Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Leverage Dance Theater on the House Stage at Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Attendance was down by more than 10,000 people for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ performance of Antony and Cleopatra over last year's production. Artistic and Executive Director Rick Dildine says that’s the cost of doing business outdoors.

Leverage Dance Theater at Shakespeare Festival's House Stage
Nancy Fowler

Drama, passion and war are all part of this year’s Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park, as they have often been since 1997.

What’s new this summer is the addition of more local dancers, jazz artists, Latin musicians and a DJ (full list, below). You can see them on a new House Stage near the main stage, just prior to the production of the firey “Antony and Cleopatra.”

Cleopatra, left, and Antony, second from right, battle Rome and, at times, each other.
Provided by Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

The evening was crisp. Chairs and blankets were spread out as feasts appeared from baskets. On one hill, Juggling Jeff escaped from a straightjacket. On another, young players trod literal boards previewing what was to come. And in the second act was a tribute to a heroine and the performing arts in St. Louis in the summer: “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety.”

Alex Heuer

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis returns to Forest Park with the rarely performed “Antony and Cleopatra. Members of the company joined “Cityscape” guest host Don Marsh to discuss the production.

“Antony and Cleopatra” chronicles the love life of Mark Antony, one of three rulers of the Roman Empire, and Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, following the assassination of Julius Caesar.

Shirine Babb, an actor who plays the role of Cleopatra, said that in order to prepare for the role, she watched documentaries and read books about Cleopatra.

Rick Dildine
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Just months after leaving Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Rick Dildine is returning to his post of executive and artistic director.

Nancy Bell, left, is interviewed by Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler.
Stephanie Zimmerman

Nancy Bell has enjoyed a thriving soap-opera career and nabbed top TV gigs including “Law and Order" and “Star Trek." So what's she doing in St. Louis, reworking the words of none other than Shakespeare?

It all started five years ago, when Saint Louis University lured Bell away from the big time, with a teaching job. Now, she's a regular player in the local theater scene.

St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson announces 2015-2016 season
Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Symphony will focus on the intersection of literature and classical music for its 2015-2016 season. St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson said the story told through music can mimic that of a grand novel.

“What’s fun is when you make a concert program and you put several of these things together for the audience members in the concert, they actually hear a story that’s unique to them,” he said.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Roman leader Marcus Antonius of Rome and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt are perhaps history’s most famous lovers, a couple whose passion changed the course of history.

The third annual Shakespeare in the Streets starts Sept. 16.
Shakespeare in the Streets

Each Shakespeare in the Streets production starts the same way: Interviewing people in the community where the play will be performed.

“We never know what play we’re going to adapt; we never know what we’re going to find,” playwright Nancy Bell said. This is the third year for the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis program.

“We find out why (residents) live there, why they came, why they left and what they want,” director Alec Wild said. This year, those interviews led to Clayton High School.

Rick Dildine
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Rick Dildine, who has expanded the scope of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis in the five years that he has been in charge of it, is leaving. He will become executive director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis opened its 14th season Saturday in Forest Park. This year, there is an additional show to see. Instead of selecting one of the Bard’s 38 plays to perform in Shakespeare Glen, the festival has selected three: “Henry IV Part 1,” “Henry IV Part 2,” and “Henry V.” “Henry IV” has been adapted into one show for a total of two outdoor performances. Both shows are free to the public.

Davy Levy

Each spring, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis transforms an area of Forest Park just east of Art Hill into an outdoor Shakespearean theatre and provides St. Louis audiences with an entire evening of activities related to one masterpiece by The Bard.  This year’s offering is Twelfth Night.

Wikimedia Commons

Each Spring, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis stages a play by the Bard in an area of Forest Park just east of the St. Louis Art Museum.  This year, the production is Twelfth Night which will run nightly except Tuesdays from May 24 through June 16. But before rehearsals for the main event even begin, the organization is active with pre-season offerings.