Chicago Shakespeare Theater's World's Stage Program Features Scottish Exchange, Fall 2012


Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST), continues to assert its role as Chicago's cultural ambassador, touring productions around the globe and bringing the world's great theater companies to Chicago audiences. This timely exchange with Scotland occurs as the city prepares for the September 25–30 Ryder Cup Match at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, and the Scots anticipate the September 2014 contest slated for Scotland's Gleneagles, prompting many visitors and dignitaries to crisscross the Atlantic.

In keeping with the trans-Atlantic relationship, Chicago Shakespeare and Scotland's theater community are engaged in a cultural exchange-one CST production, The Q Brothers' Othello: The Remix, is now playing to wildly enthusiastic response at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the very festival that launched two critically acclaimed National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) productions that are slated for Chicago Shakespeare's fall 2012 World's Stage series: The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, and the return engagement of Black Watch.


Chicago Shakespeare Theater is presenting The Q Brothers' newest CST-commissioned work, Othello: The Remix, in a critically acclaimed engagement at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe now through August 27, 2012, where their production Funk It Up About Nothin' won high praise in 2009. The fresh urban take on William Shakespeare's tragedy, smashed up and lyrically rewritten over original beats, began its European tour at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Globe to Globe festival. In Edinburgh, the production has received a five-star review from The Scotsman, heralding the production as "one of the smartest, funniest and fast-moving shows at the Fringe." The Musical Theatre Matters awards honored the production with Best Musical and Best Lyrics Awards; and Stage Awards for Acting Excellence at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has nominated the company for Best Ensemble Award.

Chicago Shakespeare's World's Stage hosts two celebrated National Theatre of Scotland productions this fall, demonstrating the diversity of its work, redesigning each venue into a unique theatrical setting. The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart transforms the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare into a Scottish pub September 26–October 14, 2012. David Greig (writer) and Wils Wilson (director) deliver a riotous romp of rhyming couplets, devilish encounters and wild karaoke as Prudencia's dreamlike journey of self-discovery unfolds among and around the audience.

The multiple award-winning theatrical event Black Watch returns to Chicago's Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway, October 10–21, 2012. Directed by John Tiffany with movement by Steven Hoggett (collaborators on the Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical Once), the extraordinary performance takes place in an authentic armory on Chicago's north side. Through compelling movement, language, image and sound, Black Watch explores the legendary Scottish regiment's valiant history, based on playwright Gregory Burke's interviews with former soldiers who served in Iraq.


The theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare morphs into the intimate confines of a Scottish pub for National Theatre of Scotland's The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, September 26–October 14. Complete with pub-style seating and a bar, the production recounts the Faustian tale of Prudencia, an ivory-tower academic sweetly "lost" in her research on Scottish folk music, who finds her world comically unhinged as the love and mythology of her research springs to surprising life.

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart is the product of a weekend visit to a Kelso pub in the Scottish Borders by playwright David Greig, director Wils Wilson and composer Alasdair Macrae. What began as simple research on Scottish Border ballads soon became the inspiration for a story of love, music and the Devil.

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