- FREE admission
- Food & drinks available
- Pets are welcome
2022 Summer Season of Free Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park
The Merry Wives of Windsor
PLUS Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare in Dance, and Late Night Shakes
6:00 p.m. Food Trucks
7:00 p.m. Kids’ Globe, Will’s Gift Shop, & Will’s Tavern
7:15 p.m. Community Pre-show Performance
8:00 p.m. Performance
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Matt Wallace
May 25-June 12; July 13, 16, 19, 22 (no performances on Mondays or Tuesdays in June)
“If music be the food of love, play on!” – Act I, scene 1
The season kicks off with Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy of mistaken identity, music, and the madness of love, where nobody is quite what they seem and anything is possible. Set in 1920’s New Orleans, the production features a live jazz band onstage!
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Amy Attaway
June 16-26; July 12, 15, 20, 23 (no performances on Mondays or Tuesdays in June)
“I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures
of these days.” – Act I, scene 1
Shakespeare’s charismatic, power-hungry villain embarks on an unrelenting campaign for the crown, chronicling the cataclysmic end of England’s greatest power struggle, the Wars of the Roses, in this thrilling finale to the history cycle. Neill Robertson returns to the Kentucky Shakespeare stage to play the titular villain.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Matt Wallace
June 30-July 10; July 14, 17, 21, 24
“Wives may be merry, and yet honest too.” – Act IV, scene 2
Double-meanings, disguises, and dirty laundry as lovable rogue Sir John Falstaff sets about improving his financial situation by wooing two wealthy married women. The tables are turned, feminine wisdom triumphs, and laughter reigns supreme in this hilarious Elizabethan farce.
Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players
professional training program for high school students
Much Ado About Nothing
Directed by Kyle Ware
Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players present the beloved comedy directed by Kentucky Shakespeare’s Director of Education Kyle Ware. The cast is comprised of students from multiple area high schools and the production is the culmination of a 5-week training program.
Late Night Shakes
10:30PM on June 11, June 25, July 9, and July 23
The Louisville Improvisors return for a 7th year with Late Night Shakes on select Saturdays bringing late night improvised Shakespeare plays created from audience suggestions.
Shakespeare in Dance: As You Like It
Directed by Roger Creel
Rounding out the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival season, Louisville Ballet returns to the Festival stage for a sixth season to present Shakespeare in Dance, a Shakespeare-inspired dance premiere.
ASL interpretation will be provided for the following performances: Thursday, June 2 for Twelfth Night, Thursday, June 23 for Richard III, Thursday, July 7 for The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Thursday, July 28 for Much Ado About Nothing.
For dates and up-to-the-minute information and updates, download the free Kentucky Shakespeare app at Google Play or iTunes.
Upcoming Events › Shakespeare Festival in Central Park
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 Street & Magnolia Avenue. The amphitheater features permanent bench seating, with additional open spaces available for portable chairs and blankets in front and back of the bench seating and on the lawn right and left of the audience. There is also picnic table seating available at the rear of the amphitheater. Central Park is also home to the Louisville Metro Police Department’s 4th Division and the Old Louisville Visitors Center.
There is street parking available surrounding the park on Fourth Street, Magnolia Avenue, Sixth Street, and Park Avenue. 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 with a sidewalk ramp into the park. Enter via sidewalks by the police substation or by the tennis courts.
An Evening with Kentucky Shakespeare
Frequently Asked Questions
What are your COVID-19 protocols?
ENTRY: If you are feeling ill, have a temperature, or have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past two weeks, please do not attend.
SANITIZING: Hand sanitizer stations will be available in the amphitheater.
STAFF AND CAST: Kentucky Shakespeare’s staff and cast members are all fully vaccinated and we continue to monitor the health of our staff. We ask that our guests also remain diligent in self-care, including hand washing and monitoring their health.
What is your weather policy?
PERFORMANCES WILL NOT BE CANCELED BEFORE 7:30 PM.
In the event of lightning without rain, stage lights may be shut down and work lights 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.
