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A Crew of Patches Theatre Company was formed in the Autumn of 2003 with a goal of producing first-rate, full-length, First Folio-based Shakespeare for middle and high school students, making them see live classical theatre as an attractive entertainment and help them understand why we are still reading Shakespeare's plays 400 years after his death. 

Now, in 2023-24, we have performed at over 130 schools in northern Illinois for more than 120,000 students. 

Our focus is on the language and story of Shakespeare's plays.  Our productions are set in a combination of "period" style and modern sensibilities: in a similar manner to how Shakespeare's own company would have mixed their costume pieces and properties with current aesthetics of hair and make-up and a nod to the modern theatrical conventions of lighting and sound for emphasis and interest.

For Romeo & Juliet, the combat is classic Renaissance rapier/dagger, the properties are all Renaissance properties. For Macbeth, the combat is medieval broadsword, the properties are medieval and rather rustic. Our purpose is to be true to Shakespeare's texts and not to let some "concept" or design interfere with understanding of the language and yet allow expected aspects of classical theatre free reign.


In past seasons we have offered Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, and Twelfth Night - but at this time, our repertory is Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet as most of our client schools read those plays.

The Patches use minimal stage effects and scenery; but scenes of violence and what might be deemed "PG-13" content (ie. ribaldry and innuendo) are common in Shakespeare and part of the production. There is no nudity or added content.


The early Patches

Twelfth Night, 2005

Benjamin Montague as Sir Toby

Scott Smith as Fabian

Andy Carey as Andrew Aguecheek

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