We are excited and proud to announce that this week, after over a year of planning, was the first week of our outreach program, "Shakespeare in the Courts Chicago." This program works on Shakespeare scripts with adolescents in the Cook County probation system for six weeks and ends with a final performance for the participants' friends, family, judges, and probation officers.

On our first day of Shakespeare in the Courts Chicago, we had five participants who had never heard of Shakespeare. By the end of the session, they were all reciting the prologue from Romeo and Juliet.

There are five more weeks of the program to go, there is more Shakespeare to learn, more magic to see from our participants, and we are more excited than before for that final performance scheduled in August.

Want to learn the prologue our participants are working on? See the text below and start reciting!

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.