Performances may be canceled or delayed due to extreme heat as well.
In the event of severe or threatening weather during the performance, the audience will be informed of any warnings that exist over the house microphone. If severe weather is close to the area, everyone will be instructed to exit the park immediately.
For your safety, please leave the amphitheater in a calm and orderly manner using the sidewalks.
Where do I park?
There is street parking available surrounding the park on Fourth Street, Magnolia Avenue, Sixth Street, and Park Avenue. Please do not park in front of any of the bus stop signs, or you may be ticketed or towed. (As a courtesy to our residential neighbors, if possible, please park on the Central Park side of Fourth Street, Park Avenue, or Sixth Street until those spots are filled.) 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, Fetzer wines, and West Six Brewing for sale at the rear of the amphitheater in Will's Tavern. Cash, check, and major credit cards accepted. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be brought in or taken out of the amphitheater designated 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 6:00PM until just after intermission. Cash and credit cards are accepted. The Association generously donates a portion of proceeds to Kentucky Shakespeare. Check our website and app 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 in the amphitheater. We also have open area in the front, rear, and sides of the amphitheater for guests to bring their own chairs and/or blankets. There are also picnic tables in the rear of the amphitheater. All seats are free and all seats are first come, first serve.
What time does the show start?
Food trucks open at 6:00PM nightly. Kids' Globe tent with free, interactive arts activities for youth is open 7:00-8:00PM. Will's Tavern opens at 7:00PM. Community pre-show performances take the stage 7:15-7:45PM. The main stage performance begins at 8:00PM.
There will be an intermission at approximately 9:00PM. Most performances finish between 10:00PM and 10:30PM.
For other specific show run times, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I take photos/video?
During the performance, the taking of video and flash photography are prohibited, however, you are welcome to take photos during the first half of the performance. If you post them, be sure to tag Kentucky Shakespeare.
How long is the production?
Most of the productions in the park will be between 2 and 2 1/2 hours including a 15-20 minute intermission. The exact running times will be posted on this page closer to production, and you can also check with the House Manager, office, or email@example.com for exact running times of productions.
Is the amphitheater accessible?
Accessible ramps, parking, restrooms, and wheelchair seating are available for patrons with disabilities.
ASL interpretation will be provided for the following performances: Thursday, June 2 for Twelfth Night, Thursday, June 23 for Richard III, and Thursday, July 7 for The Merry Wives of Windsor. (For all ASL scheduled performances, the makeup rain date will be the following evening.)
Large format programs are available upon request at the Kentucky Shakespeare gift shop.
For those with sensory sensitivities, noise canceling headphones for both youth and adults, and sensory play items are available. Please visit the gift shop or ask a front of house staff member. Sensory guides for each production are available at the gift shop or from a front of house staff member.
Pre-show sensory/tactile tours for the visually impaired are available during the summer. Contact Director of Education Kyle Ware for more information at 502.574.9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where are the restrooms?
For your convenience, wheelchair 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, see below or contact the office at 502.574.9900 or email@example.com.
(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 at the rear of the amphitheater. Cash, check, and major credit cards accepted. For more information, contact us at 502.574.9900. For more information, contact us at 502.574.9900.
Is the stage available for rental?
Kentucky Shakespeare’s stage is available for rental for private parties, weddings, presentations, and special events. Contact Office Manager Kya Rafferty for information:502.574.9900, ex. 11, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there security?
Kentucky Shakespeare hires security personnel to be onsite nightly from 7:00-11:00PM. Please see the Kentucky Shakespeare House Manager, Stage Manager, or Producing Artistic Director in the park with any questions.
What is the ticket cost?
There are no tickets and there is no cost for admission! Kentucky Shakespeare receives funding from many sources to provide this professional experience at no cost to you. During intermission, company members will collect donations to help support Kentucky Shakespeare. Donations may also be made via credit card at Will's Gift Shop and at kyshakespeare.com/donate.
What about pets?
Pets 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 or in designated side or back grass areas.