What’s onstage at Shakespeare theaters in September

Shakespeare in Detroit releases its youth conservatory production of Romeo and Juliet September 27 on YouTube. Photo: Chuk Nowak.

This September, there’s still time to catch the final performances of some of this summer’s outdoor Shakespeare productions. Plus, watch performances online from the American Players Theatre, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare in Detroit.

Christopher Sheard and Phoebe González, in A Phoenix Too Frequent, at American Players Theatre. Photo: Liz Lauren.

There’s one more day to see the American Players Theatre’s Cymbelineeither onstage or via their APT at Home streaming program. You can still catch A Phoenix Too Frequent—Christopher Fry’s boy-meets-girl, boy-dies, girl-entombs-herself-with-late-boy, girl-meets-new-boy-in-said-tomb comedy—through October 3.

⇒Related: Watch a recording of our Shakespeare Lightning Round interview with Cymbeline-director Marti Lyons.

There’s still time to catch the Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dreamwhich has been extended through September 12. Then, on September 16, the company kicks off its three-month Shakespeare Binge Fest, featuring a rotating repertory of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Macbeth.

Throw your hands up, Chicago! September 14 at 6:30 pm CT at the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier, Chicago Shakespeare Festival hosts a one-night-only screening of Othello: The Remix, the Q Brothers acclaimed “ad-rap-tation” of the Bard’s tragedy. In this free outdoor event on the lakefront, watch a film of the show’s first-ever performance, at Shakespeare’s Globe as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

⇒Related: Listen to our interview with the Q Brothers—Gregory and Jeffery Ameen Qaiyum, better known as GQ and JAQ—on our Shakespeare Unlimited podcast.

There are three more chances to catch the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s free Shakespeare in the Park tour, which features six-actor productions of three of Shakespeare’s greatest hits: Macbeth (September 11), Romeo and Juliet (September 12), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (September 26). The performances are free and open to the public, no registration or RSVP needed. Show up early to snag the best seats and make sure there’s room for your picnic blanket, and remember to check your chosen venue’s specific COVID protocols.

The cast of The Tempest at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s The Tempest will be available to stream online through September 19. Tickets are $25 with a suggested $10 for each additional viewer. The production is the Festival’s last at Boscobel House and Gardens, where it has made its home for thirty-four years, before it moves to its new permanent home in Philipstown, NY. The production also features a few actors you might have seen at Folger Theatre: Tyler Fauntleroy plays Ferdinand, Howard Overshown takes on the role of Prospero, and Helen Hayes Award-nominee Zachary Fine plays Sebastian.

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) runs through September 26.

There’s still time to see Jitney and Twelfth Night from the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Twelfth Night continues through September 12 the Yard at oneC1TY in Nashville. Then, catch both shows at Franklin, TN’s Academy Park September 16 – 19.

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival returns to in-person, in-the-park performances for the fourth and final episode of its free production of Pericles, Prince of TyreEpisodes 1 – 3 were presented online using the festival’s Unified Virtual Space system (watch them now on-demand). Episode 4 will tour three Bay Area parks through October 10. If you’ve been watching online and can’t make it to San Francisco, don’t despair: a recording of the fourth episode will be available online in late September.

⇒Related: We explore the hopes expressed by Shakespeare’s romances in summer 2021.

Shakespeare Dallas presents Romeo & Juliet at the outdoor Samuell-Grand Amphitheater through October 16, 2021, featuring all the 1980s-style teen angst and rebellion you can handle,

The cast of Romeo and Juliet from the Shakespeare in Detroit’s Youth Conservatory. Photo: Chuk Nowak.

On September 27, Shakespeare in Detroit will release a film of its youth production of Romeo and Juliet for free on YouTube. Filmed in August in the historical proscenium theater at the former Marygrove College, now Marygrove Conservancy and home to Shakespeare in Detroit, this Romeo and Juliet features ten Detroit students, ages 14 – 17 years old, who played the multiple roles in Shakespeare’s tragedy after completing an eight week conservatory. The program included over 160 hours learning dramaturgical text analysis, an intro to costume design and set building, stage combat, and more. Each of the youth participants received $1,000 for successfully completing of the program, sponsored by the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation. Subscribe to Shakes in the D’s YouTube channel and turn on notifications so you don’t miss the show!

This weekend, the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival premieres The Ville: Avengeance!, a Hamlet-inspired play focused on one of America’s most historically significant Black communities. St. Louis’s Ville neighborhood is home to Sumner High School, the first Black high school west of the Mississippi River; over the years, the community nurtured cultural icons including Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, Arthur Ashe, Grace Bumbry, Dick Gregory, Robert Guillaume, Robert McFerrin, Sr., the Fifth Dimension, and more. The new play, written Sumner alumna Mariah L. Richardson and directed by Ville resident Thomasina Clarke, runs through September 11 as part of the festival’s Shakespeare in the Streets program.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs through November 7 at Theatricum Botanicum

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum’s 2021 Repertory Season continues through November 7 with Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the world premiere of John Guerra’s The Last, Best Small Town. Check out the company’s Under the Oaks performance series, Fridays in September, which features classical and contemporary music. September 17, Under the Oaks features a staged reading with Emmy-Award winning actor Beau Bridges.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2021 season has been in full swing for a while now: This month, you can see Cymbeline, The Pirates of PenzanceLynn Nottage’s Intimate Appareland the spooky, madcap farce The Comedy of Terrors.


American Players Theatre, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company,  Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Dallas, Shakespeare in Detroit, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, and Utah Shakespeare Festival are part of the Folger’s Theater Partnership Program.

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