James Vincent Merediths Lead CST's Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves

James Vincent Merediths Lead CST's Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announced today the casting for its 10th annual concert collaboration with The Chicago Chamber Musicians (CCM), Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare, introducing families and children to the joys of live performance-through music performed by CCM ensemble members, and through the plays of Shakespeare brought to life by CST actors. Directed by Matt Schwader, who appears later this season in CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the scenes feature celebrated Chicago actors James Vincent Meredith as Prospero and Steve Haggard as Puck. Additional actors include Charin Alvarez, Susan Shunk, Penelope Walker and Eric Parks, who is currently performing in CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines' production of Elizabeth Rex at Chicago Shakespeare.

Performances of Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare run January 21 and 22, 2012 in CST's Courtyard Theater at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. each day. Tickets are on sale now for $15–$18, and all patrons receive a 40% discount on guaranteed parking in Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.

Bruce Adolphe's Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare was commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Theater and The Chicago Chamber Musicians specifically for their annual Family Concert series, and premiered at CST in 2002. Adolphe's score portrays the magic found in William Shakespeare's plays as it is performed by CCM ensemble members, while characters from The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth are performed by CST artists: James Vincent Meredith as Prospero, Steve Haggard as Puck, Eric Parks as Mercutio, Penelope Walker as First Witch, Charin Alvarez as Second Witch and Susan Shunk as Third Witch. Adolphe will narrate the performance.

Seven of CCM's Ensemble Artists will play in the January concerts: Joseph Genualdi (violin), Charles Geyer (trumpet), Dennis Michel (bassoon), Brad Opland (double bass), Rami Solomonow (viola) and CCM founding members Gail Williams (horn) and GRAMMY winner Larry Combs (clarinet). Between concerts each day, interactive exhibits staged in the CST lobby will give children a chance to explore the instruments used in the concert-musicians will be available for autographs and young performers will demonstrate their craft and answer questions about the featured instruments.

The creative team for Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare includes Costume Coordinator Emily Tarleton, Wigs and Makeup Designer Melissa Veal and Lighting Designer Gary C. Echelmeyer.

About Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this season, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company, known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare's genius for intricate storytelling, musicality of language and depth of feeling for the human condition. Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare's work has been recognized internationally with three of London's prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards, and by the Chicago theater community with 62 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Artistic Excellence. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to producing extraordinary classic productions, new works and family fare; unlocking Shakespeare's work for educators and students; and serving as Chicago's cultural ambassador through its World's Stage Series.

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