Illinois Shakespeare Festival
Illinois Shakespeare Festival
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Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Elizabeth Rex 2014 Introducing 'The Flex' Ticket - Matching your 'Style' Always have a description if there is no caption
This brilliant, award-winning play imagines Queen Elizabeth spending the eve of her lover's execution in the company of William Shakespeare and his players. Learn More
Our investigation of Shakespeare's original practices continues with a hilarious all-male production of MUCH ADO. Learn More
Shakespeare's epic portrayal of Mark Antony's intoxication with the stunning Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Learn More



What they had to say about us....

WMBD - Road Trippin' - Great overview of the Festival from picnicking to the theatre... See more

Smile Politely - Shakespeare amidst fireflies .... See more

Pantagraph - Boys will be girls in fest's true-to-period 'Much Ado' by Marcia Weiss.... See more

Pantagraph - Much ado about something in spellbinding 'Elizabeth' by Tricia Stiller.... See more

Pantagraph - History's first power couple exerts a firm grip in 'Antony and Cleopatra' by Nancy Steele Brokaw.... See more

Pantagraph - Three-way affair: This year's Shakespeare Fest trio enjoys a fling by Dan Craft.... See more

Read all the press articles for the season...



Our Summer Repertory Season has come to an end. Thank you for your patronage and support.

Closing Night

Watch for announcements in the coming weeks about the Festival's fall projects: ShakesFEAR!, 2015 Season Announcement Event, and the 2014-2015 School and Community Tours.


School of Theatre and Dance

Can't get enough great theatre? Visit the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State University to see what's next in Bloomington-Normal's performing arts scene.

Hay Fever by Noel Coward
Westhoff Theatre
September 24 – 27, 7:30 p.m.
Matinees September 27 and 28, 2:00 p.m.
Cross comedy of manners with farce and the result is the ebullient Hay Fever, one of Noel Coward's lightest theatrical romps. The story revolves around retired actress Judith Bliss and her eccentric family: husband David (a pulp novelist), son Simon (a caricature artist), and daughter Sorel (an amateur singer). With family melodrama constantly rising to a high pitch, there is hardly enough room for the four of them in their pastoral country home. Now, to make matters worse, they have each invited an amorous house guest for the weekend — unbeknownst to the others! Chaos, drama and romantic intrigue ensue, much to the visitors' horror. Is it the flowers or the family that they're allergic to...?

In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) by Sarah Ruhl
Center for the Performing Arts Theatre
October 2 – 4 and October 8 – 11, 7:30 p.m.
Matinee October 5, 2:00 p.m.
In a proper Victorian home, free-spirited Catherine Givings contends with a newborn daughter and an aloof, work-obsessed husband. Dr. Givings spends the majority of his time in the next room – an operating theatre – treating "hysterical" female patients with the aid of his latest invention: the vibrator. When a wet nurse, grieving the loss of her son, and a despairing patient enter the Givings' lives, Catherine must face what it is to be a mother, a wife, and a human being capable of the purest forms of love. Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, Ruhl's beautifully crafted play (nominated for the 2010 Tony Award and a Finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize) explores issues of female empowerment, social stratification, and the thrills – and dangers – of discovery.

Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes
Westhoff Theatre
October 23 – 25 and October 29 – 31, 7:30 p.m.
Matinees October 26 and November 1, 2:00 p.m.
In this uplifting 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, an Iraq War veteran tries to start a modeling career even as he is haunted by the ghost of a man he shot. In a second storyline, which gradually interweaves with the first, a woman runs an Internet forum for recovering drug addicts. According to a Variety review, "The play is a combination poem, prayer and app on how to cope in an age of uncertainty, speed and chaos. When cyber meets the real world, anger gives way to forgiveness and resistance becomes redemption; the heart of the play opens up and the waters flow freely."

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage
Center for the Performing Arts Theatre
November 6 – 8 and November 12 – 15, 7:30 p.m.
Matinee November 9, 2:00 p.m.
It's the 1930s when we first meet Vera Stark, an African-American maid to a white movie star, Gloria Mitchell, known as "America's little sweetie pie." Vera props up the neurotic Gloria even while she and her friends are looking to break into the movies. They know their options are limited to playing slaves, maids or mammies, but Vera captures a part — playing Gloria's maid in The Belle of New Orleans, a costume drama that becomes a classic. Seventy years later, an academic colloquium gathers to "deconstruct" her legacy, but by that time Vera has vanished. We see her only in clips from a 1973 talk show appearance and in a final coda in which she talks with Gloria during the making of their film. The Hollywood Reporter called the play "a quicksilver construction, blending disparate elements of genre parody, academic cant, broad humor, social comment and legitimate pathos while manipulating layers of irony, some blatant, others transparent, and still more downright subtle."

Fall Dance Concert
Westhoff Theatre
November 19 – 21, 7:30 p.m.
Matinee November 22, 2:00 p.m.
This year's fall dance concert will be held in the intimate space of our black box theater, giving audiences a chance to see close up the leaps, spins, kicks, tumbles and twirls of our talented dancers and choreographers.



wordpressFestival Stories

Interview with Illinois Shakespeare Festival Touring Company member Joey Banks
Illinois Shakespeare Festival Touring Company member Joey [...]
Interview with Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Kevin Rich
Smile Politely’s Mathew Green (MG) interviews Illinois [...]
Video: Fight director shines at Illinois Shakespeare Festival
The professor in Illinois State University's School of [...]

contact us
September - April Phone: 309-438-8974
May-August Phone: 309-438-2535
Box Office: 866-IL-SHAKE

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theatre at ewing

Corner of Emerson St. and Towanda Avenue
48 Sunset Rd.
Bloomington, Illinois 61701

center for the performing arts

Corner of S. School St. and W. Beaufort St.
Illinois State University
462 W. Beaufort St.
Normal, Illinois 61761

2014-08-11T15:55:35.198-05:00 2014