Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Adding New $35 Million Performance Space

Posted by Leo Clark. on Friday, March 4th, 2016 at 11:30am.

News relating to Navy Pier over the winter has mostly related to the new-and-improved Ferris wheel, which will be larger and include climate controlled gondolas with speakers, padded seats, and even TV screens.

Not to be outdone, however, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre has now announced plans for a spectacular $35 million performance space that will not only boost Chicago’s already renowned cultural footprint, but also enable the company to expand its programming range as well.

Being called “The Yard,” the new annex will sit below a huge, whale-shaped canopy and feature 9 movable seating blocks that can be arranged in a variety of different layouts, which can of course be based on each individual performance.

Depending on the production, The Yard can seat as many as 850 on-lookers, but also hold as few as 150 should a show require a more intimate setting.

The new design is from Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill and will include a new grand lobby and also incorporate the Pier’s new “grand staircase”, which will be on the theatre’’s south side.

Construction for The Yard is expected to begin later this spring.

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