Better Makers: Chicago Shakespeare Theater GALA Raises $1.2 Million for Educational Programs

On June 10, Chicago Shakespeare Theater held GALA 2019 to award those whose efforts have helped Chicago become a better place through acts of community engagement, artistic leadership, and philanthropy.

This exclusive gathering included a cocktail reception followed by a three-course dinner and a dedicated performance from the cast of popular musical “SIX” — Adrianna HicksAndrea MacasaetBrittney MackAbby MuellerSamantha Pauly, and Anna Uzele. Each cast member started off by performing their individual song and concluded with an eccentric, confetti-filled performance executed by the entire cast.

BMO Harris Bank was named Civic Honoree and “The Chicago Actor” was named Artistic Honoree as part of the Year of Chicago Theatre celebration.

By the end of the night, an impressive $1.2 million was raised for Chicago Shakespeare in Classrooms and Communities, which supports the funding of the theater’s award-winning programs such as CPS Shakespeare as well as the funding of the free citywide Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour.

The CPS Shakespeare program was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award — the highest honor any after-school program can receive — by former First Lady Michelle Obama in 2014. This stellar five-week program not only gives Chicago Public Schools students and their teachers the opportunity to create, rehearse, and eventually perform an original production, but it also allows them to experience a professional live performance.

The sponsors of this year’s GALA included BMO Harris Bank, Exelon Corporation, Harve A. Ferrill, Food for ThoughtKirkland & Ellis, Linda and Dennis Myers, Kevin and Joan Evanich, Burton X. and Sheli Z. Rosenberg, Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation, and the Segal Family Foundation.

To learn more about Chicago Shakespeare Theater and GALA 2019, visit chicagoshakes.com or check out their FacebookYouTube, or Instagram.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater GALA 2019: Ray Whitacre, Criss Henderson, David Casper, Barbara Gaines, and Steve Solomon
Ray Whitacre, Criss Henderson, David Casper, Barbara Gaines, and Steve Solomon (Photo by Johnny Knight.)
Chicago Shakespeare Theater GALA 2019: Ray Whitacre, Dianne Whatton, Barbara Gaines, and David Casper
Ray Whitacre, Dianne Whatton, Barbara Gaines, and David Casper (Photo by Michael Litchfield.)
Chicago Shakespeare Theater GALA 2019: Andrea Atlass, Amanda Merten, and Jess Merten
Andrea Atlass, Amanda Merten, and Jess Merten (Photo by Michael Litchfield.)
Chicago Shakespeare Theater GALA 2019: David Casper, Jane Casper, Carole Segal, and Gordon Segal
David Casper, Jane Casper, Carole Segal, and Gordon Segal (Photo by Johnny Knight.)
Chicago Shakespeare Theater GALA 2019: Criss Henderson, Carl Thoma, and John Rau
Criss Henderson, Carl Thoma, and John Rau (Photo by Johnny Knight.)
Chicago Shakespeare Theater GALA 2019: Richard Porter and Lydia Marti
Richard Porter and Lydia Marti (Photo by Michael Litchfield.)
Chicago Shakespeare Theater GALA 2019
GALA 2019 raised $1.2 million for the Chicago Shakespeare in Classroom and Communities initiative. (Photo by Michael Litchfield.)

Lily_YuLily Yu was born and raised in Chicago but eventually found herself studying in the heart of the cornfields at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is majoring in business management and marketing, and is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.