Spirit of Shakespeare Award Recipient and Artistic Honoree composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim.
Spirit of Shakespeare Award Recipient and Artistic Honoree composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim.
© David Gordon
Chicago Shakespeare Theater's (CST) Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson announced CST's full 2013-2014 season, World's Stage Series, and Spirit of Shakespeare Award recipients today.

CST's annual Gala will kick off the 2013-2014 season on June 17th with a special presentation of the Spirit of Shakespeare Award. The award will be presented to Artistic Honoree Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, along with Civic Honoree Mayor Richard M. Daley for his commitment to strengthening the artistic landscape of Chicago.

CTS's season begins with Cyrano de Bergerac, a play about love, poetry, and an ugly man's quest for acceptance. Directed by Penny Metropulos, Cyrano, played by Harry Groener (CST's The Madness of George III), takes the stage from September 24–November 10 at the Courtyard Theater. To celebrate the holiday season, Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Barbara Gaines, follows Sir John Falstaff shenanigans in this comedy playing at the Courtyard Theater from December 3, 2013–January 19, 2014.

"Everything's coming up roses," on February 6–March 23 at the Courtyard Theater with Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne, and Stephen Sondheim's musical Gypsy. Under the direction of Sondheim interpreter and Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin, Gypsy follows the life of strip-tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee and the vociferous Momma Rose during the last years of vaudeville. Griffin will also direct a re-imagined Road Show, by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, from March 13–May 4, 2014 in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Based on the story of Wilson and Addison Mizner and formerly under the title Bounce, Road Show explores the American Dream.

Shakespeare's epic history play Henry V is a coming-of-age story that follows the young monarch during wartime. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, Henry V will play at the Courtyard Theater from April 29–June 15.

The season continues with CST's World's Stage Series, which brings international artists to Chicago, collaborates with artists to develop new work abroad, and stages CST productions around the world. Hailing from Cornwall, England, the internationally acclaimed Kneehigh (The Wild Bride, Brief Encounter, The Red Shoes) makes their Chicago debut with Tristan & Yseult, running from March 30–April 13, 2014 at the Courtyard Theater. The original 12th century poem is transformed by Maria Murphy and Carl Grose into a modern day production, with adaptation and direction by Emma Rice. It tells the story of a love triangle between an Irish beauty, a Cornish king, and a French knight with a blend of cheeky comedy and live music.

CST-commissioned Cadre, by Omphile Molusi, and Othello: The Remix, created by the Q Brothers, are scheduled for future international engagements next season in London, Edinburgh, Melbourne and Adelaide. Shrek The Musical will conclude the season at the Courtyard Theater from July 13–September 1. Directed by Rachel Rockwell, CST's 75-minute family-friendly production follows the well-known ogre and his donkey sidekick on a quest to save the princess Fiona.

Previously announced productions include Rachel Rockwell's Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet, the Q Brothers' Othello: The Remix (March 12–April 28, 2013), Cora Bissett's site-specific theatrical and multi-media event Roadkill (May 11–26, 2013), Shakespeare's Henry VIII (April 30–June 16, 2013), and Piccolo Teatro di Milano's production of Inner Voices (June 25–29, 2013).

"Every production in the 2013/14 Series will breathe new life into some of the most alluring characters to inhabit cherished, classic stories," said Artistic Director Barbara Gaines. "From Falstaff to King Henry V, Cyrano to Momma Rose and the restless Mizner brothers, we will bring larger-than-life personalities into intimate proximity with our audience. Each production will illuminate the human condition—in love and war, success and failure—with bold drama, laughter and music."

Tickets for Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 2013-2014 season currently on sale here.