Audition for our 20th Season!

Twenty years ago, we started with a simple notion – the Bard belongs to the people, and the people deserve to hear his works in the open air as intended and free of charge.  This summer, we celebrate our 20th birthday by producing the same works we did in that inaugural season – The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth.

We are seeking a company of intelligent, energetic and imaginative actors of all races and ethnicities for two productions that will tour a variety of outdoor venues across Cuyahoga and Lake Counties.

Afternoon Auditions: Sunday, April 23 from 1pm – 4pm
Evening Auditions: Monday, April 24 from 7:30pm – 10pm

Auditions will be held at:
Ensemble Theatre
2843 Washington Blvd.
Cleveland Hts. OH 44118

Callbacks will be held Wednesday, April 26

The Taming of the Shrew – adapted and directed by Lisa Ortenzi
Performance Dates June 16 – July 2
Rehearsals begin April 30

Macbeth – adapted and directed by Tyson Douglas Rand
Performance Dates July 21 – August 6,
Rehearsals begin in early June
No appointment necessary.  Artists will be seen in the order of sign in.
There are no AEA contracts available. No housing is provided.  All actors and production staff are paid a stipend.  Actors may participate in either or both productions.

Prepare two contrasting monologues. Total delivery time of both monologues combined should not exceed three minutes. At least one of your two monologues must be from the works of Shakespeare.

For consideration, bring TWO COPIES of each - head shot & resume, and please also bring any & all possible known conflicts between the dates of May 1 & July 21 AND Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays through August 6.

With Hey, Ho, The Wind And The Rain: Weather News

We make every effort to perform outdoors, but if weather intervenes, we do have alternate locations. Friday, August 5: Cahoon Park West, Bay Village Alternate indoor space is Bay United Methodist Church at 29931 Lake Rd. Saturday, August 6 & Sunday, August 7: Lincoln Park, Tremont Alternate indoor space is Pilgrim Congregational Church, 2592 W 14th Check back to this page around 6pm on the performance night for updates.

Open Mic Shakespeare – The Sonnets – Monday, Feb 6

Open Mic Shakespeare continues with a reading of Shakespeare's Sonnets, just in time for Valentine's Day! From the famous "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" to the relatively unknown "My love is as a fever, longing still", there's plenty of love in this classic collection to fill your hearts. We were thrilled that so many people joined us last time, so let's keep it going! This month's read is going to be on the West Side at the Starbucks in Rocky River (19555 Detroit Rd). We'd like to give a big shout out to all our West Side fans and patrons to come join us! Like our summer show, this event is absolutely FREE and open to the public. The Rocky River Starbucks has graciously offered their meeting room for free. It's not often we find such an awesome venue that is so generous, so we would ask that all our potential guests please consider purchasing a drink or pastry when they arrive on Monday the 6th.

Open Mic Shakespeare – July 2nd & 30th – CYMBELINE

Last month, we followed the Bard to a mysterious island in the Mediterranean! This month, we land in the United Kingdom---BEFORE it was united. In "Cymbeline", Shakespeare weaves a tale of two lands, Rome and Britain, who's respective people are questioning the relative meaning of "love and honor". Due to the play's length, we'll be reading the first half of it this month and the second half of it next month. Open Mic Shakespeare is an ongoing play-reading series brought to you by The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. One day each month, we invite anyone and everyone to stop in and read a Shakespeare play with us, at a cool spot in the Greater Cleveland area. This month, we'll be meeting twice, Saturday July 2nd and Saturday July 30th, 2-4:30pm, at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Lee Rd. Public Library, Meeting Room B. Like our classic summer performance season, entry to Open Mic Shakespeare is absolutely free, now and forever. Open Mic Shakespeare is BYOB (Bring Your Own Bard) - we'll have some copies available, but if you have a copy please bring it!


We're happy to announce our 2016 summer tour, with a few new communities added! Follow the link for each production to view cast list and more info.


Adapted and directed by Doug Farren Friday, June 17: PEACE Park, Coventry Neighborhood, Cleveland Heights Saturday, June 18: Tri-C West Campus, Parma Heights Sunday, June 19: Penitentiary Glen Nature Center, Kirtland Friday, June 24: Community Colonnade, Shaker Heights Saturday, June 25: Lakewood Park, Lakewood Sunday, June 26: Stocker Arts Center, Lorain County Community College, Elyria Friday, July 1:  Notre Dame College, South Euclid Saturday, July 2: James A. Garfield Historic Site, Mentor Sunday, July 3: Lincoln Park, Cleveland


Adapted and directed by Allan Byrne Click a venue to open in Google Maps: Friday, July 22: PEACE Park, Coventry Neighborhood, Cleveland Heights Saturday, July 23: Grove Amphitheater, Mayfield Village Sunday, July 24: Bedford Public Square, Bedford Friday, July 29: Tri-C West Campus, Parma Heights Saturday, July 30: Lakewood Park, Lakewood Sunday, July 31: Sims Park, Euclid Friday, August 5: Cahoon Park West, Bay Village Saturday, August 6: Lincoln Park, Cleveland Sunday, August 7: Lincoln Park, Cleveland All performances begin at 7pm and are presented FREE OF CHARGE Bring a blanket or low-slung chair

Listen to WCLV interview with TIMON OF ATHENS director David Hansen and lead actor Luke Brett

WCLV 104.9 FM afternoon host Mark Satola interviewed David and Luke about THE LIFE OF TIMON OF ATHENS and CSF.  Have a listen!

Scene Magazine names CSF “Best Outdoor Arts Experience” for 2015

We're very grateful to the kind folks at Scene Magazine, Cleveland's free weekly newspaper, for including us as the "Best Outdoor Arts Experience" in their "Best of 2015" issue.
The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival is an exciting event series in Cleveland, but it's still somewhat under-the-radar, particularly among those who aren't totally plugged into the region's theater scene. Often enough, passersby out for a gentle walk — through, say, Lakewood Park — have stumbled upon a performance of, say, 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' This year, take the time to look up the group's schedule and make an evening of it. Pack a picnic, bring your friends. Shakespeare is timeless stuff, and Cleveland is lucky to have such a wellspring of talent to deliver the good bard's finest works each summer.


CSF recognized by BBC America blog as one of “10 British Things about Cleveland” The editor notes that the Open Mic Shakespeare reading series sounds 'utterly intriguing'.  Consider yourself invited, BBC America!