Chicago is home to the incomparable Pritzker Military Museum & Library. This internationally renowned institution celebrates the personal journey of the citizen soldier and honors the courage of those who have served. Shakespeare’s canon has played a critical role in shaping our modern view of war and warfare, and the Museum & Library is proud to serve as a lead partner for Shakespeare 400 Chicago. From the inspirational St. Crispin’s Day speech of Henry V to the master class in political rhetoric that is Mark Antony’s call to action in Julius Caesar, across centuries, monarchs and soldiers alike have taken solace in Shakespeare’s words.
A four-part video series, entitled Shakespeare and the Citizen Soldier, engages military bases around the world through varied perspectives on Shakespeare and the work of the citizen soldier. Hosted by Pritzker Military Museum & Library President & CEO Kenneth Clarke, the series includes interviews, dynamic excerpts and demonstrations from Shakespearean actors, military personnel, war historians and weaponry experts.
Chicagoans have access to this exciting program on WYCC and around the world on the Pritzker Military Museum & Library website and podcast.
Previously Recorded Episodes
Episode 1: Tug of War
Chicago Shakespeare Theater Artistic Director and Tug of War director and adapter Barbara Gaines, and Professor Stuart Sherman discuss the development and themes of the ambitious Tug of War productions.
Episode 2: Warrior to Shakespearean Actor, Stephan Wolfert
U.S. Army veteran, actor and playwright Stephan Wolfert of the Veterans Center for Performing Arts, to discuss his military experience and his path towards a career in theater.
Episode 3: Becoming Shakespeare’s Soldiers
Chicago actors James Vincent Meredith and Jessie Fisher discuss their experiences onstage during Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 2016 production of Othello, directed by Jonathan Munby. Also joining them is Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Yandura, Chair and Professor of Military Science at Loyola University Chicago, who contributed to the dramaturgy of the production.
Episode 4: Shakespeare’s Combat
Pritzker Military Museum & Library President and CEO Kenneth Clarke, lead a discussion with Jonathan Tavares, Associate Curator of Arms and Armor at The Art Institute of Chicago, and Matt Hawkins, a Chicago-based fight choreographer, director and actor, on the weapons and fighting maneuvers that bring Shakespearean plays to life on stage.