Cultural, Civic and Corporate Partnership Launches Bold Initiative–Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Park District and The Boeing Company present. From July 29–August 19, 2012.
Chicago—June 12, 2012—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST), Chicago Park District and The Boeing Company announced today plans to bring Shakespeare, FREE FOR ALL, to community parks across the City of Chicago this summer. From Portage Park to Humboldt Park and Austin to South Shore, this summer from July 29 to August 19, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks will break down barriers to arts participation and give Chicagoans direct access to their City's cultural resources by bringing free Shakespeare performances into their neighborhoods.

"Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks is a wonderful example of how arts initiatives can succeed in bringing communities together, enhancing quality of life through public and private partnership throughout the city and into our neighborhoods," said Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner, Michelle T. Boone. "Accessibility to the arts is something we heard from residents throughout the city at our many public meetings for the new 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan. This new program is an important step in strengthening Chicago's future as a leader in the world for arts and culture."

The new citywide arts initiative, the largest of its kind in the history of the Chicago Park District, is made possible by a grant from The Boeing Company, with additional support from BMO Harris Bank, Sara Lee Foundation, and the Chicago Shakespeare Trust.

Lianne Stein, Vice President of Global Corporate Citizenship for The Boeing Company, says, "As a company dedicated to innovation and new ideas, Boeing is pleased to partner in presenting Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks. We applaud the program's aim to activate and engage communities through quality artistic programming, free of charge, which will inspire residents with the works of the world's leading playwright."

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks is inspired by the open air setting in which Shakespeare's plays were originally performed more than 400 years ago, and Joseph Papp's twentieth century American initiative that brought free Shakespeare to urban communities. Beginning its summer tour on July 29 through each of the Park District regions, a traveling production of The Taming of the Shrew will be presented. A specially equipped truck will roll into each park, a stage will unfold, and a company of professional actors will perform. Parks scheduled to be visited, rain or shine, include: South Shore Cultural Center, Tuley Park, Dvorak Park, Austin Town Hall Park, Humboldt Park, Douglas Park, Gateway Park at Navy Pier, Welles Park, Garfield Park Conservatory, Ridge Park and Frank J. Wilson Park.

"We are so pleased to welcome Chicago Shakespeare Theater to our parks," said Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Michael Kelly. "This partnership creates a unique opportunity to enhance cultural offerings at parks across the city and hopefully begin a tradition of bringing free theatrical performances to families citywide."

Visitors to the parks will enjoy a 75-minute, daylight production of Shakespeare's enduring comedy about the battle between the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew. The wildly spirited Kate and the machismo-driven Petruchio will scream, fight and woo their way into one another's heart in Shakespeare's verse and Elizabethan dress, underscored with original rock-inspired music to connect contemporary audiences with the characters' journeys.

"As Chicago's 'home for Shakespeare' for the past quarter century, CST has delighted in introducing millions of audience members to his timeless plays," said Barbara Gaines, Artistic Director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater. "We are honored by this opportunity to make Shakespeare FREE FOR ALL Chicagoans and to share his insight and humor in a high-energy professional production, under the summer skies. Prepare to fall in love with Shakespeare—for the first time, or all over again!

For more information on Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/parks.
1. South Shore Cultural Center  
Sunday, July 29 at 4:00 p.m • 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

2. Tuley Park •  Monday, July 30 at 3:30 p.m •  501 E. 90th Pl.

3. Dvorak Park    
Tuesday, July 31, 4:00 p.m   1119 W. Cullerton St.

4. Austin Town Hall Park  • 
Wednesday, August 1, 3:30 p.m   5610 W. Lake St.

5. Humboldt Park  • Friday, August 3, 6:30 p.m 
Saturday, August 4, 4:00 p.m • 1440 N. Sacramento Ave.

6. Douglas Park
Sunday, August 5, 4:00 p.m • 1401 S. Sacramento

7. Gateway Park at Navy Pier  
Monday, August 6, 6:30 p.m  Tuesday, August 7, 6:30 p.m  Wednesday, August 8, 6:30 p.m  •  600 E. Grand Ave.

8. Welles Park  •  Friday, August 10, 6:30 p.m 
Saturday, August 11, 4:00 p.m  •  2333 W. Sunnyside Ave

9. Garfield Park Conservatory*
Sunday, August 12, 3:00 p.m  •  300 N. Central Park Ave.

10. Ridge Park*
 Wednesday, August 15, 6:30 p.m  •  1817 W. 96th Street

11. Frank J Wilson Park  
Friday, August 17, 6:30 p.m • Saturday, August 18, 4:00p.m Sunday, August 19, 4:00 p.m    
4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.
 
 
Photos are courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera (from L to R): Anna Netrebko in the title role of Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena." photo by Brigitte Lacombe. Renée Fleming and Susan Graham in "Der Rosenkavalier." photo by Ken Howard. Juan Diego Flórez in “Le Comte Ory." photo by Marty Sohl. Mariusz Kwiecien  in "Don Giovanni" photo by Marty Sohl. Kate Lindsey in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” photo by Ken Howard. Anna Netrebko in "Lucia di Lammermoor," photo by Ken Howard.

