The traveling Stone Soup Shakespeare Company feeds a vital human need



A scene from Stone Soup’s “Pericles” (clockwise from top) Ashley Leake, Theo Zucker, Lauren Becker, Tera Flores. Courtesy Julia Stemper.   

Stone Soup Shakespeare

Performing Shakespeare free for 13 seasons

This fall concluded with Pericles

Artistic director: Julia Stemper (“Head dreamer and performer”)


The Chicago-based traveling troubadours blessed the Shorewood Public Library with a vibrant performance recently.

Performing Shakespeare for free is like giving open-hearted to humanity to harvest its sunlit poetic genius for all to grow, like oaks. As Harold Bloom, among our most dedicated Shakespeare thinkers, wrote, “The ultimate use of Shakespeare is to let him teach us to think too well, to whatever truth you can sustain without perishing.” Bloom may seem to diminish “feeling” or the heart in this statement. But that’s hardly true of  the great book from which it comes: Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, a supreme effort to sum up the world’s greatest poet.

Bloom suggests that Shakespeare’s universality allows us chance to stow the beauty and wisdom that life requires of us.

Beauty is the vibrant color of life, including the rough textures of pain and loss. After all, what do seed and leaf truly feed from? The color of the light.

Wisdom waits, yes, yet abides where we need it.

Thus, the need to heed him endlessly into time. Thank you, Stone Soup, for signifying and abiding him, most obviously in his great humor, as he flourishes.

Pericles cast 2023:

Pericles: Ashley Leake

Heilcanus: Sofia Carvajal

Cerimon: Tera Flores

Thaisa: Dana Macel

Marina: Theo Drucker