Published: Oct. 31, 2016

CSF nods to the past and looks toward the future June 11-Aug. 13, 2017

Next summer, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 60th season with performances of the plays that started it all.

In a nod to the past, CSF’s Summer 2017 lineup will remount the plays audiences saw in its original 1958 season: The Taming of the Shrew, a laugh-out-loud audience favorite; Julius Caesar, a classic political thriller; and Hamlet, Shakespeare’s undisputed masterpiece.

The season also includes Tom Stoppard’s fresh, funny Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which retells Hamlet from the perspective of two minor characters, and two exclusive Original Practices performances of the rarely seen Henry VI, Part 3. At the end of the summer, CSF will have completed the Shakespeare canon for a second time.

“This particular season has been three years in the making,” says CSF Producing Artistic Director Timothy Orr.  “Revisiting the original season of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival is not only a great way to look back across 60 incredible years of Shakespeare in Boulder, but it’s also a fantastic way to embark on the next 60 years.”

The 2017 season opens Sunday, June 11 and runs through Aug. 13. Season tickets are available beginning Oct. 31, 2016 at 10 a.m. online at, over the phone at 303-492-8008 and in person at the CU Presents box office, 972 Broadway, Boulder. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located in the University Club building on the CU Boulder campus.

The 2017 season will feature several notable milestones:

  • Each cast member of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Hamlet will play the same role in both productions. Audiences who want to compare and contrast the two plays will have a few chances to see both productions in the same day on the indoor stage.
  • Next summer’s production of Hamlet will be CSF’s ninth since 1958, but it will be the first production mounted indoors on the University Theatre stage. Says Orr, “We want to see this piece done close, in an intimate space, as the riveting chamber piece it was intended to be.”
  • Henry VI, Part 3 was last produced at CSF in 1969. After the 2017 performance, CSF will have completed the 37-play canon of Shakespeare’s work for a second time.
  • Next summer features the CSF directing debuts of Christopher DuVal and Anthony Powell. DuVal is a 16-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, an experienced fight choreographer and an assistant professor at the University of Utah; Powell, a well-known Colorado creative mind, is the artistic director of the Boulder-based Stories on Stage and has directed productions at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival 2017 Season

The Taming of the Shrew
Directed by Christopher DuVal
“Sit by my side, and let the world slip: we shall ne'er be younger.”
CSF kicks off its 60th season 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.
June 11-Aug. 13 | Tickets start at $20

Directed by Carolyn Howarth
“This above all: to thine own self be true.”
Shakespeare’s masterpiece, often considered the greatest play in the English language, returns for CSF’s 60th season. When Hamlet’s world is ripped apart by his father’s sudden death and his mother’s hasty remarriage, the young prince’s mind wrestles with his heart 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.
June 23-Aug. 13 | Tickets start at $20

Julius Caesar
Directed by Anthony Powell
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings…”
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 that 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.
July 7-Aug. 12 | Tickets start at $20

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Timothy Orr
“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”
In this hilarious and mind-bending comedy by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Shakespeare in Love, Hamlet is brilliantly retold through the eyes of two minor characters. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two bewildered schoolmates sent to pull Prince Hamlet out of his 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.
July 21-Aug. 13 | Tickets start at $20

Henry VI, Part 3
“Fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.”
Summer 2017’s hottest ticket is Henry VI, Part 3, the latest of CSF’s widely hailed “Original Practices” productions in the iconic Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. With two performances of the final play in Shakespeare’s razor-sharp War of the Roses chronicle, which also inspired the hit series Game of Thrones, CSF is set to complete the Shakespeare canon for a second time. All previous “OP” shows sold out months in advance—don’t miss it!
Aug. 6 and 8 | Tickets start at $20