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Shakespeare & Beyond

What's onstage at Shakespeare theaters in June

Ah, June! There’s something onstage for everyone this month as the end of many theaters’ year-long seasons overlaps with the start of many summer Shakespeare festivals.

This June, our theater partners stage classic stories adapted by playwrights including Mary Zimmerman, Ken Ludwig, Whitney White, Heidi Armbruster, and Luis Quintero. Plus, plenty of Shakespeare.

But, first, if you love Shakespeare, books, history, theater, and/or friendly air-conditioned spaces to escape the sticky DC summer, we’ve got some big news for you…

Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Much Ado About Nothing. Photo: Jenny Graham.

At the Folger

After a four-year renovation, the Folger reopens on Friday, June 21. Explore new exhibitions, stroll through our gardens, relax with a drink in our Great Hall, and see all 82 of our First Folios on display together for the first time.

Join us starting at 1pm on June 21, to be among the first to see our new spaces! Or, visit on Saturday or Sunday to enjoy special activities and catch performances by DJ Nick tha 1da, Batalá Washington, Patria y Saloma, The Flamenco Workshop, Be’la Dona, and Energico Jazz.

Timed-entry passes are now available. Pass holders are guaranteed entry into our exhibition halls at the time of their choosing. Skip the line and get into our galleries even when we’re experiencing a high volume of visitors.

The cast of Folger Theatre's Metamorphoses. Photo: Brittany Diliberto.

Folger Theatre’s acclaimed Metamorphoses  has been extended through June 23. Director Psalmayene 24 and an all-Black cast reinterpret Mary Zimmerman’s beloved adaptation through the lens of the African diaspora in a performance that the Washington Post calls “marvelous” and DC Theater Arts calls “a singular cultural achievement.”

Ring Around the Moon at American Players Theatre. Photo: Hannah Jo Anderson.

American Players Theatre

American Players Theatre kicked off its 45th season in the woods of Spring Green, Wisconsin, on June 8 with a performance of Jean Anouilh’s comedy Ring Round the Moon, adapted by Christopher Fry. Also playing this summer in the outdoor Hill Theatre, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa. In the 201-seat, indoor Touchtone Theatre, the world premiere of Michael Hollinger’s The Virgin Queen Entertains Her Fool, Marisela Treviño Orta’s Wolf at the Door and Nick Payne’s Constellations. Nat Turner in Jerusalem by Nathan Alan Davis will open in the Touchstone in October.

Atlanta Shakespeare Company

The Three Musketeers  is onstage through June 30 at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company. In Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s witty and action-packed swashbuckling novel, brother and sister D’Artagnan and Sabine set off for Paris in search of adventure. D’Artagnan hopes to join the King’s valiant Musketeers. Sabine is being sent to a convent school, but quickly decides she’d rather fight by her brother’s side. Cardinal Richelieu has different plans for both of them, but with their new friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis by their sides, they save the day for king and country.

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company presents The Merry Wives of Windsor, outdoors in Ellicott City’s PFI Historic Park, from June 14 to July 21. Sir John Falstaff arrives in a small Appalachian town looking for quick fortune. It’s an energetic production filled with blue-grass music and the closeness of a tight-knit mountain community.

Take a look behind the scenes at the fights in the Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s Three Musketeers.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

At the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, renowned magician and The New York Times crossword constructor David Kwong’s The Enigmatist, an immersive experience of puzzles and cryptology, is onstage through June 30.

Corduroy begins June 18. Embark on a heartwarming adventure with the beloved bear whose button has gone missing and follow Corduroy’s rollicking and delightfully destructive journey through the department store as he searches high and low. “Corduroy is an enduring, lovable story of friendship, home, and being accepted just as you are today,” says director Amber Mak. “I am excited to bring these characters to life in a very fun, whimsical, and imaginative adventure that multi‑generational audiences can experience together.”

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Roe Green Theatre.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Colorado Shakespeare Festival opens its 2024 season on June 9 with Macbeth, in the recently renovated Roe Green Theatre. Director Wendy Franz’s sexy and spellbinding production features Colorado favorite Lavour Addison in the title role.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

At the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, there’s still time to catch The Play That Goes Wrong, which continues through June 16, 2024. It’s opening night for the Cornley Drama Society’s newest production, The Murder at Haversham Manor, but none of the on-stage drama is in the script! The theater is filled with accident-prone actors, a corpse that can’t play dead to save his life, and a knocked-out knock-out of a leading lady.

Summer in Cincy continues with the company’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Hamlet, beginning July 12.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s 37th season runs June through September and features three classic stories in thrilling new adaptations by three living American playwrights. Adapted from Shakespeare’s Henry VI and Richard III, Tony-nominee Whitney White’s By the Queen is a sharp, humorous, and of-the-moment look at the Bard’s story of the War of the Roses as told through the lens of Queen Margaret’s reflections on her remarkable life.

