This Week In Chicago Entertainment History: Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Photo Courtesy of Red Lion Pub

This may come as a shock to most of you but the Chicago Shakespeare Theater now living amongst Navy Pier A.K.A. The Concrete Jungle began in a little bar we used to call The Red Lion Pub located in Lincoln Park (this bar is currently closed due to renovation).  The pub is thought to have been one of the most haunted pubs in Chicago and used to host a plethora of artists throughout the years.

During the mid 1980’s this pub gave birth to what FonduTV likes to call a mere 446 year old English writing genius like babe in swaddling clothes; errr, or the Chicago Shakespeare Theater atop the second floor of the bar. Through the years they have tested out a couple of names such as Chicago Shakespeare Workshop and Chicago Shakespeare Repertory. They finally decided on Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 1999 which is also when they gained permission to build their two venue facility on Navy Pier.

Photo Credit CST

Over the past ten years it’s truly inspirational to see that this theater is now the third largest theater company in the Midwest. They now house seven stories of space at Navy Pier and in 2008 they were awarded the Tony for Best Regional Theater! This isn’t too shabby for a theater company that started out in a haunted pub on the north side. says get out there and enjoy some Shakespearean theater of all types. For Shakespeare is one of those delightful theatrical experiences for any age and this theater offers something for everyone!


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