unnamed (62)Clockwise Theatre presents Breaking the Shakespeare Code, Boston playwright John Minigan’s 2014 witty, smart, fast-paced comedy-drama detailing an extraordinary student-mentor relationship, opening Friday, November 6th, playing weekends through Sunday, November 29th.

Posing the essential question, “How do you know when you’ve met somebody more important than anyone you ever knew,” the play opens in the late 1990’s at an exclusive East Coast women’s college outside Boston, where 18-year-old Anna asks Curt, a talented but bitingly sarcastic Assistant Professor, to prepare her for an upcoming audition for Boston Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Over the course of the next 16 years, the developing relationship between the two changes both of their lives.

Breaking the Shakespeare Code is challenging, charming, witty, and compassionate, filled with surprises, intrigue, intellectual games, performance art, chemistry, charisma, love – and Shakespeare. The play is for anyone who ever trusted a mentor – or for any teacher who was ever taught by a student.

A New York City and Boston Fringe Festival hit from 2014, the play was originally developed in workshop performances at The Utah Shakespeare Festival and The Orlando Shakespeare Company.

The Clockwise production stars Guy Wicke (Chicago) and Lorelei Sturm (Chicago) and is directed by Lake Forest director and Shakespearean scholar Barbara J. Anderson. The set design is by Chicago scenic designer Nicci Schumacher and is inspired by the classic architecture of the Globe Theatre. The lighting design is byTim Walsh (Schaumberg), the costumes are by Shawn Quinlan(Chicago), and the sound design is by Mason Absher (Chicago). The show is being produced and stage managed by Bob Sanders(Lake Forest), Artistic Director of Clockwise Theatre. The Assistant Stage Manager is Carol Alleman (Waukegan).

John Minigan (Playwright) is a playwright, director and teacher born, raised and still surviving in Massachusetts. His Elliot Norton and Weissberger Award nominated Breaking the Shakespeare Codehad its professional premiere in Chicago and at the New York Fringe Festival in 2014. He has had work developed and workshopped at the New American Playwrights Project and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and selected for the Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2016 anthology, the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Festival, Orange Tea Theatre (Amsterdam), SoBe Arts, IMPACT 15 International Theatre Festival, BARE Essentials (London), the Boston Theater Marathon, Short + Sweet (Dubai and Queensland), the Snowdance Comedy Festival, Pick of the Vine, Seoul Players (South Korea) and Boston Play Café. John was a finalist for the 2014 Heideman Award from the Actors Theatre of Louisville and a semifinalist for the 2015 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. When not writing, John teaches theater, Shakespeare and writing in the Boston area, where he lives with his wife, dance scholar, teacher and choreographer Lynn E. Frederiksen. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Barbara J. Anderson (Director) is thrilled to return to Clockwise, having directed Patrick Gabridge’s Beatrix Potter Must Die for the Clockwise Summer Garden Party Gala; an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Canterville Ghost and Edward Kuffert’s Waiting ON Godot for the Great New Play Series; and acted in Madelyn Sergel’s Special Needs. Elsewhere, she has directed A Man For All Seasons (Bowen Park); Aphra Behn’s Emperor of the Moon (St. Sebastian Players);Later Life—in 2010 & in 2015, Mrs. Sorken, Words, Words, Words, and Ferris Wheel (Oil Lamp); Twelve Angry Men, Woman in Black, and Pirates of Penzance (CenterStage); and Annie and Once Upon A Mattress (Tudor Court). After receiving an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and an MEd in the teaching of English at the University of Virginia, Ms. Anderson spent the next 31 years teaching English and directing the annual Shakespeare production at New Trier High School. Since retirement in 2007, she has devoted her time to acting and directing professionally. This winter she directs Death of a Salesman for CenterStage.

Reviewers have said:

“A play like this — that scrutinizes the manners and methods of the stage, as well as the players on the stage that is all the world — has to be pitch-perfect, solid at its textual as well as dramatic core. It works… and its three scenes revisit the characters at different points along a stretch of more than a decade and a half… At each point they delve into the intricacies of a different play, and find too much truth in the Bard’s text for their comfort.” – Kilian Meloy, EDGE on the Net, Boston

“Playwright John Minigan has carefully constructed this clever puzzle. Part of the fun is in trying to guess where Minigan is taking you from moment to moment and what is real, and what is part of the game….The verbal sparring … is a joy to watch.”

— David Lally,

“Compelling… One of the finest plays you’ll see at Fringe this season.”
Pete Hempstead,

“Prepare to be blown away…John Minigan’s Breaking the Shakespeare Code is bold, brutal, brave, beguiling and brilliant.”
David Roberts and Joseph Verlezza, NY Fringe Festival Review,

“Engrossing and delicious fun.”
Cindy Pierre, NY Fringe Festival Review,
“I hope [this production] has a future beyond FringeNYC as smart plays are in short supply these days.”
David Lally,

Tickets are $25 and may be purchased through the website , online at Brown Paper Tickets, by callingBrown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006, or at the door. Veteran, Industry and Senior rates are available online, as are Group rates (10 or more, pre-paid).
Cast photography and production artwork is available online througha link to Drop Box and at Clockwise Theatre’s website. Or like us on Facebook, at
Clockwise Theatre is located at 221 N. Genesee Street in downtown Waukegan. Ample, free, on-street parking is available.