Some say rhetoric is a dying art, but Timothy Douglas is committed to reminding Chicagoans of the power of language. As the new artistic director of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Douglas has a unique opportunity to bring great language to the city’s attention, and he isn’t wasting any time in doing so. On July 3—two days after he is installed as artistic director—the Declaration of Independence will take center stage at Grant Park Music Festival in a reading organized by Douglas.
Douglas drew inspiration from yearly readings at Shakespeare & Company of Lenox, Massachusetts, and began searching for Chicagoans to participate. “We started with us, the Remy Bumppo family,” Douglas says, “and then it was important to me to identify leaders in the field—first artists and then community and civic leaders, and we targeted artistic companies who had community outreach and education programs.” Almost a hundred members of Chicago’s arts community will be reading on Sunday, including Peter Sagal, Regina Taylor and Andrew White.
Douglas hopes the event will appeal to all Chicagoans: “Regardless of your political affiliation, there’s something on the DNA level of Americans that responds to this document, but it’s only there when people hear the document, not read it off the page. My intention is not to make this a political event, but a visceral one. Who knows what the resonances will be in Chicago on Sunday, and I’m most excited to see that.” (Erin Kelsey)
The reading takes place on July 3 at 5:30pm at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, 201 East Randolph. Free. Details here.