500 Clown Civil War history?

From a press release issued by the Pritzker Military Library:
The Pritzker Award [to James McPherson] will be presented on Saturday, October 6, 2007 during the Library's annual Liberty Gala at Chicago's historic Drake Hotel. [...] The evening will include a tribute to members of the armed forces and features a dramatic presentation by the Steppenwolf Theater Company.
The Steppenwolf Theater Company currently has two productions underway:

* 500 Clown Macbeth: "In 500 Clown Macbeth, three clowns descend upon a stage to perform Shakespeare's Scottish Play. Infected by ambition, they compete for the role of Macbeth. In the process, the clowns destroy the text, the set, and eventually each other."

* 500 Clown Frankenstein: "In 500 Clown Frankenstein, three clowns arrive onstage to tell the story of Frankenstein. Challenging costumes, poor lighting, difficult language and an ornery table prevent them from properly telling Mary Shelley's classic tale. The result is the creation of an unexpected horror."