William Shakepeare Monument
Writer: Paul Jurewicz
Actor: Jack McBrayer
Produced with The Second City
“This is Shakespeare as you’ve never seen, or rather heard, him before. To be able to be a part of a project like this, in a city that I love, is very special to me.”
This Bard was sculpted by William Ordway Partridge, a Columbia University graduate who studied art in France and Italy after working briefly as an actor. Partridge’s challenge was to work out what William Shakespeare had actually looked like, as no one really knew for sure.
Partridge conducted extensive research, visiting Stratford and London. He viewed documents and consulted with Shakespearean actors and historic costumiers.
In 1894, the statue was unveiled on April 23, a date believed to have been the anniversary of both Shakespeare’s birth and death. Partridge deliberately chose to place Shakespeare on a low pedestal, saying ‘He belongs among the people whom he loved so dearly.’
Today, Chicago boasts its own theater company dedicated to the Bard: The Chicago Shakespeare Company.
For more about Chicago Shakespeare Theater, click here.
For more about The Second City, click here.
For more about Newberry Library, click here.
For more about artworks in Chicago’s parks, click here.