Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Bloomington

#7 of 14 in Things to do in Bloomington
Performance · Concert / Show
The Illinois Shakespeare Festival (ISF) is held in Bloomington, Illinois, United States at Ewing Theatre and in Normal, Illinois, United States at the Center for Performing Arts Theatre at Illinois State University. The Festival began in 1978 and will celebrate its 43nd season in the summer of 2021. The Festival usually presents three pieces by "The Bard" as a revolving rep, though occasionally the third piece is from a contemporaneous playwright.

The Festival is produced by the School of Theatre and Dance and the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University. Performances take place at Ewing Cultural Center on Ewing Theatre, a re-creation Globe Stage complete with open air amphitheater. The Festival markets itself as "theatre under the stars!" Before each nightly performance (except Mondays), the Festival presents a free pre-show entertainment, including live jazz, an abbreviated version of the play to come, or other fun performances. The Ewing Grounds serve as picnicking spots for the audience. The Festival runs from the later part of June through the middle of August. In 2008, The Festival began a fourth show aimed towards younger audiences (Theatre for Young Audiences) which is usually performed on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 10am.

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20 reviews
  • This is an amazing setting with a Shakespearian experience! Bring wine and cheese and a blanket, bring girlfriends or do couples to this attracive theater setting. A must see, visit this Authentic...  more »
  • Set in the beautiful grounds of Ewing Manor, the Illinois Shakespeare festival never fails to provide top notch theatre. This season's offerings were The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry V, and...  more »
  • Wonderful theater, nice picnic grounds, great performance. It's a fantastic night out for the family or a date. The Elizabethan style outdoor theater is a perfect setting for a night of picnicking and a Shakespeare play. The actors are a mix of equity, near-equity, and college age performers who give their all to make for good theater.
  • It was amazing. My daughter and I have attended two years. Everything is wonderful. Great memory builder.

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