Our most recent trip: 19 October 2013: Cyrano de Bergerac

Our next trip: May 2014: Henry V

See the Chicago Shakespeare Theater website for the schedule of productions, and the Continuing Studies site for all that it has to offer.

We Hope You Can Join Us

As perhaps my favorite part of my duties as Chapman Distinguished Professor of English at IPFW, I have been running these bus trips through Continuing Studies since 2006. We have seen many wonderful productions at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, including Cymbeline, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, Othello, The Comedy of Errors, Richard III, and Amadeus. The theater itself is Elizabethan in design, with an upper level, a platform stage, and two levels of galleries that the actors sometimes share with the audience, which is why we are always admonished to be alert and not to get up during a performance. The company is repertory in spirit, with a consistent group of actors performing different roles in various productions, although there is also turnover, and new faces and voices. Barbara Gaines has directed every play we have seen so far, but Josie Rourke will handle Shrew, so this should be an interesting variation. The sets are beautifully designed, and the costuming is also stellar and innovative. There is also usually one spectacular special effect for each production that comes as a (pleasant) surprise.

We Try to Be Efficient—We Want You Back

Because Continuing Studies does such an excellent job in setting up the trips, including the bus, the tickets, and the timing, the business part of our outings always goes well. We usually depart from behind the Kettler Building at about 8. a.m., and remind people to set their watches to Central Time (an hour behind Fort Wayne) on the way, and then on the way back, to Eastern Time. At some locale between Warsaw and Plymouth, or Plymouth and Valparaiso, I give a brief lecture on the play of the day, which includes a summary, production and reception history, and some memorable lines to listen for or special scenes to observe so that directorial and acting choices can be appreciated. Generally, we pause for a half-hour at a rest stop on the Indiana Turnpike, and before you know it, we are there at the Pier, usually at about 10.30 or so. That gives us almost five hours before curtain to enjoy the city, which most people do. The Magnificent Mile is within walking distance for the limber among us, and the Art Institute is an inexpensive taxi ride away. A play usually takes about three hours, with an intermission, and then we find the bus where we left it, and our captain whisks us back onto Lakeshore Drive and then before we know it, we are in Chesterton enjoying our dinner, and home in Fort Wayne by about 11 p.m.

If you have questions about the logistics and practicalities of the trip, I would advise you to contact Continuing Studies, but if I can help you with something, feel free to email me. If you would like to find out more about me, or what I do at IPFW, see my personal and teaching webpages.

We hope to see you on the bus.