Thank you to all who joined us in Central Park in Historic Old Louisville for our 63rd season of FREE Kentucky Shakespeare Festival May 24-August 6, 2023! With 25,391 audience members, it was our 6th highest-attended season in company history! Our 2024 summer season will be announced in February!
Food & drinks available
Pets on leash are welcome
2023 Summer Season of Free Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park
Shakespeare’s early romantic comedy is a joyful celebration of love and a coming-of-age story of oaths made and broken, lovers lost and found, and the follies of the heart.
Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players
professional training program for high school students
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Directed by Kyle Ware
Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players professional training program take the stage, directed by Director of Education Kyle Ware. The cast is comprised of students from multiple area high schools and the production is the culmination of a five-week training program.
Shakespeare in Dance Lady M: a Macbeth Ballet
Choreographed by Roger Creel
The final week of the summer season, Louisville Ballet returns to the Festival stage for a seventh season to present Lady M, a Shakespeare-inspired dance premiere inspired by Macbeth.
Late Night Shakes
10:30PM on June 10, June 24, July 8, and July 22
The Louisville Improvisors return for an eighth year with Late Night Shakes on select Saturdays, bringing late night improvised Shakespeare plays created from audience suggestions.
Louisville Fringe Festival presents
GLOBE Arm Wrestling
10:30PM on June 17, July 7, and July 15
Louisville Fringe Festival makes its Kentucky Shakespeare debut, presenting this hilarious late night show featuring Shakespeare characters and professional wrestling style antics, going arm-to-arm in this unique live theatrical event.
ASL interpretation will be provided for the following performances:
Thursday, June 1 for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Thursday, June 22 for Macbeth, Thursday, July 6 for Love’s Labor’s Lost, and Thursday, July 27 for Two Gentlemen of Verona. (If show canceled due to inclement weather, the makeup rain date will be the following evening – Friday.)
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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 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.
Food & Drink
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival partners with local vendors to provide food and drinks before and during performances.
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.
Our weather policy is to make weather-related decisions and announcements at 7:30pm, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Performance cancelations or delays will be shared in Central Park and on Kentucky Shakespeare social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
In the event of nearby lightning during a performance, stage lights may be shut down and work lights turned on until lightning has ceased, for a performance delay or cancelation.
In the event of rain during a performance, we will hold for a 15-minute delay. After the rain delay, Festival staff will make the decision whether or not to continue the production and make an announcement.
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.
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.
Kentucky Shakespeare offers Brown-Forman products, Fetzer wines, and West Six Brewing for sale until the end of intermission 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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Accessible ramps, parking, restrooms, and wheelchair seating are available for patrons with disabilities.
ASL interpretation will be provided for the following performances: TBA (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. Thanks to the American Printing House for the Blind, we also have a braille playbill available for check out at the 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. For sensory questions, please contact Director of Creative Engagement Hannah Pruitt for more information at 502.574.9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
Kentucky Shakespeare hires security personnel to be onsite nightly from 7:00-11:00PM. Louisville Metro Police Department Fourth Division Police Substation is located in Central Park. Please see the Kentucky Shakespeare House Manager, Stage Manager, or Producing Artistic Director in the park with any questions.
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.
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.