Join us in Old Louisville’s Central Park May 29-August 4, 2019 for the 59th season of your free Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.

The season features 7 different productions – a comedy, history, and tragedy in our main stage series plus productions from guest companies and our Globe Players high school student troupe. Food trucks open at 6:30pm, bar opens at 7:00pm, pre-show at 7:15pm, and show starts at 8:00pm. Perfect for the whole family – including adults, children, and pets. As always, performances are free and no tickets are required for entry.


May 29, 30, 31, June 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; July 9, 11, 13, 17, 20

June 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; July 14, 16, 19

June 27, 28, 29, 30; July 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; July 10, 12, 18, 21

The Kentucky Shakespeare Globe Players High School Theatre Training Program
July 24-27

Cincinnati Shakespeare presents ROMEO AND JULIET
July 28 and 30

Louisville Ballet presents CLEOPATRA: QUEEN OF KINGS
July 31-August 4

LATE NIGHT SHAKES with the Louisville Improvisors
Saturdays 6/8, 6/22, 7/6, 7/20

  • Food & drinks available
  • Dogs are welcome

This Year's Productions



Directed by Matt Wallace
Henry IV Part Two

Henry IV Part Two

Directed by Amy Attaway
The Tragedy of King Lear

The Tragedy of King Lear

Directed by Matt Wallace
Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

Presented by the Kentucky Shakespeare Globe Players High School Theatre Troupe.
Directed by Kyle Ware
Cincinnati Shakespeare present Romeo and Juliet

Cincinnati Shakespeare present Romeo and Juliet

Directed by Jeremy Dubin
Louisville Ballet presents Cleopatra: Queen of Kings

Louisville Ballet presents Cleopatra: Queen of Kings

Created by Roger Creel, Erica De La O, and Scott Moore

PLUS Late Night Shakes with the Louisville Improvisors!

Performance Schedule

6:30pm Food Trucks Open / 7:00pm Bar Opens / 7:15pm Pre-show / 8:00pm performance

Upcoming Events › Shakespeare Festival in Central Park

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Located in Central Park

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival’s performances are held at the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater in Central Park in Louisville, KY. Central Park is located in the heart of Old Louisville’s historic preservation district, at the corner of Fourth & Magnolia Streets. The amphitheater seats up to 1,000 audience members, with additional seating available on the lawn right and left of the audience and at the rear of the amphitheater on bleachers and picnic tables. Central Park is also home to the Louisville Metro Police Department’s 4th Division and the Old Louisville Visitor’s Center.

Parking Information

There is street parking available surrounding the park on Fourth Street, Magnolia, Sixth Street, and Park. Please do not park in front of any of the bus stop signs, or you may be ticketed or towed. There are a limited number of accessible spots in the parking lot behind the information center. Enter via sidewalks by the police substation or by the tennis courts.

Food & Drinks

The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival partners with local vendors to provide food and drinks before and during performances.

6:30pm: Food trucks from the Louisville Food Truck Association open.
7pm: Bar opens with drinks from Brown-Forman, Old 502 Winery and West Sixth Brewing.

An Evening with Kentucky Shakespeare

Along with great performances, food and drinks, the Festival includes community pre-show entertainment that’s perfect for all ages. Check out the video below to see what a magical evening with Kentucky Shakespeare is all about.


Meet the Actors

Our 2019 summer company will be announced in winter/spring 2019! It features 14-17 professional actors, many of whom are members of our thriving Louisville arts community. Many of our members have been performing with the Festival for decades, and some are new to our stage!

View Actor Bios

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is your rain policy?


    In the event of lightning without rain, stage lights may be shut down and worklights turned on until lightning has ceased. In the event of rain, we will hold for a 15 minute rain delay. After the rain delay, Festival staff will make the decision whether or not to continue the production.

    In the event of severe or threatening weather, the audience will be informed of any warnings that exist over the house microphone. If severe weather is in the area, everyone must take shelter immediately. The police station is the closest and most secure place to be.

