ST. LOUIS: The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival has announced its outdoor summer season, its 21st summer of free Shakespeare in Forest Park. The Festival will mark its return to in-person programming with King Lear, starring Tony winner André De Shields and directed by Carl Cofield, the associate artistic director of the Classical Theatre of Harlem.
“André is a national treasure and one of the most extraordinary theatrical artists alive, and Lear is the Everest of Shakespeare’s tragic roles,” said producing artistic director Tom Ridgely in a statement. “Carl Cofield’s vision for how the play speaks to a 21st-century America is both bracing and brilliant. We couldn’t be more proud to welcome them and the incredible company they’ve assembled to St. Louis.”
King Lear will run June 2-27, featuring an all-BIPOC company, with an ensemble from the Black Rep’s professional internship program. The season will also include an outdoor touring production of Othello that will visit 24 public parks across the metro area from August 3-29. Othello will be directed by Adam Flores, the Festival’s manager of community engagement and education.
Additionally, the season will feature three outdoor performances of Shakespeare in the Streets: The Ville. The community engagement program will feature a new adaptation of Hamlet by Mariah L. Richardson that elevates the story of one of the most historically significant Black communities in the country, the Ville neighborhood in North St. Louis. The Ville will be directed by Thomasina Clarke and run September 9-11.
All performances will play to strictly limited capacity crowds.
The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival produces year-round impactful programming in exciting and accessible venues throughout the bi-state area.
Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. Please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!