Shakespeare in the Streets to Open 9/19 in the Grove

A St. Louis administrative law judge, a teacher, a drag performer, and numerous neighborhood children will be performing alongside professional actors this Thursday through Saturday (Sept. 19-21) in Old Hearts Fresh, a one-hour free play adapted from William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. The play is part of the Shakespeare in the Streets event and will be performed each night at 8 p.m. in the Grove (4226 Manchester Avenue, between Tower Grove and South Boyle avenues).

A large mural painted by local artist Grace McCammond will be unveiled during each of the three performances. The mural appears on the side of the building located at 4226 Manchester. McCammond, who created the mural in the past two weeks, has created the other familiar well-known murals in the Grove neighborhood including the "evolution of the bike" mural at Manchester and Tower Grove avenues and the St. Louis-themed mural inside Sweetie Pie's.

Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to watch the show. Manchester Avenue will be closed to traffic from Boyle Avenue to the Gramophone (4243 Manchester) from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. Parking will be available on the surrounding streets. Weather hotline updates will be available each performance night by calling 314/531-5800, ext. 7.

The Director Alec Wild, Playwright Nancy Bell and Production Designer Justin Barisonek have been meeting with residents and community leaders of the neighborhood for the past year with the goal of developing a piece of theater that draws upon their hopes and dreams for the Grove. The resulting script is a reflection of Shakespeare's play, real conversations with the residents, and Bell's own impressions. Last year's inaugural event, The New World, also written by Bell and based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, was performed on Cherokee Street in the Gravois Park/Benton Park West neighborhood. The neighborhood-inspired shows represent the largest programming expansion since the founding of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis in 2001.

In the past 13 years, the Shakespeare Festival has attracted more than 600,000 people to the performances in Forest Park. The organization has reached an additional 250,000 students through its educational touring productions, school program, summer camps and community partnerships. For more information, please visit

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