  • Where do I park?

    There is street parking available surrounding the park on Fourth Street, Magnolia, Sixth Street, and Park. Please do not park in front of any of the bus stop signs, or you may be ticketed or towed. There are a limited number of accessible spots in the parking lot behind the information center. Enter via sidewalk by the police substation or north by the tennis courts.

  • Can we bring alcohol?

    Kentucky Shakespeare offers Brown-Forman products, Old 502 wine, and Great Flood Brewing Co. beer in Will's Tavern at the rear of the Amphitheater. Per liquor laws, alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be brought inside or taken outside the amphitheater perimeter. Please enjoy your beverages responsibly inside the amphitheater perimeter.

  • Is food available?

    Please take a moment to visit the Food Trucks at the rear of the amphitheater provided by the Louisville Food Truck Association. Various food trucks will be in the park nightly from 6:30PM until just after intermission. Cash and credit cards are accepted. The Association generously donates a portion of proceeds to Kentucky Shakespeare. Check our website daily for rotating food truck schedule. You're also welcome to bring your own picnic too (no outside alcohol is permitted.)

  • Do I need to bring chairs?

    We have bench seating for approximately 1,000 guests. We also have open area in the front, rear, and sides of the amphitheater for guests to bring their own chairs and/or blankets. All seats are free and all seats are first come, first serve.

  • What time does the show start?

    Food trucks and our Will's Tavern open at 6:30PM nightly. Bar opens at 7PM. Pre-show performances begin nightly at 7:15PM, with the main stage performance beginning at 8:00PM. There will be an intermission at approximately 9:00PM.

  • Can I take photos/video?

    The use of cameras with or without a flash and recording devices of any kind are strictly prohibited.

  • How long is the production?

    Most of the productions in the park will be between 2 and 2 1/2 hours including a 15 minute intermission. Check with the House Manager or office for exact running times.

  • Is the amphitheater handicapped accessible?

    Accessible ramps, parking, restrooms, and wheelchair seating are available for patrons.

  • Where are the restrooms?

    For your convenience, handicapped accessible restrooms are located at the rear of the amphitheater. Public restroom facilities are maintained by Metro Parks. Women's restrooms are located on the north side of the building, adjacent to Will’s Tavern. Men’s restrooms are location on the south side of the building, facing the police substation.

  • Are the productions suitable for children?

    Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park is a family-friendly event for all ages. For specific show content, please contact the office at 502.574.9900. (Our late-night 10:30PM production of the Louisville Improvisors LATE NIGHT SHAKES is intended for mature audiences only.)

  • Where can I buy a shirt?

    Please take a moment to visit our gift shop booth at the rear of the amphitheater to purchase shirts, fans, and other Kentucky Shakespeare merchandise. Cash, check, and major credit cards accepted. For more information, contact us at 502.574.9900.

  • Is the stage available for rental?

    Kentucky Shakespeare's stage and benches are all available for rental for private parties, weddings, presentations, and special events. Contact Director of Operations Robert Silverthorn for information - 502.574.9900, ex. 11,

  • Is there security?

    Louisville's Fourth Division Police Substation is located on the premises in Central Park, behind the Old Louisville Information Center. In addition, Kentucky Shakespeare hires an off-duty police officer to be onsite nightly. Please see the Kentucky Shakespeare House Manager, Stage Manager, or Producing Artistic Director the park with any questions.

  • What is the ticket cost?

    There are no tickets and there is no cost for admission for the 10-week, 7-production, 60-performance season! Kentucky Shakespeare received funding from many sources to provide this professional experience at no cost to you. During intermission, actors will pass throughout the amphitheater collecting donations to help support Kentucky Shakespeare.

  • What about dogs?

    Dogs are welcome! We just ask that you clean up after your pet and make sure your pet is on a leash. As a courtesy to audience members, we ask that you sit in the back picnic tables, bleachers, or side grass area.