Join us for the 2024 season of FREE Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park now playing through August 11!

 

  • FREE admission
  • Food & drinks available
  • Pets on leash are welcome

2024 Season of Free Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park

Romeo and Juliet

Directed by Matt Wallace
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The Comedy of Errors

Directed by Amy Attaway
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The Tempest

Directed by Matt Wallace
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Plus Julius Caesar, Shakespeare in Dance: King Lear, Late Night Shakes, & GLOBE Arm Wrestling

Presented by our Globe Players, Louisville Ballet, Louisville Improvisors, & Louisville Fringe Festival

Season Schedule

Nightly Schedule:
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

Location:
C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater
Central Park in Historic Old Louisville
1340 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40208

Calendar with Shows, Pre-Shows, and Food Truck Schedule: Here

Visitor’s Guide to Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park – Louisville, KY

Summer Season Playbill/Audience Program Guide

 

ROMEO & JULIET

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Matt Wallace

May 30-June 16; July 17, 20, 23, 26 

“Did my heart love till now?”
The season kicks off with the beloved, timeless tale of star-crossed lovers caught between two worlds. Romance leads to loss, then grace, in this beautiful and tragic love story.

 

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Amy Attaway

June 20-30; July 16, 19, 24, 27 

“I to the world am like a drop of water
That in the ocean seeks another drop.”
Laughter abounds in this madcap comedy – a farcical tale of long-lost siblings, mistaken identities, love at first sight, and happily-ever-afters.

 

THE TEMPEST

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Matt Wallace

July 5-7; 9-14; 18, 21, 25, 28 

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on.”
Shakespeare’s final play is a testament to the redeeming power of love and forgiveness – featuring fools, spirits, monsters, shipwrecks, and magical spells.

 

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players
professional training program for high school students

JULIUS CAESAR

Directed by Kyle Ware

July 31-August 4

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players professional training program takes 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.

 


Louisville Ballet

Shakespeare in Dance
KING LEAR

Choreographed by Roger Creel

August 7-11

The final week of the summer season, Louisville Ballet returns for a seventh season to present an original dance piece with choreography by Roger Creel and score by Scott Moore, Inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear.

 

The Louisville Improvisors
LATE NIGHT SHAKES

10:30PM on June 8, June 29, and July 20 

The Louisville Improvisors return for a ninth year with Late Night Shakes on select Saturdays, bringing late night improvised Shakespeare plays created from audience suggestions.

 

Louisville Fringe Festival
GLOBE ARM WRESTLING

10:30PM on June 15 and July 27
Louisville Fringe Festival returns for a second season, 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 6 for Romeo and Juliet, Thursday, June 27 for The Comedy of Errors, Thursday, July 11 for The Tempest, and Thursday, August 1 for the Globe Players Julius Caesar. (If show canceled due to inclement weather, the makeup rain date will be the following evening – Friday.)

 

 

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Upcoming Events › Shakespeare Festival in Central Park

July 2024

The Tempest

July 18 @ 8:00 pm - 10:15 pm
C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater, Central Park, 1340 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40208 United States
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6:00 p.m. Food Trucks: Celtic Pig, Addison's Treat Shop 7:00 p.m. Kids’ Globe, Will’s Gift Shop, Will’s Tavern 7:15 p.m. Community Pre-show Performance: Ambo Dance Theatre (PreProfessional) 8:00 p.m. Performance

Find out more »

The Comedy of Errors

July 19 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater, Central Park, 1340 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40208 United States
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Free

6:00 p.m. Food Trucks: Bellissimo, Acme Chicken, Donut NV 7:00 p.m. Kids’ Globe, Will’s Gift Shop, Will’s Tavern 7:15 p.m. Community Pre-show Performance: Camp Shakespeare 8:00 p.m. Performance

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Romeo and Juliet

July 20 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater, Central Park, 1340 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40208 United States
+ Google Map
Free

6:00 p.m. Food Trucks: Bamba Eggrolls, Six Forks Burgers, Prince Mediterranean, Froggy's Popcorn 7:00 p.m. Kids’ Globe, Will’s Gift Shop, Will’s Tavern 7:15 p.m. Community Pre-show Performance: GSA Night and The Chamber Theatre 8:00 p.m. Performance

Find out more »

Late Night Shakes – Louisville Improvisors

July 20 @ 10:15 pm - 10:45 pm
C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater, Central Park, 1340 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40208 United States
+ Google Map
Free

The Louisville Improvisors return for a ninth year with Late Night Shakes on select Saturdays, bringing late night improvised Shakespeare plays created from audience suggestions. 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

Find out more »

The Tempest

July 21 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater, Central Park, 1340 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40208 United States
+ Google Map
Free

6:00 p.m. Food Trucks: 502 Cafe, Brain Freeze 7:00 p.m. Kids’ Globe, Will’s Gift Shop, Will’s Tavern 7:15 p.m. Community Pre-show Performance: Shakespeare with Veterans 8:00 p.m. Performance

Find out more »
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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.

Parking Information

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.

6:00 p.m.: Food trucks from the Louisville Food Truck Association open.
7:00 p.m.: Bar opens with drinks from Brown-Forman, West Sixth Brewing, and Frontera Wine
8:00 p.m.: Performance

An Evening with Kentucky Shakespeare

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the ticket cost?

    There are no tickets or reservations, 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, Venmo @KYShakes, and at kyshakespeare.com/donate.

  • What is your weather policy?

    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 and Instagram.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • Can we bring alcohol?

    Kentucky Shakespeare offers Brown-Forman products, Frontera 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.

  • 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 10:15PM.

    For other specific show run times, email info@kyshakespeare.com.

  • 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?

    The productions run approximately 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes, including intermission. You can check with the House Manager, office, or info@kyshakespeare.com for exact running times of specific 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 6 for Romeo and Juliet, Thursday, June 27 for The Comedy of Errors, Thursday, July 11 for The Tempest, and Thursday, August 1 for Globe Players Julius Caesar. (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 hannah@kyshakespeare.com.

    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 kyle@kyshakespeare.com.

  • 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 info@kyshakespeare.com.

    (Our late-night productions of the Louisville Improvisors LATE NIGHT SHAKES and Louisville Fringe Festival GLOBE ARM WRESTLING are 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 there security?

    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.

  • 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.

  • What are your COVID-19 protocols?

    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.

    Kentucky Shakespeare’s staff and cast members are 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.