Kentucky Shakespeare Director Matt Wallace. Photo – Cindy McAlpine Maupin


By Keith Waits

Entire contents copyright © 2015 Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

With a few surprises up his sleeve, Kentucky Shakespeare Artistic Director Matt Wallace has announced the company’s 2016 season. The first change will bring a full production, ticketed, of Twelfth Night in January, inside the Bomhard Theatre. Although such a move is not without precedent, in years past productions of Love’s Labours Lost, and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Not Dead were remounted from the Central Park Stage to the Ogle Center at IUS, this is the first time a fully realized production of one of Shakespeare’s plays will have premiered in a location other than the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheatre.

After two seasons of high profile, iconic titles designed to appeal to a broader audience, on June 1 Wallace will begin to explore some of the Bard’s lesser-known works. Although the roster features perhaps the most popular Shakespeare title, Romeo & Juliet, it will also include The Two Gentlemen of Verona, on of his earliest, most formative plays, and The Winter’s Tale, a play labeled both comedy and romance by scholars. Neither of these plays have been produced by Kentucky Shakespeare in the last 20 years.

The Globe Players’ student production of As You Like It, one of the most engaging of the Comedies, will follow, as will the rotating rep of all three main stage productions and the all day “Bardathon” in which all three are presented on one Saturday (July 23).

The spirit of collaboration with other local companies will continue with the return of The Louisville Improvisors and their Late Night Shakes program in June, as well as CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center’s presentation of the classic musical based on Romeo & Juliet, West Side Story, in August.

Wallace is enthusiastic about all the choices, but seems particularly excited about the initiative to mount an “off-season” production of Twelfth Night. “We will be doing it in full Elizabethan dress, using a set on loan from Kentucky Opera that was used in their previous production of Romeo & Juliet. Add in the fact that we will actually be opening ON twelfth night, and I think this will be something really special.” Charging patrons will also be something different, but Wallace promises ticket prices in line with rates from other local companies, and all proceeds are directed towards supporting the free summer season. Jack Ashworth of University of Louisville School of Music will provide live music with period instruments.

January 5th – 10th, 2016 – The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts presents Kentucky Shakespeare’s production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
Bomhard Theatre
501 West  Street
Louisville, KY 40202

The 2016 Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

June 1 – July 23

The Winter’s Tale

June 16 – July 23

Romeo & Juliet

June 30 – July 24

Rotating Repertory 

July 12-July 24


All 3 Productions, 1 Day

July 23

As You Like It

Globe Players {Student Production}

July 27 – July 30

Community Partners Week

West Side Story

CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center

August 2-7

Late Night Shakes

Louisville Improvisors {After The Night’s Performances}

June 4, 11, 18, 25