Shakespeare Slam team progresses to final bout

Niles North’s Shakespeare Slam team returns to compete at the region-wide event and progresses to the final bout.

Shakespeare Slam is a region-wide event hosted by the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at Navy Pier, nicknamed “Chi-Shakes”. One 2-8 person team from each participating school performs one scene chosen from a Shakespeare play selected by Chi-Shakes. The scenes are then presented in front of a group of judges, and after 2 bouts, a winner is chosen. Teams can also opt into creating a “Dream Scene”; this gives the participating players on the team an opportunity to make a 5 minute-long scene using only Shakespeare’s text. The scene can have any focus, and have no other requirement than time and text. This year, players were also given the chance to add one additional piece of text to their scene; this could be any selected poem, song, or other work of established literature.

The Niles North team features senior Andrew Feingold-Fisher, senior Michelle Bandura, senior Antonio Ortiz, senior Aria Alfaro, junior Molly Mehr, junior Becca Blatt, junior Bella Ruffner, and freshman Eleanor LeMaistre, led by teacher advisors Megan Baskin and Chris Minor. 

Historically, the Niles North team has had much success in the competition with one Runners-up Honors, and 3 wins, led by theatre teacher Megan Baskin. After COVID-19, the Chi-Shakes team continued the tradition by pivoting the program to an online, non-competitive experience. This 2022-23 Shakespeare Slam will be the first competitive event hosted since the outbreak of COVID-19. There are 26 schools from exceedingly diverse communities competing this year including Niles North, New Trier, O-School, Taft, and many others. This information and more can be found on the Chicago Shakespeare website.