Agatha Christie fans won’t want to miss the world premiere of Heidi Armbruster’s highly theatrical adaptation of the 1926 masterpiece from the Poirot series, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd—a re-invention of the pleasures of the theatrical whodunnit in HVSF’s signature playful and freewheeling style.

The world premiere of Luis Quintero’s hip-hop version of Euripides’ ancient tragedy Medea: Re-Versed offers up an ice-cold, high-octane adaptation that is as terrifying and shocking today as it was 2,000 years ago.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's "Love's Labor's Lost" (2023). Photo by T Charles Erickson.
Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Ángela Utrera, and David Anthony Smith in Idaho Shakespeare Festival's Murder On the Orient Express. Photo: Roger Mastroianni.

Idaho Shakespeare Festival

Hercule Poirot has another murder to investigate in Boise as Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, adapted by Ken Ludwig, opens on June 14. In this comedic twist on the famous mystery, Poirot must solve the crime of a man stabbed in his locked compartment on the opulent Orient Express—where every passenger is a suspect. Summer at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival continues with Into the Woods, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Always… Patsy Cline.

The Old Globe

At San Diego’s Old Globe, James Ijames’s Fat Ham continues through June 23. During a Southern family cookout, Juicy is confronted by the ghost of his father, who demands revenge for his murder. But Juicy, a young, queer, Black man, has enough on his plate.

There’s more to come. This year, The Old Globe becomes one of only a small handful of theatres in the country’s history to complete Shakespeare’s canon with the two-part Henry 6, the largest Shakespeare production the Globe has ever presented. The first part, Henry 6 One: Flowers and France, begins on June 30.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

At the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a dazzling, music-filled production of Much Ado About Nothing  directed by Miriam A Laube lights up the Allen Elizabethan Theatre through October 12. Amy Kim Waschke and John Tufts play Beatrice and Benedick. Meanwhile, Macbeth continues along with one-actor show Virgins to Villains: My Journey with Shakespeare’s Women; Jane Eyre; Born with Teeth; and musical  Lizard Boy.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Amy Kim Waschke and John Tufts on Beatrice and Benedick.

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of The Tempest begins its tour in July. Before the show begins, join the festival for two free online conversations about the play.

Monday, June 17, at noon PT, Festival Board of Directors member Dan Rabinowitz hosts a conversation with Artistic Director Carla Pantoja and Tempest director Rotimi Agababiaka (Oberon in Folger Theatre’s 2022 A Midsummer Night’s Dream) about themes of forgiveness and recovering from loss in The Tempest.

Monday July 8, at noon PT, Rabinowitz and Pantoja are joined by Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper for a conversation about race, gender and otherness in The Tempest, along with a radical reappraisal of society in early modern London. Karim-Cooper is the Director of Education (Higher Education & Research) at Shakespeare’s Globe and Professor of Shakespeare Studies, King’s College London; She’s also the incoming Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Her most recent book, The Great White Bard: Shakespeare, Race and the Future, was voted top 100 books of 2023 by Time Magazine, NPR and The New Yorker.

Shakespeare Dallas

Summer brings storms and shipwrecks to Shakespeare Dallas. Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of The Odyssey  begins June 14. In Zimmerman’s dramatic adaptation of Homer’s myth, a modern young woman struggles to understand Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of the epic… until a classical muse appears and the young woman becomes the goddess Athena. With her trademark irreverent and witty twist on classic works, Zimmerman brings to life the story of Odysseus’s ten-year journey.

Twelfth Night  begins June 21. Viola and her twin brother Sebastian have been shipwrecked; each believes the other to be drowned. Viola disguises herself as a young man and, under the name of Cesario, gets a job as a servant for the Duke, Orsino.

Summer at Shakespeare Dallas means shipwrecks and storms, with productions of The Odyssey and Twelfth Night.

Greg Cuellar, Joneal Joplin, Christian Thompson, Carolin Amos, Michelle Hand, Jasmine Cheri Rush, Molly Wennstrom, and CB Brown in As You Like It. Photo by Phillip Hamer Photography

St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of As You Like It  is onstage through June 23. Nancy Bell’s production is funny, lusty, full of heart, and longing for a sweeter life, featuring live music and new songs from St. Louis indie singer-songwriter Beth Bombara.

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum returns this June through October with outdoor repertory theatre and educational programs for all ages. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is back, alongside The Winter’s Tale, Wendy’s Peter Pan, Tartuffe: Born Again, and The Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx/Latine Vote. There’s no better way to spend a summer evening than with a picnic and a show under the live oaks of Topanga Canyon.

What are you planning to see onstage this month? Tell us in the comments!

Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, The Old Globe, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Dallas, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, and Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum are members of the Folger’s Theater Partnership Program.