In the spring of 2013, we produced our 3rd annual Shakespeare show in conjunction with GiGi's Playhouse Chicago. After just a few short years in operation, our program tripled in enrollment with 17 actors and 12 volunteer facilitators! Read on to see videos, photos, and more from this big show...
We get asked a lot “why Shakespeare?” to which we say “Why not Shakespeare?” Taming of the Shrew is a perfect example of why Shakespeare’s work has endured for centuries. There’s so much to play with; the emotions are larger than life, the characters have very distinct personalities, there is a ton of witty banter, and the themes of gender roles still ring true. To take this up a notch, we’re incorporated music into this production. As we learned from our group’s success with The Wizard of Oz, music is a fantastic tool to heighten emotion, and proved a fun way for us to explore our main characters – Kate & Petruchio. (Fortunately, Cole Porter also recognized the brilliance of Shakespeare’s poetry, and used much of the original verse as lyrics for his songs in Kiss Me Kate).
Our classes focused on all the different types of relationships in the story – family, friends, romantic, adversarial – and how one behaves differently in different relationships. Actors auditioned for their favorite characters in March, and each performed at least 2 characters in the final performance.
Group Song and Dance to “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”
- Girl's song and dance to “I Hate Men”
- Boy's song and dance to “I Come to Wive it Wealthily in Padua”
- Small Group Dance to “Too Darn Hot”
- Actress Laura Rook (who played Juliet in CST’s Romeo & Juliet) joined us for class to answer questions about what it’s like to be a professional Shakespeare actress, dealing with stage fright, and auditioning, and to teach us some warm up games.
- Northwestern Medill School of Journalism student Rebecca Halleck joined us in class and interviewed several of our members for a video piece about art therapy.
- Justin Mitchell from 91.5 WBEZ Radio joined us for several weeks leading up to our final performance for a segment featuring our actor, Colleen Altman. (Click here to listen.)
Performance of Short Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier followed by a Q&A with the cast.
April 28th 2013 at Victory Gardens Theatre
GiGi’s Teen Drama Troupe
Mallory Schuh-Alcala & Katie Yohe
Lighting and Sound Technician
Brandy Taylor of Graphic Sorbet
* denotes first semester with our ensemble