Kentucky Shakespeare Announces 2020 Summer Season

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Kentucky Shakespeare Announces 2020 Summer Season

Kentucky Shakespeare, the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth, announces the 60th anniversary season of the free Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. The extended 11-week, 7-production, 64-performance season runs May 27-August 9, 2020, at the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater in Old Louisville's Central Park.

"It's a special milestone for us as we celebrate our 60th anniversary of free Shakespeare in Central Park. We honor and celebrate the past as we look forward to an exciting future," says Matt Wallace, Producing Artistic Director. "Opening with the stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love is a fitting love letter to Shakespeare to kick off the season, and it wouldn't be possible without the presenting sponsor of the production, our partner Churchill Downs. It's also a season of plays set in England, with the epic Henry V and the Elizabethan farce The Merry Wives of Windsor. The three main stage productions feature 24 actors, 100 characters, and one dog! 34,000+ people experienced the magic of free Shakespeare in Central Park under the stars last summer, and our goal is to top that this summer with this historic anniversary season."

In addition to the three main stage productions, Kentucky Shakespeare will present the Globe Players student troupe's A Midsummer Night's Dream, plus productions from returning guest companies Louisville Ballet, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and the Louisville Improvisors. The Kids' Globe tent will open an hour before every performance during the summer with interactive arts-based activities tied to the production, and every night a diverse array of community groups will present pre-show performances on the Festival stage.

All performances are presented free of charge at Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, the longest-running non-ticketed Shakespeare festival in the United States.

A variety of 28 food trucks from the Louisville Food Truck Association will rotate nightly, plus Will's Tavern (a Brown-Forman Bar) and Will's Gift Shop.

For dates and more information visit or download the free Kentucky Shakespeare app at Google Play or iTunes.

Shakespeare in Love

presented by Churchill Downs

Based on the screenplay of the Oscar-winning film by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppardi??

Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, with music by Paddy Cunneen

Directed by Matt Wallace

May 27-June 14; July 15, 18, 22, & 25

The season kicks off with this Louisville premiere adapted from the 1998 Oscar-winning film. Will Shakespeare has writer's block, the deadline for his new play is fast approaching, and he's in desperate need of inspiration, until he finds his muse. The production stars Jon Patrick O'Brien as Will Shakespeare and Angelica Santiago as Viola, with Braden McCampbell as Kit Marlowe, Gregory Maupin as Phillip Henslowe, and Dathan Hooper as Richard Burbage.

Henry V

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Amy Attaway

June 18-28; July 14, 17, 23, & 26

The final installment in Kentucky Shakespeare's four-year Game of Kings series, Shakespeare's Henriad, Henry V is an epic history play - a classic tale of kingship and war that explores the making of a legend. Zachary Burrell plays the titular King, with Mollie Murk as Princess Katherine, Neill Robertson as the Dauphin, Kyle Ware as Pistol, and Hallie Dizdarevic as the Chorus/Queen Isabel. The production will again feature original music from Wax Fang's Scott Carney.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Matt Wallace

July 2-12, 16, 19, 21, & 24

Last performed on the Kentucky Shakespeare stage 29 years ago, this riotous Elizabethan comedy is a story of marriage, wealth, jealousy, and lies. Sir John Falstaff, played by J. Barrett Cooper, pursues two housewives, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, played by Abigail Bailey Maupin and Jennifer Pennington. In this fast-moving comedy, the wives outwit the fat knight while many wooers pursue the lovely Anne Page. Georgette Kleier returns to the Festival stage to play Mistress Quickly, Jon Huffman plays Dr. Caius, and Tyler Tate makes his Festival debut as Fenton.

***Note to reviewers: the start dates listed above for the main stage season are the PREVIEW PERFORMANCES. We ask that you please plan to review the OPENING performances on Thursday, May 28 (Shakespeare in Love), Friday, June 19 (Henry V), and Friday, July 2 (The Merry Wives of Windsor).***

Kentucky Shakespeare's Globe Players High School Troupe

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Directed by Kyle Ware

July 29-August 1

Kentucky Shakespeare's Globe Players Professional Training Program for high school students will present the magical comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Kentucky Shakespeare's Director of Education Kyle Ware. The cast is comprised of students from multiple area high schools and the production is the culmination of a 6-week training program.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company


Directed by Darnell Benjamin

August 2 and 4

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company returns to the Festival stage with their touring production of Shakespeare's heart-pounding thrill ride of a play - a harrowing exploration of ambition, morality, tyranny and corruption.

Louisville Improvisors

Late Night Shakes

Improvised Shakespeare

10:30PM on June 6, 20; July 11, 25

The Louisville Improvisors return for a 6th year with Late Night Shakes on select Saturdays bringing late night improvised Shakespeare plays created from audience suggestions.

Louisville Ballet

Shakespeare in Dance

August 5-9

Rounding out the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival season, Louisville Ballet returns to the Festival stage for a fifth season to present Shakespeare in Dance, created by Roger Creel and Scott Moore. The evening will feature a re-staging of their production of Willam's Folly, first presented by Louisville Ballet on the Kentucky Shakespeare stage in 2016, and a new dance adaptation of Macbeth.

Nightly Schedule

  • 6:30pm Food Trucks Open
  • 7:00pm Will's Tavern, Will's Gift Shop, and Kids' Globe open
  • 7:15pm Nightly Community Pre-Show Entertainment
  • 8:00pm Production Begins


  • Karl Anderson (Scenic Designer)
  • Donna Lawrence-Downs (Costume Designer)
  • Casey Clark (Lighting Designer)
  • Laura Ellis (Sound Designer)
  • Barbara F. Cullen (Choreographer)
  • Eric Frantz (Fight Choreographer)


  • Chris Bryant
  • Zachary Burrell
  • J. Barrett Cooper
  • Andrea Diggs
  • Hallie Dizdarevic
  • Alex Gordon
  • Dathan Hooper
  • Jon Huffman
  • Georgette Kleier
  • Tom Luce
  • Braden McCampbell
  • Abigail Bailey Maupin
  • Gregory Maupin
  • Mollie Murk
  • Jon Patrick O'Brien
  • Jennifer Pennington
  • Monte Priddy
  • Austin Ramirez
  • Neill Robertson
  • Tyler Rosenblatt
  • Gregory Sanders
  • Angelica Santiago
  • Tyler Tate
  • Kyle Ware

Next on Stage

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