Home » Kentucky Shakespeare Festival returns to Louisville’s Central Park

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival returns to Louisville’s Central Park

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky Shakespeare, the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth, has announced that the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival will return to the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater in Old Louisville’s Central Park this summer. The free event, which is the longest-running nonticketed Shakespeare festival in the United States, will run from June 16 through Aug. 15, 2021.

In addition to the two main stage productions, Kentucky Shakespeare will present the Globe Players student troupe’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” plus productions from returning guest companies Louisville Ballet and the Louisville Improvisors. The Kids’ Globe tent will open an hour before every performance during the summer with interactive arts-based activities tied to the production.

A variety of 28 food trucks from the Louisville Food Truck Association will rotate nightly, plus Will’s Tavern (a Brown-Forman Bar) and Will’s Gift Shop.

Due to COVID-19 capacity reductions and social distancing requirements, people are encouraged to attend on weeknights, arrive early, and bring a blanket or chair in the event that bench seating is not available. Please visit kyshakespeare.com for updates and changes as health and government mandates and recommendations change.

For dates and more information visit kyshakespeare.com or download the free Kentucky Shakespeare app at Google Play or iTunes.

The 2021 Kentucky Shakespeare Festival:

Shakespeare in Love

The season kicks off with this Louisville premiere adapted from the 1998 Oscar-winning film. Presented by Churchill Downs, “Shakespeare in Love” is based on the screenplay of the Oscar-winning film by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, with music by Paddy Cunneen and directed by Matt Wallace.

Will Shakespeare has writer’s block, the deadline for his new play is fast approaching, and he’s in desperate need of inspiration until he finds his muse. The production stars Jon Patrick O’Brien as Will Shakespeare and BeeBee Pattillo as Viola, with Braden McCampbell as Kit Marlowe, Gregory Maupin as Phillip Henslowe, and Brian Hinds as Richard Burbage.

June 16-July 14; July 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31 (no performances on Mondays)

Henry V

Directed by Amy Attaway, the final installment in Kentucky Shakespeare’s four-year Game of Kings series, Shakespeare’s Henriad, Henry V is an epic history play – a classic tale of kingship and war that explores the making of a legend. Zachary Burrell plays the titular king, with Mollie Murk as Princess Katherine, Will DeVary as the Dauphin, Kyle Ware as Pistol, and Hallie Dizdarevic as the chorus/Queen Isabel. The production will again feature original music from Wax Fang’s Scott Carney.
July 8-20; July 22, 24, 28 and Aug. 1 (no performances on Mondays

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players Professional Training Program for high school students will present the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Kentucky Shakespeare’s Director of Education Kyle Ware. The cast is comprised of students from multiple area high schools and the production is the culmination of a six-week training program.

Aug. 4-8

Nightly Schedule

6:00 p.m. Food trucks open
7:00 p.m. Will’s Tavern, Will’s Gift Shop, and Kids’ Globe open
8:00 p.m. Production begins