Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces expansion plans
Chicago Shakespeare Theater will expand in a grand way.
Artistic director Barbara Gaines and executive director Criss Henderson announced Wednesday the creation of a third CST performance space, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, which will be located next to the theater in the space previously occupied by the Skyline Stage whose dome will remain part of the repurposed space.
The Yard will be a flexible performance space that will accommodate audiences from 150 to 850 through the use of movable audience "towers" -- each the size of a city bus stood on its end -- which contain three seating levels. The new space is a welcome addition, said Gaines in a prepared statement.
"The Yard will offer a new kind of venue, one that allows us the freedom to reconfigure and recalibrate a playing space each time we approach it," she said. "It offers the volume for us to dream bigger, engaging future audiences in surprising and provocative ways."
Construction of the $35 million project is scheduled to begin in the spring, with $15 million coming from Navy Pier Inc., according to a news release. Chicago Shakespeare Theater's $20 million investment will be funded by a capital campaign. Additionally, CST will provide $15 million for theatrical equipment, including the "towers" and $20 million for artistic expenses and endowments. To date, CST has raised $40.5 million of the $55 million needed, according to theater representatives.