Battle of the Bard®
Battle of the Bard®(BOTB) is a year-long festival of Shakespeare slam events open to high school students across the Chicago area. Founded by CYS in 2013, Battle of the Bard is designed to cross boundaries—of geography, cultures and experience — bringing students together through performance, team spirit, and friendly competition. Partnerships with local arts organizations such as the Backroom Shakespeare Project, The English Speaking Union, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, have helped grow the festival to reach hundreds of students from more than 50 public, private, and parochial high schools across the Chicago Metropolitan area.
Building a community that spans the Chicago region, Battle of the Bard® celebrates Shakespeare’s capacity to speak to all.
Beginning this fall, CYS is excited to launch a Battle of the Bard “Remix” as we take the program in a bold new direction for the upcoming school year! Plans include work with some of Chicago’s most innovative youth and literary organizations on a new series of workshops, open-mic nights, and performance showcases that celebrate a cross pollination between old and new — where traditional iambic pentameter can slug (and hug) it out with contemporary spoken word!
On August 1st, CYS will be posting a calendar of BOTB events for the 2017/18 school year that invite a range of creative performance possibilities and opportunities for high school students to come together and share their voices as one community. Stay tuned!
The amazing people I met have such unique talents and it scares me that I might have never met them. Also, my appreciation for Shakespeare has gone through the roof – (now I can't wait to read Lear and Hamlet and The Tempest next year)! – BOTB Student
Battle of the Bard 2015
When I looked at all those kids on stage, a feeling of great hope came over me. I thought about all that language, all that creativity and thought, all that discipline and focus, all that collaboration and conversation—and I thought: those young people have all that it takes to lead us through this century. – BOTB Teacher/Coach