Skip to main content
Shakespeare & Beyond

Your Guide to Streaming Shakespeare this Summer

Wondering where you’ll find Shakespeare this summer? Below, we’ve gathered a wealth of online performances, conversations, and programs from the Folger’s theater partners that you can check out in July and August. There’s more than just Shakespeare here: you’ll also find great chats with all kinds of theatermakers, innovative original short plays, music, and more. What are you tuning into this summer?

Watch a recording of African American Shakespeare Company Artistic Director L. Peter Callender’s conversation with Colman Domingo, the actor, writer and director best known for his work in Selma and Fear the Walking Dead.

Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Play On! resources include short streaming plays, virtual workshops, coloring pages, and a Zoom happy hour with Artistic Director Rick Dildine.

Clockwise from top-right: Nate Burger, Melisa Pereya, Gavin Lawrence, and Kelsey Brennan in American Players Theatre’s “As You Like It.”

American Players Theatre’s Out of the Woods reading series continues with Carlyle Brown’s Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been… (July 10) and James DeVita’s An Improbable Fiction (July 17). New readings become available every Friday at 7 pm CT on PBS Wisconsin’s website. Go back through the company’s past videos to catch readings of Julius Caesar, As You Like It (pictured), and others.

Listen to The Good, the Bard, and the Ugly, a new podcast from the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Travis McElroy. Each week, the company’s Jeremy Dubin and scholar Niamh O’Leary explore Shakespeare-centric entertainment you can enjoy in the comfort of your living room.

Visit CU Presents Digital to find new videos from the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, like this exploration of Celia’s inner monologue from actor Shunté Lofton.


August 6 at 7 pm ET, hop onto YouTube to watch a live, script-in-hand performance of The Tempest from the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, with John Douglas Thompson in the role of Prospero. The production, which will be available on YouTube through August 10, is being staged as a benefit for the company’s 2021 Shakespeare on the Common performance.

From the Folger Shakespeare Library, check out the Folger Institute’s Critical Race Conversations series. Watch the series’s first session, “Cultivating an Anti-Racist Pedagogy,” with Dr. Ambereen Dadabhoy and Dr. Nedda Mehdizadeh, now on YouTube, and tune in July 16 at 3 pm ET for “The Sound of Whiteness, or Teaching Shakespeare’s ‘Other “Race Plays,”‘” with Dr. David Sterling Brown and Dr. Jennifer Stoever.

Meanwhile, you have more time to catch Folger Theatre and Two River Theater’s Macbeth, co-directed by Teller of Penn & Teller and Aaron Posner. We’ve extended the film’s free run on YouTube through the end of the year.

Tune into virtual readings of the winning plays from the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 Community Bake-Off. In the Bake-Off, community members are given a list of  dramatic “ingredients” to incorporate into the script of an original short play. Selected plays will be read by professional actors online in two performances on July 18.

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival’s Take Time To Pause… series features actors performing speeches from Falstaff, Paulina, and others, along with interviews hosted by Artistic Director John C. Stark.

Check out upcoming digital programs from the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. July 23, tune into a conversation between Denice Hicks, the Festival’s Executive Artistic Director, and Jim Warren, founding Artistic Director of the American Shakespeare Center, about directing Shakespeare. August 1, join a communal Zoom reading of Measure for Measure!

Watch full productions from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival on their O! platform. You can now purchase on-demand tickets to filmed performances Karen Zacharias’s The Copper Children (through July 15) or Shakespaere’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (through July 22), all while exploring O!’s wealth of great free content.

Starting July 18, join the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival for free, live, online performances of their production of King Lear.

Check out a new interactive adventure from Seattle Shakespeare.

Download the Goosechase app to play O Wonder!, Seattle Shakespeare’s new all-ages scavenger-hunt-style adventure! New missions will be released weekly through August 9; they can all be done at home or in your neighborhood, and might include answering questions or completing activities and submitting photos or videos.

New episodes of Shakespeare in Detroit’s Power 15 podcast include interviews with The Old Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and internationally recognized photographer Cris Crisman. Shakespeare in Detroit’s Founding Artistic and Executive Director Sam White also took some time to join us on our new Shakespeare Lightning Round: watch her answer our thirty lightning-fast Shakespeare questions on the Folger’s IGTV.

The Old Globe has a ton of online resources available on their website. New this month: Revisit songs and scenes from past productions with “Flashbacks” and find new 20-second hand-washing mnemonics with “Soap It Up.”

Find a wealth of digital content on Theatre for a New Audience’s website, including a recording of their 2019 conversation between Peter Brook and Tarell Alvin McCraney and Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz’s remembrance of the late designer Milton Glaser. (Glaser, best known for creating the I ❤️ NY logo or for his iconic 1966 Bob Dylan poster, also created art for TFANA. Meanwhile, other Shakespeare-lovers might know him for the swoon-worthy covers of the Signet Classics Shakespeare editions of the 1960s).

Throughout July, wander through the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s Virtual Seminar Grove to learn more about Shakespeare’s plays and the work that goes into putting them on. Watch the Festival’s seminars live, or check out their webpage to find archived versions of each conversation.

Some of our partners are exploring new ways to stage theater for in-person audiences.

Staunton, Virginia’s American Shakespeare Center is staging Twelfth Night (starting July 25) and Othello (starting July 31) in repertory.

Watch the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Crazy Love series, July 30 – August 9. The company will alternate between performances of Verily, Madly Thine, an hour-long collage of (mostly) Shakespeare scenes depicting the excesses of love, and a double-bill of Molière’s The Love Doctor and Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Aria Da Capo. 

In August, join the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s for “A Late Summer’s Night Stroll.” This immersive walk through St. Louis’s Forest Park, inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is a socially-distant self-guided tour of iconic spots and hidden gems, featuring custom installations, open-air performances and charming vignettes.

The African-American Shakespeare Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre, American Shakespeare Center, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Shakespeare in Detroit, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Old Globe, Theatre for a New Audience, and Utah Shakespeare Festival are members of the Folger’s Shakespeare Theater Partnership Program. Looking for more Shakespeare online? Revisit our past blog posts for more.


[…] ⇒ Related: Learn about the technical innovations of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s vir… […]

What theater makers learned from 2020 - Shakespeare & Beyond — April 29, 2021