A Special Valentine’s Day Event To Benefit CSF and Great Lakes Light Opera


Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like…opera and Shakespeare? Well, there’s a reason so many Shakespeare works have taken shape onstage in the form of opera. Join us as Cleveland Shakespeare Festival and Great Lakes Light Opera collaborate on an evening of scenes and musical selections from works of Shakespeare, displaying the many facets of love—romantic and bittersweet; combative and seductive.


  • A $25 single ticket grants you one admission to the show.
  • A $55 couple’s ticket includes two admissions and two special Valentine’s Day cocktails.


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

We make every effort to hold our performances outdoors, but when weather threatens, we do have indoor venues.

This weekend (July 17-19) our alternate venues are all immediately adjacent the outdoor playing spaces, so come for a show rain or shine!

Friday July 17: Coventry PEACE Park (rain location: Ensemble Theater, 2843 Washington Blvd)
Saturday, July 18: Tri-C West Campus, Parma (rain location, Tri-C’s indoor theater)
Sunday, July 19, Penitentiary Glen Nature Center (rain location: the Nature Center’s lecture hall)

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!


Help AMP UP the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival!

Friends, our summer tour is opening soon and we need your help to augment our aged sound system, which has served us well, but has shuffled off this mortal coil.

Please visit our Indiegogo campaign to learn more and make your contribution now!


Our 2015 Touring Schedule!

All performances begin at 7pm.  Please bring your own chairs or blankets.
Click the link on the venue name for maps/directions.
In case of inclement weather, check our site for news regarding alternate indoor locations.
For maps and directions, click the link in the venue name

THE LIFE OF TIMON OF ATHENS (click for more info)
Adapted and Directed by David Hansen
With Original Songs by Gary Lee

Friday, June 5 – PEACE Park – Coventry Neighborhood, Cleveland Heights
Saturday, June 6 – Tri-C West Campus, Parma Heights
Sunday June 7 – Halloran Park, Cleveland

Friday, June 12 – Lincoln Park, Cleveland (coincides with ArtWalk – plan parking accordingly)
Saturday, June 13 – Community Colonnade, Shaker Heights
Sunday, June 14 – Notre Dame College, South Euclid

Friday, June 19 – Cahoon Park West, Bay Village
Saturday, June 20 – Lakewood Park, Lakewood
Sunday, June 21 – Stocker Arts Center, Lorain County Community College, Elyria

Friday, June 26 – Old Town Hall, Independence
Saturday, June 27 – James A. Garfield Historic Site, Mentor
Sunday, June 28 – Grove Amphitheater, Mayfield Village

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (click for more info)
Adapted and Directed by Dr. Scott Miller

Friday, July 17 – PEACE Park, Coventry Neighborhood, Cleveland Heights
Saturday, July 18 – Tri-C West Campus, Parma Heights
Sunday, July 19 – Penitentiary Glen Nature Center, Kirtland

Friday, July 24 – Community Colonnade, Shaker Heights
Saturday, July 25 – Lakewood Park, Lakewood
Sunday, July 26 – The Grove Amphitheater, Mayfield Village

Friday, July 31 – Notre Dame College, South Euclid
Saturday, August 1 – Lincoln Park, Cleveland
Sunday, August 2 – Lincoln Park, Cleveland

Our 2015 Acting Company

We’re very proud to present the acting company for our 2015 summer season:

by William Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton

Luke Brett – Timon,
Luke Powers – Alcibiades
Carol Laursen – The Governor
Brian Pedaci – Apemantus
Nicholas Chokan – Lucilius
Latecia Wilson – Lucia
Roderick S. Cardwell II – Ventidius
Miranda Coble – Flavia
Amanda Trompak – Sempronia
Gary Lee – Cupid


