‘King John’ and the Bastard

The Bastard becomes a hero, and de facto king.


Chris takes on an iconic Shakespearean character in a rarely produced play when he returns to the Shakespeare Project of Chicago as the Bastard in a theatrical reading production of King John.

In this fairly early work (the dates are, well, debatable), a shaky monarch tries to retain rule on a dubious claim to the crown. England wars with France, but has its own internal problems—not unlike the productions Chris understudied last year, both parts of the epic Tug of War at Chicago Shakespeare.

Chris appears opposite Michael Joseph Mitchell as the titular King, Diane Dorsey as Queen Eleanor, Michelle Shupe as Constance, and Ronald Keaton as Hubert. Peter Garino directs.

The cast also includes Kayla Carter, Deborah Clifton, Tony Dobrowolski, Matthew Fahey, Zachary Fewkes, Gary Houston, John Kishline, Bill McGough, Matt Penn, and Robert Tobin.

The theatrical reading features sound design by George Zahora; Kelly Lynn Hogan is the assistant director.

King John run January 13–17 at various Chicago-area locations. Admission is free. Visit shakespeareprojectchicago.org.

Image courtesy The Shakespeare Project of Chicago.