Illinois Shakespeare Festival | WGLT

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Ryan Denham / WGLT

There will be an excess of talent on stage at this summer’s Illinois Shakespeare Festival. World-class actors performing some of the most eloquent language ever put to paper, supported by a talented army of set, costume, and lighting designers.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

This season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival deftly combines the thrill of both a battle and a heart won, familiar faces revisiting cherished roles, and a chance to imagine "what if" about The Bard.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

With energy, humor and hip hop verse, Shakespeare's timeless masterpiece Romeo and Juliet moves to a new rhythm created by the Q Brothers Collective for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

When Shakespeare first wrote Cymbeline in 1623, it was well received. But by the 18th century, the play had fallen out of favor.

Audiences found it difficult to pin down and classify, plus it was darkly comedic and just had a whole lot going on from curtain up to curtain down. But there's a new adaptation afoot at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival that puts the problems of the play in their place and sets the action under the big top.  

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival presents a music-filled version of A Midsummer Night's Dream this season that turns out to be a bit of a family affair.

Peter Guither / Illinois Shakespeare Festival

At the first-ever Illinois Shakespeare Festival -- back when it wasn't even called that yet -- the plays were staged on the tennis courts at Ewing Manor in Bloomington.  Forty years later and the acclaimed festival has its own spiffy theater at Ewing and a great reputation as a local cultural gem.

Pete Guither / Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The 2017 season for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival marks the 40th anniversary for the summer theater event, and in order to celebrate the ISF is filling the season with magic.

Pete Guither / Illinois Shakespeare Festival

We all know the story of Peter Pan.  Or do we?  The Illinois Shakespeare Festival peels back the legend to reveal an imaginative and funny origin story for the iconic character. Adapted from the popular 2006 novel, 'Peter and the Starcatcher' was a huge hit on Broadway .  Director Any Park describes it as the 'Wicked' of the Peter Pan story, letting audiences in on how an orphan boy became Peter Pan. 

Pete Guither / Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival is shaking things up this season with a production of "Hamlet" that features a gender switch.  Casting a woman to play the melancholy Dane can help the audience and actors alike see an old favorite in a new way.

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The 2016 Illinois Shakespeare Festival is just getting underway, and for one stalwart performer, this season marks an even dozen times he's trod the boards at the theater at Ewing.  Actor Tom Quinn has portrayed a wide variety of characters, from a king to a musketeer.  So in honor of his twelfth season, which includes a turn as Feste in "Twelfth Night," Tom has pulled back the curtain to share twelve secrets of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Rehearsals for the 39th season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival at the Ewing Cultural Center in Bloomington have begun, and the artists are ready to blaze new trails with a romantic comedy, the melancholy Dane...and Peter Pan.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Winter is underway, and through these dark, chilly days it's only natural to think longingly of summer.  That's the season that's very much on the minds of the organizers of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.  They've just announced their plans for the 2016 season, and it includes having a dame play the Dane.  Artistic director Kevin Rich talks about the decision to cast a woman to play Hamlet.