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Chicago Shakespeare Theater will bring in shows from Belarus, South Africa, Great Britain and Italy

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Four shows will be visiting the city next year as part of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's World Stages series, the ongoing international festival that regularly exposes local audiences to some of the most intriguing productions from around the globe, Sun-Times' Hedy Weiss reports. Included will be productions from Belarus, South Africa, Great Britain and Italy:

† "Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker" (Jan. 30-Feb. 3 in CST's Upstairs Theater): Belarus Free Theatre, the embattled ensemble that thrilled audiences with its 2010 production of "Being Harold Pinter," will return with a show that explores the sexually repressive nature of one of Europe's last surviving dictatorships. (Kathy Acker was an American experimental novelist, punk poet, playwright and essayist.)

† "Cadre" (Feb. 15-24, Upstairs Theater): In partnership with the fabled Market Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa, Chicago Shakespeare will present this world premiere -- written by and featuring South African artist Omphile Molusi (the luminous star of "Itoseng," presented at CST in 2010) -- that tells the story of a former soldier in the sub-Saharan African Azanian People's Liberation Army during and after apartheid.

† "Roadkill" (May 11-26): This Olivier Award-winning American premiere, conceived and directed by Cora Bissett with text by Stef Smith, is a site-specific performance for which audience members will be transported by mini-van to an apartment in Chicago. There, they will be confronted with the brutal realities of sex trafficking in a story drawn from the harrowing details of a young Nigerian woman's plight. (The production is the catalyst for the British Council's collaboration with CST and St. Ann's Warehouse in New York City to create a public program that engages local partners in a dialogue on the impact of human trafficking.)

† "Inner Voices" (June 25-29 in CST's Courtyard Theater): This production by the Piccolo Teatro di Milano of a 1948 play by Eduardo De Filippo, one of Italy's most translated writers, investigates perceptions of morality amidst an economically devastated post-World War II landscape. It is being presented in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago to commemorate the Year of Italian Culture in America.

For tickets call: (312) 595-5600 or visit www.chicagoshakes.com. All tickets for "Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker" and "Cadre" are $20.

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