Kentucky Shakespeare, designated the Official Shakespeare Company of the Commonwealth, is a not-for-profit, charitable organization and professional theatre company, and the oldest free independently operated Shakespeare Festival in North America. Founded in 1949, Kentucky Shakespeare currently serves 108,000+ people annually through Shakespeare in the Park, education programs in schools, public performances, and community outreach.
We are also the most comprehensive in-school arts education provider in Kentucky, offering educational experiences to over 69,000 students annually in 80+ counties this season alone. Since 1990, we have served over 1,000,000 students in all 120 Kentucky counties and beyond.
Kentucky Shakespeare has been recognized by the Folger Library and the Kentucky Humanities Council for exemplary programming, was a finalist for the Excellence in Summer Learning Award at John Hopkins University, is a multi-year recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Shakespeare in American Communities program, and is a past recipient of the Kentucky Governor’s Award in the Arts. Kentucky Shakespeare has also been awarded multiple LEO Weekly Reader’s Choice and Broadway World Louisville Regional Awards. In 2015, Kentucky Shakespeare received the Center for Nonprofit Excellence’s Art of Vision Pyramid Award.