Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents The Abbey Theatre, Ireland's National Theatre, as part of an exclusive Irish and American tour of a new production of J.M. Synge's explosive comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, directed by The Abbey Theatre's Artistic Director Ben Barnes. As part of the abbeyonehundred centenary celebrations, the limited engagement of The Playboy of the Western World will take place in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater, reconfigured into a proscenium stage resembling the company's resident theater in Dublin. At The Abbey Theatre's 1907 premiere of The Playboy of the Western World, riots tore through the audience sparking national outrage and sensation over the satiric and sensuous presentation of the lives of Irish country folk. Four years later during the company's first transatlantic tour, the play provoked protests in New York, arrests in Philadelphia, and a death threat in Chicago. Written by J.M. Synge, the play tells the story of a stranger who seduces the inhabitants of a small village on the coast of Mayo with his gallous tale of killing his father. The play features some of Synge's most lyrical, colorful language directly inspired by the country's provincial population-making his masterpiece of poetic drama as appealing as it was shocking at the turn of the last century. The company returns to Chicago, this time to celebrate their 100th anniversary, giving audiences today the opportunity to hear Synge's beautiful language performed by artists of Ireland's own National Theatre.