Straight-talking Shakespeare

For Barbara Gaines, Criss Henderson, Marilyn Halperin, and all who love the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

O, sing me a story of bright city sky,
A tune full of hope with a go-getting cheer,
Some plain-sailing music that reaches up high
From this show at the end of the pier.

O, bring me some stone from Ohio of old,
Now paint me a twilight and set the stars near;
Suspend me a heaven where stories are told
In our home at the end of the pier.

O, do you recall how our Agincourt played,
On the Red Lion’s roof with our passion and beer?
The bathtub in which Macduff’s baby was laid –
No home’s like the end of the pier.

O, set me a rocking-chair where I can spin
The patterns and plots that I’ve dreamt for King Lear;
We’ll weave night and day, knit our threads, then begin
Our play at the end of the pier.

‘You’ve got to have balls to call Lear “old man”’;
It’s always a case of straight-talking round here.
To speak what we feel, be as clear as we can,
Is our aim at the end of the pier.

With Shakespeare’s entrepreneurial sparks,
We’ll fashion our future and cleverly steer;
Let us tether the moon for our stage in the parks:
Our Dream from the end of the pier.

O, light me a candle that’s burning with good;
Since when did mid-westerners ever know fear?
We’ll dance through the night, as the Great Gatsby would,
In our beams at the end of the pier.

by Paul Edmondson

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Photo Recaps

Images from the Road


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Notes from the Road

'In Shakespeare's Steps'

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Infectious Enthusiasm

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Follow our journey across North America in search of Shakespeare