Best of the West - Top 5 U.S. Shakespeare Festivals In the West

    Best of the West - Top 5 U.S. Shakespeare Festivals In the West

     By Kimberly Dijkstra

    As summer rolls around, so does your local Shakespeare festival! Many acting troupes and theatre companies around the country celebrate the playwright known as the greatest writer in the English language – William Shakespeare! In the western region of the United States, many cities stage productions of Shakespeare’s most long-lived works.

    Whether close to home or on vacation, here are the top 5 Shakespeare festivals to go to in the Western United States.

     


    Utah Shakespeare Festival  

    Though not the oldest in Shakespeare Festival in the country, Utah Shakespeare Festival managed to snag the coveted domain bard.org before any others. Since 1962, has been presenting the works of Shakespeare to the public, as well as non-Shakespeare classics year-round. 

    Founder Fred C. Adams, an assistant professor of theatre arts, had a desire to produce great theatre and recognized the potential for a Shakespeare Festival in Utah. It now operates out of four different theatres and draws nearly 100,000 patrons per year.

     


    Idaho Shakespeare Festival 

    Boise, Idaho, is home to a vibrant arts community, to which the Idaho Shakespeare Festival greatly contributes. From June to September, the festival presents Shakespearean plays, as well as classics, contemporary works, and musicals to round out the season. 

    Drawing more than 100,000 patrons annually, the festival seeks to educate through a wide range of programs, and serves as home to a significant number of theatre artists. 

     


    Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

    The west shore of Lake Tahoe is a beautiful setting to enjoy the Bard’s most enduring plays. The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival began in 1972 and has been enriching the lives of the community ever since. Today it sees more than 33,000 patrons annually.

    The repertory performs Shakespearean classics, as well as contemporary works every summer, plus matinees created for younger audiences. 

     


    California Shakespseare Festival

    Founded in 1974, California Shakespeare Festival has become a cornerstone of theatre in the Bay Area. The company traditionally performs two Shakespeare plays and two non-Shakespeare pieces in the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater in Orinda, California, 

    Cal Shakes embraces the complexity of Shakespeare and believes that “making art makes us better people.”

     


    Oregon Shakespeare Festival

    Inspired by the richness of Shakespeare’s work, Oregon Shakespeare Festival seeks to reveal our collective humanity through its interpretations of his plays. Located in Ashland, in the southern part of Oregon, offers a mix of Shakespeare, classics, musicals, and world-premiere plays.

    The non-profit operates three theatres, including the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, where the very first performance, of Twelfth Night, took place in 1935.



    There are so many wonderful Shakespeare festivals throughout the United States, Broadway & Main broke them down into regions. Click the links below to find the top Shakespeare Festivals near you!

     

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