Due to the continued effects of COVID-19 and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our artists, staff, and community, Kentucky Shakespeare is postponing our 2020 summer season until summer 2021 with the same artistic, design, and production team, as availability allows.
In September, Kentucky Shakespeare will present a digital season offering from the 2020 summer company, filmed on the Central Park stage, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.
45,000+ people have experienced Kentucky Shakespeare’s Virtual Shakespeare in Central Park, with online viewings of past productions on weekends since March 20. All nine productions from the 2017-2019 seasons will now be available on Kentucky Shakespeare’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel through August 9, the originally scheduled closing date of the 2020 season.
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival plans to return with in-person programming in Central Park May 26-August 8, 2021 – with Shakespeare in Love presented by Churchill Downs, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, plus A Midsummer Night’s Dream from our Globe Players professional training program for high school students plus guest productions from Louisville Ballet and Louisville Improvisors.
STATEMENT FROM THE PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
It’s with a heavy heart that we share we will not be able to present an in-person 60th season of your Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, with too many obstacles to overcome. Please know that we did everything in our power to make it happen, but simply put, it is not worth the risk of our highest priority — our team and beloved audience members.
Even if we had been able to get to a place where we felt we could prepare and present the season safely from an artistic/production standpoint, with the anticipated government restrictions in Central Park, capacity would be extremely limited and pre-registration required. This is the antithesis of our mission, vision, and values of access and inclusion. It simply wouldn’t be your Festival.
We are incredibly grateful to our supporters and excited to still be able to hire our team in August to create a new virtual/digital offering celebrating Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, filmed on the Central Park stage with our summer company.
While we mourn the loss of this in-person season for 2020, it is kept in perspective as our city and nation grapple with the greater loss and pain experienced through systemic racism and racial injustice. This pause also allows us additional time to focus on this important work as a company.
We long for the opportunity to gather with our community again – to share art, tell more stories, connect, heal, and embrace our humanity through more magical evenings under the stars.
Rehearsals for your 2021 summer season begin in April, and we cannot wait to be together again in Central Park.
– Matt Wallace, Producing Artistic Director