The Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 75-minute production of “Twelfth Night,” which will play in 19 parks across the city this summer ,will stop at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., on July 24, at 3 p.m., and at Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Ave., on Aug. 9, at 6:30 p.m.
This year marks the world’s largest year-round celebration of Shakespeare, according to a statement released by the Shakespeare Theater, and includes 850 events and more than 500,000 participants. The Shakespeare tour, which is free, is the largest of this year’s events.
“Shakespeare 400 Chicago has made our city a global destination for cultural tourism in 2016,” said Mayor Rahm Emauel in a statement. “This summer, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks engages our neighborhoods in the festival, ensuring that all Chicagoans have the opportunity to take part in this extraordinary year. The tour’s expansion to 19 parks—spanning the City’s north, south, and west sides—allows us to share this free program with more families across Chicago. It’s exactly the kind of free cultural activity that brings to life our ‘City in a Garden’ for residents and visitors alike.”
“We are thrilled to mark the fifth year of our partnership with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, bringing free Shakespeare to our beautiful neighborhood parks,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Mike Kelly. “The ripple effect of this program has activated arts and culture in communities across the city. Through our partnership and Night Out in the Parks, we will continue to bring world-class performances to new audiences, not only in the summer but throughout the year.”
According to a summary of the play on the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s website, “Twelfth Night” may be a romantic comedy written by Shakespeare sometime in the 17th Century, but the company’s contemporary performance of the age-old production “is designed to immerse students, young audiences and families alike in the playwright’s timeless work in this 75-minute abridged production.”
“A pair of shipwrecked twins set into motion a tale of mistaken identity and unlikely love,” the company notes. “Separated from her brother Sebastian, the quick-thinking Viola adopts a male disguise and enters the service of the handsome Duke Orsino — only to find herself in the middle of a triangle of unrequited love.”
One famous line from the play that readers may be familiar with? “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.”
The play’s citywide tour is sponsored by collaboration between the Shakespeare Theater, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, Boeing and BMO Harris Bank.