December TBA – Live recording and radio performance of George Bernard Shaw’s THE DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS

March-April TBA – Presentation of films of Royal Shakespeare Company productions of LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST and LOVE’S LABOUR’S WON (MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING)

March-May, 2015 – Shakespeare in the Parks MACBETH tour

June 3-August 9, 2014 – The 55th Season of Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. 

June 3-July 25: “The Tempest.” Directed by Matt Wallace.

June 18-July 25: “The Taming of the Shrew.” Directed by Amy Attaway.

July 2-July 26: “Macbeth.” Directed by Matt Wallace.

• All three plays will be performed in repertory July 14-July 26.

July 25: Bard-a-Thon. Kentucky Shakespeare performs all three plays in one day.

July 29-Aug. 2: “The Comedy of Errors” performed by the Globe Players, Kentucky Shakespeare’s student production.

Aug. 4-9: Community Partners Week (other theater companies’ performances).

• “Recent and Relevant Shakespeare” New commissioned work form Theatre[502]

• “Chasing Ophelia” by Doug Schutte of The Bard’s Town Theatre.


• “Late Night Shakes” Improvised Shakespeare by the Louisville Improvisors at 10:30 p.m. June 27, July 11 and 18.

• All evenings include food trucks, an open bar called Will’s Tavern and pre-show entertainment provided by groups from throughout the community.


Now Playing
William Shakespeare’s family members were all illiterate.

U.Va. Drama Offers Fresh Look at Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’

April 5, 2012

by: UVaToday, John Kelly, Published April 5, 2012

The University of Virginia Drama Department is peeling back the layers of one of the most oft-told love stories with a new production of “Romeo and Juliet.”

Set to debut April 19 at Culbreth Theatre, this production is directed by Brantley Dunaway, executive director of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.

This time around, the tale of the Montagues and Capulets is set in the Mississippi Delta of the early 20th century and, according its director, has been fashioned with accessibility in mind.

“When people think of Shakespeare, because of the heightened language and the poetry, they view it as erudite,” Dunaway said. “They see it as this sort of highbrow type of writing and medium. But we have to remember that when Shakespeare was writing, he wasn’t writing for the upper crust. He was writing for the groundlings, for the common man. So especially in this play, there is some bawdiness to it. We like to soften it up by saying it is the greatest tragic love story, but there is more to it than that.”

Dunaway has also chosen to add a new dimension to the play by borrowing from a controversial version.

“The predominant edition of the play that was performed in the United States in the 1800s was something called ‘the Garrick edition,’” he said. “He basically came along and decided the play needed to be more sensible. So he compiled a new version through found pages. And since these pages had not necessarily been validated, they are quite controversial among scholars.”

The version, he said, will likely have audiences talking on their way out of the theater.

“There is definitely a scene that audiences are going to be surprised at. We have only taken two pages from the Garrick edition, but it gives the story a brand-new twist,” he said. “Let’s just say it involves a monumental scene in the play that will have the audience rubbing their eyes and saying ‘Wait a minute, what just happened?’”

The Deep South setting, he said, allows the production to address an important issue that is largely ignored in the play itself. “We’ve always wondered why the Montagues and the Capulets fight. It’s never really addressed in the play,” he said.

“We address that by setting it in the Mississippi Delta during this time period. The Capulets are a very traditional, conservative, established agricultural-based family. The Montagues’ backstory is that they are a shipping family. He is a mogul. So it was kind of what was happening in the Delta at the time. You have a shipping mogul who is driving down the prices of agriculture. Both are dependent on each other, yet both are in constant conflict.”

“Romeo and Juliet” will be presented at 8 p.m. April 19 through 21 and April 25 through 28. A 2 p.m. matinee will be on April 29. Ticket prices are $14 ($12 for seniors, U.Va. faculty, staff and Alumni Association members; $8 for students), and are available online, by phone at 434-924-3376 or in person weekdays from noon until 5 p.m. at the U.Va. Arts Box Office in the lobby of the Culbreth Theatre building.

Free parking is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, located alongside the theaters.