Illinois Shakespeare Festival
Illinois Shakespeare Festival
Jump over the College navigation bar. The Snyder Companies

2014 Season

On the Main Stage    

  Elizabeth Rex


by Timothy Findley

Timothy Findley's award winning Elizabeth Rex is directed by Paula Suozzi, former Artistic Director of Milwaukee Shakespeare. The play takes place on the night before Elizabeth's lover, Essex, is executed for treason by her order. Requiring distraction, Queen Elizabeth I determines to see a new play by William Shakespeare called Much Ado About Nothing (seen this season as Elizabeth would have seen it) and summons Shakespeare and his actors to spend the night in her company — a night of discovery that reveals both her vulnerability and strength. Thomas Anthony Quinn returns for his eighth Festival season as Shakespeare and notable Milwaukee actress Deborah Staples plays Elizabeth. This production includes adult language and content .

Complete Details

Opening Saturday, July 12 @ 8:00 p.m.

The Theatre at Ewing and The Center for the Performing Arts



by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's witty comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, is directed by Jonathan West. The production will be performed with an all-male cast: implementing original practices encourages the audience to "consider how the plays were written to be performed," and "reveals jokes in the text that might otherwise be overlooked."

Complete Details

Opening Friday, July 11 @ 8:00 p.m.

The Theatre at Ewing and The Center for the Performing Arts

Antony and Cleopatra


by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's often-requested, seldom-performed love story Antony and Cleopatra is directed by Kevin Rich. The alluring Cleopatra distracts Mark Antony from his soldierly Roman duties and members of the Roman Empire struggle for power as a result.  Deborah Staples stars as Cleopatra.

Complete Details

Opening Sunday, July 13 @ 7:30 p.m.

The Theatre at Ewing and The Center for the Performing Arts

Special Performances    



Based on one audience suggestion (a title for a play that has yet to be written) The Improvised Shakespeare Co. creates a fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece right before your eyes.  Nothing is planned-out, rehearsed, or written.  All of the dialogue is said for the first time, the characters are created as you watch, and if ever you're wondering where the story is are they!  Come see the show TimeOut Chicago calls, "staggeringly brilliant" and "downright hilarious."  You've never seen the Bard like this before!

Call 866-IL-SHAKE for tickets.

Saturdays, July 19, 26, August 2, 9 @ 6 p.m.

The Theatre at Ewing



Free Shows



by Nancy Steele Brokaw

Ever wonder how stories are made? Or why William Shakespeare was so good at telling them? Or if YOU can write really, really, really good stories, too? You can! Learn how as you go on an interactive adventure with young Will through the ancient mountains of books and scrolls to find the mother of all storytellers, Old Goose. Be astonished as Old Goose helps Will spin fantastical tales – swash buckling, magical, or kissy-kissy; funny, tragic, or a little of both. Hear "Shakespeare language" that's easy to understand. Learn the three building blocks of solid story telling – the beginning, the middle, and the end. Then GASP because in between the beginnings ("Once upon a time") and the endings ("I bid you farewell"), some amazing things happen. After all, "The play's the thing." See? You get it already! So join us on the Festival grounds for this Shake, Shake, Shake Your Shakespeare 45-minute romp, written especially for the young and young-at-heart.

Wednesdays & Saturdays  @ 10 a.m.


Enjoy live Jazz each Friday and Saturday night and hear a variety of traditional and contemporary musical groups on Thursdays.

Fridays - Saturdays beginning July 11 @ 6:30 p.m.

The Grounds of the Ewing Cultural Center

 General Festival Ad    


Past Shows

2014 Performances

2013 Performances

2012 Performances

2011 Performances

2010 Performances

2009 Performances

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Scapin
  • Richard III
  • The Tempest (Theatre for Young Audiences Performance)

2008 Performances

  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Titus Andronicus
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre for Young Audiences Performance)
2014-07-08T05:53:30.429-05:00 2014