SUMMER ENCORE SCREENINGS OF SIX OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES FROM THE AWARD-WINNING SERIES

This June and July, the Metropolitan Opera will present encore presentations of six Live in HD performances in hundreds of movie theaters across the United States.
 
The series begins June 13th with Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, with star soprano Anna Netrebko, and ends on July 25th with Strauss’s bittersweet romance Der Rosenkavalier, starring Renée Fleming in one of her most acclaimed roles.
 
ANNA BOLENA (Donizetti)
Wednesday, June 13 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
Anna Netrebko sings one of opera’s greatest mad scenes as Anne Boleyn in Donizetti’s opera based on the tragic demise of the famous English queen. David McVicar’s production, which opened the Met’s 2011-12 season, also stars Ekaterina Gubanova as Anne’s rival, Jane Seymour, and Ildar Abdrazakov as Henry VIII. Marco Armiliato conducts the Met premiere of this legendary diva showcase.
 
LE COMTE ORY (Rossini)
Wednesday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
A trio of bel canto stars--Juan Diego Flórez, Diana Damrau, and Joyce DiDonato—star in the Met premiere of Rossini’s exuberant comedy, directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by Maurizio Benini. Mistaken identities and vocal fireworks abound in the story of a count who disguises himself to seduce a lonely countess.

DON GIOVANNI (Mozart)
Wednesday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 3 hours
Mariusz Kwiecien is the world’s most famous lover in Michael Grandage's new staging of Mozart’s masterpiece. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the cast of gifted Mozarteans, which includes Marina Rebeka as Donna Anna, Barbara Frittoli as Donna Elvira, Mojca Erdmann as Zerlina, Ramón Vargas as Don Ottavio, and Luca Pisaroni as the Don’s beleaguered servant Leporello.
 
LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN (Offenbach)
Wednesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 3 hours
Joseph Calleja stars as the loveless poet Hoffmann in Bartlett Sher’s production, conducted by Met Music Director James Levine. Hoffmann loves and loses three women in the course of the opera: the mechanical doll Olympia (Kathleen Kim), the frail singer Antonia (Anna Netrebko), and the greedy courtesan Giulietta (Ekaterina Gubanova).
 
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (Donizetti)
Wednesday,July 18 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Anna Netrebko stars as the emotionally fragile Lucia, whose forced marriage to a man she doesn’t love leads to madness and murder. Mariusz Kwiecien sings the role of her tyrannical brother, Enrico, and Piotr Beczala is her lover, Edgardo. Marco Armiliato conducts; Mary Zimmerman’s production stages the opera as a Victorian-era ghost story.
 
DER ROSENKAVALIER (Strauss)
Wednesday,July 25 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Renée Fleming stars as the Marschallin, a married noblewoman who wistfully renounces her affair with a much-younger man, in Richard Strauss’s tale of love lost and found in 18th-century Vienna. Edo de Waart conducts a cast that also includes Susan Graham as Octavian, Kristin Sigmundsson as Baron Ochs, and Christine Schäfer as Sophie. 

Click here to find local for theaters.
 
For additional information, visit: metopera.org/liveinhd.  
 
 
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theater and The Hypocrites Take Top Honors at Non-Equity Jeff Awards, and Griffin Theater Wins Coveted Ensemble Award for "Punk Rock."

June 4, 2012 - Chicago, IL.  At the Non-Equity Jeff Awards held at Park West on Monday, June 4, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theater took most awards with 6 honors for their jewel box production of “A Light in the Piazza” including Production-Musical, Director-Musical for Fred Anzevino and Brenda Didier, Principal Actress for Kelli Harrington, Supporting Actor for Justin Adair, Music Director for Jeremy Ramey and, in a new award recognition, Dialect Coach for Eva Breneman. The Hypocrites’ avant-garde play “Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses” accrued 4 awards for Production-Play, Director and New Adaptation for Sean Graney, and Lighting Design for Jared Moore. “Punk Rock” by Griffin Theater Company collected the Ensemble award, Director-Play for Jonathan Berry, and Principal Actor-Play for Joey DeBettencourt.
 
Emcees Vanessa Greenway, an artistic associate at Griffin Theater, and Terry Hamilton, an associate artist at TimeLine Theater Company, presided over an evening that recognized 141 nominations in 25 categories from 49 productions and ultimately honored 34 recipients from 15 theaters with 31 awards celebrating excellence in all aspects of Chicago Non-Equity theater. Director for the ceremony was Ronna Kaye, and Non-Equity Chair Doug Bradburd produced the event.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. In the season ended March 31, 2012, the Jeff Awards Committee judged the opening nights of 154 Non-Equity productions from 71 Non-Equity producing organizations. Of these, 64 productions were recommended by the opening night judges and became eligible for nominations.
 
To read more, and see the complete list of The Jeff Awards go to  www.jeffawards.org.