”
Much Ado About Nothing
“When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.”
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.
At 7 p.m. the preshow introduction begins. Following the play, a discussion and opportunity to interact with the actors and creative team will further enrich the experience. Seating is limited for each concert and registration is required. Stay tuned for upcoming programs offered in 2019/2020!