Colorado Shakespeare Festival Preview

June 11, 2012 6:00 AM


coloradoshakes Colorado Shakespeare Festival Preview


Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Multiple locations throughout Boulder, Colorado
(303) 492-0554

Prices: Tickets range from $18 to $57

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival has been bringing high-quality plays to Colorado audiences every summer since 1958. TIME Magazine named the Colorado Shakespeare Festival one of the top Shakespeare Festivals in the nation in 1992, and as many as 40,000 audience members flock to the Boulder area to see these fine productions every year. With a focus on Shakespeare, the festival also reaches beyond the bard’s works to bring other well-known and future classics to the festival, and 2012 will bring five very exciting and highly anticipated works.

shakespearebook Colorado Shakespeare Festival Preview

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The Bard’s Plays

The 2012 Colorado Shakespeare Festival will have two classic Shakespearean works, “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III.” “Twelfth Night” will bring a classic comedy of mistaken identity to the stage, and this year’s production will feature a beautiful 18th century European design and setting. “Richard III” is a vivid and powerful production that is a take on power politics and its dangers. “Richard III” is directed by Tina Packer, the founder of Shakespeare & Company and an expert that is sure to bring a rich and brilliant eye to this amazing work.

The non-Bard’s Plays

For another take on Shakespeare, take a look at “Women of Will” by Tina Packer. This important production will explore the evolution of Shakespeare’s depiction of women. This will be the first time that this series of five separate pieces has ever been performed outside of Massachusetts, and each of the five different plays that can be seen in any order.

If you are looking for a different kind of classic, then look to “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson, adapted by Ken Ludwig. It is the original pirate adventure, long before Johnny Depp was known as Jack Sparrow. Featuring plenty of exciting swordplay, treachery and adventure, “Treasure Island” is another classic that is an excellent addition to the festival.

Finally, enjoy one of the funniest plays ever to grace the stage with Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off.” Watch this hilarious comedy featuring a troupe of actors that have been called together to perform a play-within-a-play. As the actors stumble through the performance, the audience gets a look at both the on-stage and off-stage antics of just what can happen with live theatre.

Related: Denver Local Theater Spring Preview

shakespeareportrait Colorado Shakespeare Festival Preview

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The Prologue

Get the most out of your trip to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival by arriving early. 45 minutes before every performance, Artistic Director Philip Sneed (or another staff member) will host an informal talk about the play that you are about to see. Sneed will discuss the playwright, the historical context of the play and introduce you to the characters without giving away any of the crucial plot points or surprises. Feel free to join the discussion at any time and get the most out of your ticket purchase.

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Make it a Picnic

You bring the blanket and they will do the rest. Visit the Bards BBQ, opening two hours before the show starts. A full menu of everything from grilled steak to vegetarian options is available, as this is the perfect way to kick off a summer evening at the theater. If you would like to partake in some adult beverages, then be sure to head over to the designated adult area where you are able to enjoy any alcoholic drinks that you bring from home.


With several performance spaces, both indoor and outdoor, parking is sure to offer some difficulties. The easiest and most headache-free way to park for the event is to head over to the Euclid Avenue Auto Park on the University of Colorado campus. It is only $3 to park after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. There are also many metered spaces throughout the festival area, however all meters have a maximum of four hours to park, so be sure to check your watch.

Related: Top Upcoming Arts Festivals in Denver

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at