Love. Family. Ambition. Betrayal. At Shakespeare Dallas we’ve been bringing timeless themes like these to life for almost 50 years. As North Texas’ leading professional theatre company performing the works of William Shakespeare, we believe that Shakespeare is for everyone. That means providing fun and accessible indoor and outdoor theatre, integrated school programs and cultural enrichment for people of all ages and backgrounds. For many, interacting with Shakespeare Dallas is a tradition that has crossed generations and delighted guests since our founding. To learn more about our background and mission, read on.
Welcome to the people’s theatre.
In 1972 long-time Dallas actor, director, producer and author Bob Glenn was inspired to bring Shakespeare to the masses. He performed his free, one-man version of “Hamlet” at Dallas’ Fair Park and a theatre company was born. Initially known as the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, we have evolved into the area’s premier theatre company performing Shakespeare.
We are perhaps best known for Shakespeare in the Park, our outdoor performance series held at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre in East Dallas. Each summer and fall, the company performs fully produced plays featuring classically trained actors. With a pleasing, family friendly setting, affordable ticket price and the ability to bring in your own food and beverages, Shakespeare in the Park has been a staple of many North Texan’s cultural experiences for years. Our typical annual attendance often exceeds 30,000 guests. In recent years, the company added a Winter Season held at Moody Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District.
But live performances aren’t all we do. In addition to indoor and outdoor productions, we offer a wide breadth of in-person and digital educational programming for grades 2 to 12. Our School and Youth Education Programs include summer camps, after-school drama classes and special Student Matinees with post-performance talkbacks and educator resources. Since its inception in 1984, these programs have served over 500,000 students in North Texas. We are also one of the few programs in the area based on the works of Shakespeare and designed using the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards.
Adult Education was added in 2006. Our community engagement programs serve a diverse community of adults with book clubs, events, acting workshops and more.
We, the board, staff, and artists of Shakespeare Dallas, gratefully acknowledge that the land we gather on is the stolen land of native people, Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Jumanos, Tawakoni, and Wichita. We acknowledge that it is only through their loss and the genocide of their people that we have the privilege to be here. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the indigenous peoples, past and present, who have stewarded it throughout the generations and we hope that through our creative work we will be able to honor their land and their people, past, present, and future.We also acknowledge that Shakespeare occupies a privileged place both in the white male canon and in the history of colonialism. His works were marshaled in the interests of empire, often celebrated as evidence of Anglo cultural supremacy, and used as part of “civilizing” colonial projects. We acknowledge that we must question Shakespeare’s cultural role so that we do not contribute to the deification of Shakespeare as a representative of white cultural supremacy.