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  • Chicago Youth Shakespeare, Inc. Chicago Youth Shakespeare, Inc.


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Mission Statement

Chicago Youth Shakespeare [CYS] is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to putting Shakespeare’s timeless works into the hands of 21st-century teenagers. Through innovative performances and educational outreach programs, CYS is connecting students across Chicagoland with Shakespeare and with each other. ​CYS is committed to providing a safe space for students of all backgrounds, and to fostering a diverse community of creative young artists and compassionate global citizens.


Founded in March of 2013, CYS launched its 3 educational outreach programs in the fall of that same year: The Chicago Youth Shakespeare Ensemble (CYSE), the organization’s flagship training program and performance company for high school students; CYS In-Schools, offering Shakespeare workshops and residency programs for students and their teachers during the school day; and Battle of the Bard (r) (BOTB), a series of competitive Shakespeare performance events for high school students.

In 5 years, CYS programs have impacted over 7000 Chicago area students from more than 60 different public, private, and parochial schools. The organization has granted over $85,000 in need-based program scholarships, helped raise more than $4,000 to support arts programming in public schools, and CYS brings free Shakespeare performances to hundreds of new students each year.

CYS operates with a very small, mostly volunteer staff, assisted by undergraduate interns, student volunteers, and an 11-member board of directors. Our primary goal is to secure grant funding that provides a sustainable base of operations and helps us continue to meet the growing demand for our programs.

Please visit www.chicagoyouthshakespeare.org for more detailed information about CYS programs, our history, and our impact on Chicago area teens.


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