The Illinois Shakespeare Festival (ISF) and the Normal Theater are partnering to bring “A Century of Shakespeare on Screen” to the residents of Bloomington-Normal. This special series will run on Monday evenings throughout the month of June, in commemorating the 40th season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
“A Century of Shakespeare on Screen” is a chance to see how Shakespeare’s works have been translated to film in different eras from 1935-2012. The series aims to engage the audience in a conversation about the Bard’s masterpieces and how they’ve been transformed to appeal to modern audiences. After each film, select Illinois Shakespeare Festival company members will participate in a post-show discussion regarding each film’s unique characteristics. Below is the schedule for the series:
- June 5: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935) – Shakespeare’s story of meddling fairies and displaced lovers is brought to the big screen in this golden age of Hollywood adaptation, featuring an incredible ensemble cast including James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, and Olivia de Havilland. Directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle. This film is not rated. 142 min.
- June 12: Romeo and Juliet (1968) – Franco Zeffirelli’s classic take on Shakespeare’s tale of forbidden love between two young members of feuding families. This film stars Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey (Stephen King’s It). Rating: PG/149 min.
- June 19: Romeo + Juliet (1996) – Baz Luhrmann adapted and directed this highly-stylized modern update of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. This film stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Revenant) and Claire Danes (Homeland, Stardust). Rating: PG-13/130 min.
- June 26: Much Ado About Nothing (2012) – Joss Whedon’s contemporary re-telling of Shakespeare’s sharp-tongued comedy, with an arthouse aesthetic and hilarious ensemble. This film stars Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly), Amy Acker (Person of Interest, Angel), and Alex Denisof (Angel, How I Met Your Mother). Rating: PG-13/109 min.
“We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival as a part of their 40th Anniversary programming,” said Adam Fox, theater and civic arts manager for the Normal Theater. “From the earliest days of film, Shakespeare’s works have served as the source material for countless visionary directors. We hope that this series offers a taste of what audiences in different eras over the last century would have experienced going to the cinema and seeing these timeless tales.”
Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for students and children 12 and under. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Films begin at 7 p.m. The Normal Theater is located at 209 W. North St., Normal.
About the Illinois Shakespeare Festival
The Illinois Shakespeare Festival is a professional Shakespearean festival that is a part of the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University. The festival is increasingly recognized nationally as a resident company of artists producing a rotating repertory season of Shakespeare plays and new works in the spirit of Shakespeare performed during the summer months on the grounds of the Ewing Cultural Center.
About the Normal Theater
The Normal Theater opened its doors in 1937 and has been a well-known structure in Uptown Normal ever since. The Normal Theater gives residents of Bloomington-Normal the classic cinema going experience. Through a diverse line-up of classic titles as well as modern independent, foreign, and documentary films, the theater showcases stories that resonate with all members of the community. Additionally, the theater hosts live events such as concerts, comedy shows, and lectures, to serve as a multi-faceted cultural destination in Uptown Normal.