Established in 1978, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival is a professional repertory company that produces mainstage productions, free family-friendly performances, and numerous community events over the summer. The Festival brings a new level of professional artistry, economic attention, and civic engagement to Illinois – all while exposing new generations and populations to the arts.
In fact, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival reaches over 10,000 patrons each season. In addition to the Festival's regular mainstage programming, Theatre for Young Audiences shows are performed free of charge on the grounds of Ewing Cultural Center, and the touring Bard in a Box troupe brings Shakespearean adaptations to schools and community centers in the area.
In 2017, the Festival launched a successful Summer Camps for Youth program, where students entering grades 1st-12th perform adaptations of Shakespeare on the same Festival stage as the professionals.
In addition, college students from across the country can apply to participate in the Festival through internships in every area from acting to stage management. This experience provides students with a bridge into professional theatre through hands-on training and significant networking opportunities with professional actors, directors, designers, and craft artisans.
We are so thankful for our continued partnerships with the community.