Kentucky Shakespeare Announce its 2016-17 Season.

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Maggie Lou Rader, Dathan Hooper, & Abigail Bailey Maupin in The Winter’s Tale. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Shakeseare.



We used to look forward to the summer because it brought Kentucky Shakespeare to the C. Douglas Ramey stage in Central Park, but Producing Artistic Director Matt Wallace has expanded the life of the company to all four seasons. The formal announcement of the 2016-2017 season emphasizes this by actually coming close to the end of the run of its “first” production.

Kentucky Shakespeare is now marking the beginning of its season indoors with the current production of Titus Andronicus directed by Matt Wallace, in Play Louisville’s Warehouse in Butchertown. The Halloween production runs through October 31. Following their acclaimed staging of Twelfth Night at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in January, this is first time the company has presented two indoor, ticketed productions during the year.

After Titus, the 2016-2017 season includes the Shakespeare in the Libraries 2-actor Midsummer Night’s Dream for young audiences to all 18 Louisville Free Public Libraries, the Shakespeare in the Parks Julius Caesar Tour, Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-Winning Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, and the 57th annual Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park.

November 5-December 17 the company will tour their 2-actor A Midsummer Night’s Dream for young audiences to all 18 Louisville Free Public Libraries, sponsored by Louisville Metro.

Special collaborations continue throughout the year, including a candlelit reading of Frankenstein at Historic Locust Grove October 25 and performances with the Louisville Orchestra at the November 18 and 19 Shakespeare in Music concert at Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, as part of Will in the Ville.

January 3-8, 2017, Kentucky Shakespeare returns to the Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater stage, presenting Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-Winning play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The production, directed by Associate Artistic Director Amy Attaway, will feature Kentucky Shakespeare veterans Brian Hinds and Gregory Maupin in the title roles, and Producing Artistic Director Matt Wallace returns to the stage as the Player. The production will also feature members of Kentucky Shakespeare’s 2014 Hamlet cast reprising their roles. “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is an enduring favorite among Shakespeare fans. It’s Monty Python meets Waiting for Godot, as we re-examine Hamlet from the worm’s eye view of these two minor characters – and it’s the perfect way to shake off the post-holiday doldrums!” said Kentucky Shakespeare Associate Artistic Director Amy Attaway.

In late March, Kentucky Shakespeare moves outside with the fourth annual Shakespeare in the Parks Tour.  Kentucky Shakespeare brings an 80-minute, 6-actor version of Julius Caesar to 20+ area parks through out Jefferson County and Southern Indiana, March through May. “Accessibility is what Kentucky Shakespeare is all about.  So we’ll once again be bringing it to your neighborhood!” said Producing Artistic Director Matt Wallace.

The 2017 Free Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park kicks off its professional season with a comedy, a history, and a tragedy.  The season begins with Much Ado About Nothing on May 31st, then Richard II on June 15th, followed by Julius Caesar on July 29h. Each production will run for two weeks and then all three productions will rotate in repertory July 11-23. All three productions will be performed in a single night starting at 4:30PM on July 22nd for the fourth annual Bard-A-Thon.

Richard II, last presented on the Festival stage in 1993, marks the beginning of Shakespeare’s second historical tetralogy, also known as the Henriad.  Kentucky Shakespeare will present the four plays over the next four years as their Game of Kings series – following Richard II with Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and culminating with Henry V in 2020, the Festival’s 60th season.

“This season, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival will present more performances than any season in our history – with 11 weeks, 8 productions, and 66 performances – Free,” says Wallace, “From the time students get out of school to when they go back, Kentucky Shakespeare will be there for you with free programming all summer long. It’s our honor to present this free community tradition.”

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players Professional Training Program for High School Students will present The Merchant of Venice, directed by Kentucky Shakespeare’s Director of Education Kyle Ware, running July 27th – 30th.


West Side Story – presented by CenterStage as a Community Partner in August 2016. Photo courtesy KY Shakespeare.

As has been the custom since Wallace took over, Kentucky Shakespeare will again invite Community Partners to close out the summer season.

CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center returns to the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival Stage August 1-6 to present the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate directed by John Leffert. The piece is a musical adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew.

The Louisville Ballet also returns to the Festival stage with a new production of Shakespeare in Dance, choreographed by Roger Creel, running August 9-13.

For the first time, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will present a production on the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival stage – presenting a To Be Announced touring Shakespeare production July 30th and August 8th.

The Louisville Improvisors will present Late Night Shakes every other Saturday during the professional portion of the run with late night improvised Shakespeare shows, June 3rd, 17th, and July 1st and 15th.

The Festival will again feature nightly pre-show entertainment, the Brown-Forman bar, and food trucks from the Louisville Food Truck Association.

The company now serves over 84,000 audience members a year through touring education programs, indoor productions, community outreach, and Shakespeare in Central Park. Kentucky Shakespeare is the longest running free Shakespeare Festival in the United States and the most comprehensive touring arts provider in Kentucky.