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Roderick Hill, Grace Hsu, and Michael Hogan in Shakespeare Festival St. Louis's 2002 production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' (Photo by Jerry Naunheim)

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis Announces 2016 Season

Partnerships with local symphonies and playwrights commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

ST. LOUIS: Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has released the details of their 2016 season, announcing a lineup that includes mainstage and site-specific performance events.

“This season is yet another step forward in the Festival’s long-term commitment to becoming a world-class theatre company in St. Louis,” said Rick Dildine, the Festival’s artistic and executive director, in a statement. “These partnerships, some of which we will be announcing within the next few weeks, highlight the type of theatre company we intend to be: unexpected, collaborative, and daring.”

On the main stage in Forest Park this season will be Dildine’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (opens May 2016), last seen at the festival in 2002. A 90-minute pre-show performance, Green Show, featuring local musicians, jugglers, and clowns will precede each performance.

On Feb. 21, 2016, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will present an original production by Festival playwright-in-residence Nancy Bell that employs musical storytelling to introduce children and families to selections from the canon. Symphony pieces inspired by The Tempest (Feb. 19–20, 2016), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Feb. 27–28, 2016), and Romeo and Juliet (March 5–6 and 11–12, 2016) will also be supported by the Festival.

Shake 38, the Festival’s annual marathon celebration of Shakespeare’s work, will be held April 19–23, 2016 on rooftops, street corners, and coffeehouses throughout the St. Louis area. Cry Havoc, an interactive exploration of the lives of Shakespeare’s military veterans, will be led by actor Stephan Wolfert on April 23, the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

The Festival’s summer season will conclude with Shakespeare in the Streets (Sept. 16–18, 2016), a outdoor theatrical experience that invites St. Louis residents to develop an original play of their own based on one of Shakespeare’s works.

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