The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre


Through the engagement with and performance of Shakespeare’s text using a unique artistic methodology, The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre creates matchless and transformative experiences that empower audiences of all ages to expand and challenge their worldview.


The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre was founded as The Red Heel Theatre in 1989, initially focusing on classic works of English theatre. In 1993, Carmen Khan became the Artistic Director of Red Heel and in 1996 focused the company’s efforts on the works of Shakespeare, renaming it The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival. In 2008/2009, we engaged in intensive planning with our board of directors and cultural and community leaders and decided to re-brand and rename the company The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, to better reflect our programming. We now have several programs for adults and students including a lecture series featuring world-renowned Shakespeare Scholars, Professional Touring Shakespeare Productions in schools and community centers, and a Classical Acting Academy providing early career actors with intense classical training. Over the past twenty years, The Theatre has produced over 50 plays, reached over 100,000 High School students and over 110,000 adult audience members. In Summer 2008, The City Council of Philadelphia passed a resolution honoring The Theatre for excellence in performance and educational programming, recognizing the impact The Theatre has made on Philadelphia’s cultural landscape and particularly on its students.

The actors speak the lines as if it were their native tongue; [Director Carmen] Kahn knows that the drama is in language, and they deliver it.
— The Philadelphia Inquirer

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