Since the opening season more than 50 years ago, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF) has grown to be more than a summertime Boulder tradition—it has become a nationally recognized Shakespeare festival.
Begun in 1958 with productions of Julius Caesar, Hamlet and the Taming of the Shrew, CSF has played a prominent role in the life of the campus and the Boulder area, serving as a gathering place for theatre lovers.
With a distinguished history as a professional theatre company in residence at CU-Boulder, the festival features advanced students in the university’s theatre and dance department and also showcases professional artists and a distinguished list of celebrities, including Val Kilmer, Annette Bening, Michael Moriarity and Jimmy Smits. Since 2007, the festival has expanded its repertory to other classic playwrights as well.
Producing Artistic Director Philip Sneed said, “Shakespeare will always remain our ‘gold standard,’ and we will continue to produce all of his plays. We’re adding playwrights from other cultures and other centuries who have made a significant contribution to our understanding of the human condition.”
CSF performs in the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre and in the indoor University Theatre’s Mainstage. Performances are enhanced by long summer evenings, free concerts on the green, gourmet picnics and a Shakespeare Garden featuring plants named in the plays.
The summer 2011 lineup kicks off with Romeo and Juliet, followed by The Comedy of Errors, The Inspector General, and The Little Prince.
CSF is active year-round in community outreach and education with its CSF in the Schools program that provides performances and workshops to K-12 students. In the summer, CSF offers a three-week Camp Shakespeare for young actors ages 10-18, and week-long sessions of Shakespeare’s Sprites for 6-9 year-olds. Graduate students at CU are hired as dramaturges (theatre scholars), and they give public presentations at the Boulder Public Library each summer as part of the Classics 101 series.