Kentucky Shakespeare Kicks Off Its 62nd Season Tonight With ‘Twelfth Night’

If this weekend wan’t packed enough with stuff to do, let’s toss in the first night of the 62nd Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, happening in its home theater in Central Park. 

Tonight, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival opens their season with a rendition of “Twelfth Night” — set in 1920s New Orleans and featuring a live jazz band onstage. The show begins a season that also includes “Richard III,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “As You Like It” with the Louisville Ballet, Shakespeare in Dance and Late Night Shakes. 

Audiences can expect food trucks, pre-show performances, kids’ activities and Will’s Tavern open nightly. 

Here’s the schedule:

6 p.m. Food Trucks

7 p.m. Kids’ Globe, Will’s Gift Shop and Will’s Tavern

7:15 p.m. Pre-show

8 p.m. “Twelfth Night”

In this season of Kentucky Shakespeare: 

“Twelfth Night”
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!

Richard III”
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”
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.

“Much Ado About Nothing”
Presented by Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players professional training program for high school students.
July 27-31

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 five-week training program.

Presented by Louisville Improvisors:
“Late Night Shakes”
10:30 p.m. 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.

Presented with the Louisville Ballet:
Shakespeare in Dance: “As You Like It”
Directed by Roger Creel
Aug. 3-7

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.

Please Note: 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.)

Keep Louisville interesting and support LEO Weekly by subscribing to our newsletter here. In return, you’ll receive news with an edge and the latest on where to eat, drink and hang out in Derby City. 

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.