Kentucky Shakespeare's Shakespeare with Veterans Program 2023 Performance

On Sunday, July 16, 7:00pm, we shared some of what we’ve worked on this year and our thoughts about the way Shakespeare writes about soldiers. Part of the 63rd annual Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Old Louisville’s historic Central Park.

Consider a donation to keep this program free for the 2023-2024 season!

Military veterans need a unit to belong to, and they want a mission to pursue.
Kentucky Shakespeare’s Shakespeare with Veterans provides both.

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!”

Our 2023-2024 Shakespeare with Veterans program is made possible through the support of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant and generous individual donors.

What is it?

Shakespeare with Veterans is a weekly conversation group and acting ensemble – no cost to attend, and no experience necessary! We meet at the Louisville Vet Center every Thursday to discuss pieces of Shakespearean text and tell stories: war stories, life stories, family stories.

The group perform snippets of Shakespeare text for groups of veterans and civilians all over the city during the year, and in the summer we perform an abridged Shakespeare play on Kentucky Shakespeare’s stage in Central Park.

“You have no idea what a difference this group has made in my life. I’m always in the best mood when I leave here.” – US Army veteran, Vietnam

“This group has helped me gain control over what my emotions do. It’s also helped me relate to civilians better.” – US Navy veteran, Vietnam

“We have genuine human connections, and it’s so easy. [When we’re performing] we don’t know what’s going to happen and THAT’S OKAY. We’re not going to analyze each other.” – US Army veteran of the Cold War era

Who is it?

The current group consists of women and men who are veterans of the US Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, representing conflicts from Vietnam to today, with former ranks from Specialist to Brigadier General. Most deployed during conflict, and most have some form of PTSD or moral injury. ALL are welcome.

Very few of the participants came to the group with any Shakespeare or theatre experience, but they’ve found meaning in the texts and confidence through the group.

“The group is accepting and I feel comfortable here. While we’re here we don’t feel like we’re broken. We know these are normal reactions to experiences we’ve had.” – Indiana Army National Guard soldier

“We can just let our guard down here. Shakespeare pushes things to the surface that we need to deal with.” – US Air Force veteran

“This group is like a trust fall… It’s been 13 years since I left the service and this is the first time a group has worked for me.” – US Army veteran

FREE for participants

Meetings are Thursdays, 6:00–8:00pm
Vet Center, 1347 S. 3rd Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40208
Contact: Amy Attaway, Facilitator


Please consider donating to support our 2023-2024 program here.






Shakespeare with Veterans offers service members the opportunity for camaraderie and a higher sense of purpose that represents what veterans loved most during military service.

Listen to our interview on the BBC

Shakespeare with Veterans was featured on BBC in 2017. Listen to our audio interview:


This program is free for participants, thanks to our donors



For more information,
contact Amy Attaway, Associate Artistic Director: