Colorado Shakespeare Festival season kicks off

Published: June 9, 2017

Founded in 1958, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF) is the second-oldest Shakespeare festival in the country and is recognized nationally. Each summer, the theater festival presents four to five productions in repertory in the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre and the University Theatre at CU Boulder.

The festival's 60th season will feature William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, HamletJulius Caesar and part three of Henry VI, as well as Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, a retelling of Hamlet by Tom Stoppard.

The Henry VI  performance is the latest of CSF's widely hailed Original Practices productions—shows held at the iconic outdoor theater "designed to recreate the feel of Elizabethan-era stagings, with very little in the way of sets, lights and rehearsal time for the actors," according to a review by A.H. Goldstein with the Boulder Daily Camera. The production also marks the festival's complete canon of Shakespeare's 38 plays for the second time since its inaugural season.

Visit CU Presents online to purchase individual or season tickets. Prices for each show start at $20.

The Taming of the Shrew

June 11 to Aug. 13 at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre

CSF kicks off with a zany comedy set in swinging 1940s New York City. Enter Kate, a plucky pilot who's just returned from the fray of World War II, and her stubborn match, Petruchio. On the vibrant streets of Little Italy, the two duke it out in a battle of wits, dance the night away and discover against all odds a mutual respect that's almost like being in love.

Hamlet

June 23 to Aug. 13 at the University Theatre

In what is often considered the greatest play in the English language, Hamlet's world is ripped apart after one parent's untimely death and the other's hasty remarriage. The young prince's heart and mind wrestle for control in a tormented quest to uncover the truth. Staged for the first time inside the intimate University Theatre, this is Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before.

Julius Caesar

July 7 to Aug. 12 at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre

What makes a true leader? In the republic of ancient Rome, no one seems to know. As Rome's leader basks in his victory and ignores a series of bad omens, jealous critics conspire to topple his regime—only to find later their efforts were for naught. Lies, scheming and scandal meet in a spellbinding political thriller that seems all too familiar in today's polarized times.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

July 21 to Aug. 13 at the University Theatre

In this hilarious and mind-bending comedy by the Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard, Shakespeare's Hamlet is brilliantly retold through the eyes of two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The bewildered schoolmates sent to pull Prince Hamlet out of a descent into madness, grapple with fate, free will and the game of life. CSF's production brings its full Hamlet cast on stage to inhabit Stoppard’s ingenious parallel universe of wit and wisdom.

Henry VI

Sunday, Aug. 6, and Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre

The final play in Shakespeare’s razor-sharp War of the Roses chronicle, Henry VI, which also inspired the hit series Game of Thrones, will feature two Original Practices productions. In previous seasons, all Original Practices shows sold out months in advance, so don't miss it!