Top 5 Shakespeare Festivals In Mid America

By Kimberly Dijkstra

Four-hundred years after his lifetime, the world’s greatest dramatist lives on through productions of his greatest works. Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, romances, and histories remain relevant today as performed by our finest actors. Performers passionate about Shakespeare can be found all over the US, with a number of professional companies in the heartland.

 

You don’t have to go far to catch your favorite Shakespeare play – here are the top 5 Shakespeare festivals in the Central United States.

 


Texas Shakespeare Festival 

A high-caliber theatrical experience in Kilgore, Texas, Texas Shakespeare Festival has been called “one of the top ten cultural events in the state” by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Established in 1986, TSF mounts five productions every summer, including two Shakespeare plays, a classic, a musical, and a children’s show.

 

The Texas Shakespeare Festival is considered one of the top cultural events in Texas and is the only professional theatre in East Texas.

 


Colorado Shakespeare Festival

One of the oldest Shakespeare Festivals in the US, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has its roots way back in the late 1800s. Officially established in 1958, CSF has been delighting audiences for more than 60 seasons. 

 

CSF is associated with the University of Colorado Boulder. Each summer the company explores the works of Shakespeare and his continued influence under the stars in the historic Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre.

 


Madison Shakespeare Company

Since 2011, theatregoers in the Madison, Wisconsin, area have been enjoying productions by the Madison Shakespeare Company. Founded by performer Warren Hansen and director John Varda, the company performs several Shakespearean plays every summer as well as pop-up shows throughout the year. Every February, A Valentine’s Affair tells classic tales of love and passion.

 

MSC holds performances in various outdoor venues, including Breese Stevens Field, Madison Country Day School amphitheater, and local beer gardens and lounges.

 


Shakespeare Dallas

For 50 years Shakespeare Dallas has been bringing quality theatre to North Texas audiences. Formerly known as the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, it hopes to continue to share the words and poetry of Shakespeare with the community for the next 50 years and beyond.

 

The organization serves the regions with accessible and affordable indoor and outdoor family entertainment, educational programs, and enrichment activities. Shakespeare Dallas is one of North Texas’ most treasured cultural institutions.

 


Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Since 1978, Illinois Shakespeare Festival has been bringing more than Shakespeare to the masses. In addition to engaging audiences with the works of The Bard, the professional repertory company explores the human condition and encourages an honest exchange of ideas. 

 

Illinois Shakes is affiliated with Illinois State University. The festival brings 10,000 patrons to Ewing Cultural Center each year to see three mainstage productions, while the Bard in a Box troupe tours around to area schools and community centers.



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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