MCA: (In) Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare by: Tim Etchells/Forced Entertainment

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(In) Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) – MCA Stage
220 E Chicago Ave

Saturday February 27 Starts at 7:30 PM (There will be no late seating)
Loves Labours Lost
Antony and Cleopatra
All’s Well That Ends Well
The Tempest

Co-presented with Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Tim Etchells Artist Talk: Thurs Feb. 18 at 163 E. Pearson (inside the Water Works building along Michigan Ave.)
Co-Presented with League of Chicago Theatres

(In) Complete Works Table Top Shakespeare is participating in Shakespeare 400

Purchase tickets here



For over 30 years Forced Entertainment has made formative works of theater, performances, installations and other media expressions that search for identity in a fractured uncertain world. Based in Sheffield, England and acclaimed internationally as one of the most important devised theater companies in the world, Forced Entertainment is a group of six artists who make theater and performance works, as well as installations, site-specific pieces, books, web projects and more. Their artistic director Tim Etchells writes for and with the performance collective, and for his own print and online projects. and makes text-driven visual art.

Describing their work, they state, “We started working together in 1984; in the many projects we’ve created since then we’ve made lists, played games, spoken gibberish, stayed silent, made a mess, dressed up, stripped down, confessed to it all, performed magic tricks, told jokes, clowned around, played dead, got drunk, told stories and performed for six, twelve and even 24 hours at a stretch. We’ve worked on texts, we’ve danced and moved, we’ve fixed things meticulously, we’ve improvised. We’ve made serious work that turned out to be comical, and comical work that turned out to be deadly serious, digging deep into theatre and performance, thinking about what those things might be for us and what kinds of dialogue they can open with contemporary audiences.”

Inspired by their broad-ranging and memorable inquiries, this February MCA Chicago presents a special focus on the works of Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment. Over the course of two concentrated weeks, MCA presents two theater pieces, two durational performances, a web project, visual artworks and more.


In 2016 Chicago is set to host the largest global celebration of Shakespeare’s legacy, the MCA IN>TIME festival and Forced Entertainment will be participating in this global celebration through, (IN) Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare. (IN) Complete works takes an entire play by William Shakespeare, performed by one actor using a table and common things found in the house. This performance explores the different ways and possibilities of conjuring extraordinary scenes, images and narratives using the Bard’s greatest gift to us all, language.

“The unpromising machinery of the tabletop stirs something deep, through which the stories gain a kind of traction; in time you find yourself watching the box of matches for a trace of a character’s guilt, staring at the large bottle of wood glue for signs of another character’s dilemma, or wondering about the fate and motives of the allspice jar. “

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