Chicago Youth Shakespeare was established in 2013 by founder and Artistic Director, Manon Spadaro, a teacher with a vision to share the life-changing experience of learning Shakespeare through performance with teenagers beyond her classroom. Seven-and-a-half years later, CYS programs have impacted over 9000 students from more than 70 different public, private, and parochial schools across the Chicago area. We've granted our student participants over $90,000 in need-based program scholarships, helped teens raise more than $4,000 to support arts programming in public schools, and we remain committed to bringing free Shakespeare performances and learning opportunities to hundreds of new students each year. Learn more.
At CYS, our approach to Shakespeare is active and collaborative, engaging young people with the texts and with each other in ways that are meaningful and lasting. CYS students learn to drive the creative process by working together, thinking outside the box, and exploring Shakespeare's stories and characters in ways that resonate most with them.
Shakespeare & teenagers?
Shakespeare’s characters are actually a lot like teenagers: They're spontaneous, impulsive, fickle, and yes, rebellious. They operate at a heightened level of intensity, facing conflicts that are not unfamiliar to most young people four centuries later, like navigating relationships, challenging authority, and determining one's own future. Read more