The Illinois Shakespeare Festival exemplifies a long-established tradition of professional theatre devoted to performing the plays of William Shakespeare.
Every summer, a collection of theatre professionals and interns unite in Bloomington-Normal, IL, to create a dynamic environment, one dedicated not only to education but also the enthusiastic creation of performing art.
In 1978, the Festival was founded by Cal Pritner as a partnership between the Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance and the College of Fine Arts; that partnership continues today. The School of Theatre provides budget support, personnel, and facilities; the College of Fine Arts provides budget support, specifically for administrative salaries, as well as facility support.
The Festival's impact on the theatre and theatre education has been recognized in media and scholarly journals from Bloomington to Chicago, New York, and back in Shakespeare's home country, England.