On June 9, 2017, Chicago Shakespeare Theater celebrated its 30th anniversary with GALA 2017 at the theater’s Navy Pier location. The fundraiser broke all past records with a total of $1.74 million raised for Chicago Shakespeare in Classrooms and Communities, which includes the theater’s nationally acclaimed education programs and their free Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour.
A partner in literacy to Chicago Public Schools for more than 20 years, Chicago Shakespeare Theater offers programs that support and unite English teachers and readers to bring Shakespeare inside the classroom as well as put on performances for 40,000 students annually. The tour offers free summertime entertainment, with productions in parks all over the city, to about 30,000 families a year. This summer, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks offered 25 free showings of “Romeo and Juliet” in 18 locations all over the city.
Among the 450 attendees, made up of Chicago’s social and cultural leaders, were honorary Co-Chairs Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Amy Rule and Event Co-Chairs Carole and Gordon Segal of Winnetka. The guests enjoyed performances by Tony Award-winning Broadway actresses Heather Headley and Jessie Mueller. The guests were also given an exclusive first look at the theater’s new performance venue, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, which will be open to the public in September 2017. The Yard will be different from the other two venues, boasting a unique versatility with its movable audience “towers.”
“I can’t wait to experience the artistic virtuosity of this new venue — one that will host local and internationally acclaimed artists and, most importantly, double this theater’s service to students in the years ahead,” Mayor Emmanuel says.
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Amrita Krishnan is an editorial intern at Make It Better. A rising sophomore at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications, Amrita is interested in pursuing journalism. In her free time, Amrita enjoys reading, running and painting.