Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company known for extraordinary productions, unlocking Shakespeare's works for educators and students, and serving as Chicago's cultural ambassador through its World's Stage Series.
CST serves as a partner in literacy to Chicago Public Schools, working alongside English teachers to help struggling readers connect with Shakespeare in the classroom. We also bring his text to life on stage for 40,000 students every year. Each summer, 30,000 families and audience members of all ages welcome the free Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour into their neighborhoods across the far north, west and south sides of the city.
Reflecting the global city it calls home, CST is the leading producer of international work in Chicago, and has toured its plays to Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST was the recipient of a Regional Theatre Tony Award. Its work has been recognized internationally with three of London's prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards, and by the Chicago theater community with over 80 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Artistic Excellence. CST's work with Chicago Public School students and teachers was recognized by the White House in 2014 with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.