Heart of America Shakespeare Festival


The mission of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is to make Shakespeare’s works accessible to a diverse audience through professional theater and educational programs.  


Through outreach and learning activities presented in the park during the Festival’s free summer production, our signature Camp Shakespeare program, a city-wide sonnet and poster contest for young people, The Shakespeare Studio, and workshops, performances and residencies presented in schools throughout the city, education programs are part of the vision and year-round work of the Festival.  Raising the bar for young people by asking them to understand and delight in Shakespeare is not an unreal expectation.

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I’ve spent a lot of time in the audience at the Festival. The audiences are the audience every theatre would love to have. There is a diversity of color, economic status, neighborhood and education. It seems like sometimes there is an assumption that because someone couldn’t afford theatre tickets they don’t have an interest in going to the theatre, but look around when you go to the Festival this year and you’ll see that’s not the case.
— Kate Forristall, Camp Shakespeare parent & Festival Attendee