See Shakespeare in Chicago Exhibit at HWLC

Shakespeare in Chicago: All the City's a Stage is on display through October 30 at Harold Washington Library Center. The exhibit is part of the international Shakespeare 400 celebration and Shakespeare 400 Chicago.

William Shakespeare is considered the greatest playwright of all time, and in the 400 years since his death, his legacy has only grown. The first professional Shakespeare production staged in Chicago was Romeo and Juliet in 1837. The cast included Joseph Jefferson II and his wife, Cornelia, parents of Joseph Jefferson III, the famed actor for whom Chicago's theater award, the Jeff, is named.

Exhibit images range from 19th century productions starring Edwin Booth in Shakespeare's tragic roles, to Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story (inspired by Romeo and Juliet), to productions staged in Chicago's parks.

Other exhibit highlights include:

  • Costume drawings by Virgil C. Johnson from Macbeth, Henry IV and As You Like It
  • Historic programs from productions at Chicago Opera House, Haverly's, McVicker's and Studebaker theaters
  • Poster and production photograph from Henry V at the Red Lion Pub—the first Chicago Shakespeare Theater production
  • Photographs from recent productions by Gift, Red, CityLit and Roosevelt University theaters