Faith Whitacre – Portia, an heiress
Hillary Wheelock – Nerissa, her lady-in-waiting
Allen Branstein – Shylock, a moneylender
Latecia Wilson – Jessica, Shylock’s daughter
Keith Kornajcik – Antonio, a merchant / Prince of Arragon, suitor to Portia
Leilani Barrett – Bassanio, a young gentleman in love with Portia
Ryan Stafford – Gratiano, Bassanio’s friend
Ananias Dixon – Lorenzo, Bassanio’s friend, in love with Jessica/ Prince of Morocco, suitor to Portia
Luke Brett – Launcelot Gobbo, servant to Shylock / Tubal, a moneylender
Nicholas Chokan – Salarino, friend to Antonio / Gobbo – Launcelot’s father
Luke Edward Powers – Salanio, friend to Antono / Duke of Venice

Scene Magazine names CSF among “Best of 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.



Audition for our 2015 Summer Season!

Cleveland Shakespeare Festival Announces Auditions for their 18th Season of Free Outdoor Theater

We are seeking a company of intelligent, energetic and imaginative actors of all races and ethnicities for two touring outdoor productions:

The Life of Timon of Athens

adapted and directed by David Hansen
Performance Dates June 5-28
Rehearsals begin May 3
Touring to twelve different outdoor venues across Northeast Ohio

Seeking 5 men/4 women

4 MEN 20s
3 WOMEN 20s
1 MAN 40-60
1 WOMAN 40-60

Also, we are seeking an additional actor who is a skilled guitarist (M or F).
Musicians, please be prepared to perform eight bars, preferably late 1960s R&B

Timon was the most admired man on campus — and generous to a fault. Betrayed by his friends, he abandons civilization and goes “back-to-the-land”. As unrest grows in Athens, both sides appeal for his help. Set at a certain state university in 1970 against a backdrop of unpopular war and student unrest, “The Life of Timon of Athens” is a hilarious history of hip hypocrisy.

The Merchant of Venice

adapted and directed by Scott Miller
Performance dates July 17 – Aug 2
Touring to eight different outdoor venues across Northeast Ohio

Seeking 7 men/4 women of various ages

Also, we are seeking an additional actor who is a skilled guitarist (M or F).
Musicians, please be prepared to perform eight bars, preferably classical

Filled with contrasts and controversy, containing comic elements mixed with trenchant comment on the nature of intolerance, justice and forgiveness, this is a play not easily categorized.  The merchant Antonio is approached for a loan by his dear friend Bassanio so that he may woo an heiress in another city.  Antonio, cash-poor until his ships return from their trade route, in turn borrows from the moneylender Shylock, who sees in this arrangement the possibility to exact a gruesome revenge for the years of injustice he’s suffered at the hands of Antonio and the rest of the city.


Auditions will be held at CleveShakesFest Headquarters:
Coventry Commons (formerly known as Coventry Grammar School)
Ensemble Theater Center
2843 Washington Blvd.
Cleveland Hts. OH 44118

Evening Auditions on Friday, April 10 – 6pm to 9pm
Afternoon Auditions on Sunday, April 12 – 2pm to 5pm

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 modest 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 3 & July 16 AND Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays through August 2.

Call Backs will be Tuesday, April 14 at 6:30pm

For more information about auditions and our full touring schedule, visit our website at www.cleveshakes.org.  If you have questions, are interested in volunteering or joining us in any other capacity, please email info@cleveshakes.org.

We hope to see you there. Break a Leg!

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!

Open Mic Shakespeare – On Hiatus

NOTE: The Open Mic Shakespeare series is on hiatus indefinitely while we search for a new venue.
Join our mailing list to be notified when we’re starting up again.


On the first Monday of each month, we gather in an informal, social setting, for the pleasure of speaking and hearing the verse aloud.

Roles are distributed prior to reading, and we switch it up each act, so there are plenty of chances to read a variety of roles.

BYOB – Bring Your Own Bottle (if you care to have a drink) and Bring Your Own Bard – limited copies of the script will be available, so please bring your own if you have one.
Free apps are available for iPad and Android with the complete works.

We welcome all comers, regardless of acting experience. It’s even OK if you just want to come and listen, although often folks can’t resist the fun and join in before the evening’s over.

See our Facebook events page to RSVP