The tour of nearly 40 parks in the tri-state area starts in mid-July and runs all summer long!
View the complete schedule here
Cincinnati, May 17, 2022 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park tour returns this summer, running from July 15 through September 4 with over 40 performances of FREE Shakespeare in parks across the tri-state area, including Cincinnati, Fairfield, Glendale, Lebanon, Madeira, Mason, Oxford, Portsmouth, Springfield, and West Chester in Ohio; Covington and Erlanger in Kentucky; and Lawrenceburg and Richmond in Indiana – and more!
This year will be mark the start of CSC selecting a brand new Shakespeare title and production each summer with even more production value behind it! This summer the show will be Shakespeare’s beloved comedy “Twelfth Night”. Audiences can expect an announcement each spring about the new title and production and look forward to seeing more of Shakespeare’s canon over the years in Cincinnati.
Shipwrecks, love triangles, and mistaken identities abound in this lively rom-com on an island where everyone is in love with someone – and the wrong person loves them back. Bursting with vitality and romance, “Twelfth Night” features one of Shakespeare’s most dynamic heroines, Viola, matching wits with a host of captivating characters. As Shakespeare comedies go, “Twelfth Night” is one of the greats; a fun and funny celebration that embraces the silliness of love and is perfect for the whole family!
CSC’s Associate Artistic Director and mainstage fan favorite, Crystian Wiltshire, returns to a directorial role, describing the show as a play about self-discovery. “So many characters are fighting to overcome their obstacles through impersonations, hijinks, and ultimately, not being who they are,” Wiltshire describes. “It’s not until the end of this wild roller coaster ride of a play that everyone consents to be who they want to be and we can sing ourselves home.” Passionate about the evolution of this beloved CSC educational program, Wiltshire says that this new production re-imagines the FREE Shakespeare in the Park experience. “It’s fun, funny, and full of love and laughs. The costumes will feel fresh with a modern nautical look, perfect for a summer time romance on the coast of Illyria.”
What is FREE Shakespeare in the Park?
Launched in 2007, CSC’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park tour is one of the nation’s largest summer Shakespeare offerings, both in geographic area covered and audience members served. As the only professional outdoor theatre opportunity in the Cincinnati region each summer, CSC’s free Shakespeare in the Park tour attracts more than 10,000 patrons to 50 area parks anywhere within a two-hour radius of Cincinnati. CSC’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park Tour enhances the vibrancy of neighborhoods throughout the region by creating traveling arts programs that increase the affordability, availability, and accessibility of the arts outside the downtown core. The park tour is an annual tradition—the closest audiences can get to what it might have been like to watch Shakespeare’s plays as they were first performed at the open-air theaters in Southhampton—and the heart of CSC’s mission to bring Shakespeare to life FOR ALL.
Over the past two summers, the goal FREE Shakespeare in the Park was to restart live theater in a safe way, taking all necessary COVID precautions, in order to fill a deep social need in our community – the need to feel connected to art and each other. CSC used the pandemic as a catalyst to creatively adapt its FREE Shakespeare in the Park Tour, presenting Cincinnati’s only live theatre in the city in 2020 and 2021, visiting over 50 parks and neighborhoods across the tri-state. From public parks to parking lots, backyards to breweries, CSC’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park was a beacon of hope and possibility in a challenging time. CSC is thrilled to continue the FREE Shakespeare in the Park tour in 2022 with a production that is bigger and better than ever!
How can I support FREE Shakespeare in the Park?
FREE Shakespeare in the Park is made possible through the generous support of companies, foundations, and donors throughout the tri-state and beyond. If you would like to make a gift in support of the program, please visit cincyshakes.com/event/park-fund/ or call 513.381.2273 x 3208.
All donors to our Shakespeare in the Park Fund between May 1 and August 31 will be entered in a drawing to win two free subscriptions to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2022-2023 Mainstage Season. We also have a variety of fun Shakespeare in the Park themed thank you gifts in exchange for your donations!
- A Gift of $12 (in honor of “Twelfth Night”) – Vinyl Sticker
- A Gift of $38 (in honor of Shakespeare’s 38 play canon) – Bumper Magnet
- A Gift of $100 – Water Bottle
Donors who join our Monthly Giving Circle between May 1 and August 31 and will be entered in a drawing to win an exclusive Behind the Scenes Package for a mainstage show of your choice during the 2022-2023 Season.
- Monthly Gift of $10 or One-Time Gift of $120 – Insulated Tote Bag
- Monthly Gift of $25 or One-Time Gift of $300 – Personal Portable Fan
- Monthly Gift of $100 or One-Time Gift of $1,200 – Roll-up Picnic Blanket
Thank you gifts will be fulfilled beginning July 15, 2022.
The 2022 FREE Shakespeare in the Park Tour is generously sponsored by Western & Southern Financial Group and was financially assisted by the Ohio Valley Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Agent.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company also sends special thanks to our Operating and Season Support Partners: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation; The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation; Debby and Jim Mason; The Ohio Arts Council, The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; Lightborne, and the tens of thousands of people who give generously to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.
Admission to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare in the Park Tour is free and there is no ticket or RSVP required. All performances are open to all and are general admission, open seating. Arriving early is typically recommended for best seating and lawn chairs and blankets are recommended. For questions regarding inclement weather or for details and rules regarding outside food and drink (including or excluding alcohol), please contact the individual parks and venues.
About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for all. In the summer of 2017, the theater relocated to the Otto M. Budig Theater, a brand new facility in OTR. CSC’s repertoire is composed of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations, and contemporary classics. CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with the Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of the Theater Communications Group and the Shakespeare Theatre Association. Each year, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reach more than 50,000 young people and community members each season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions. In 2015, CSC was proud to become one of the first five theaters in the United States to “Complete the Canon” by producing all 38 plays by William Shakespeare. CSC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to be Cincinnati’s stage for the classics!
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2021-2022 Grand Re-Opening Season is generously presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation; along with our Education Season Sponsor, Debby and Jim Mason Honoring James R. Bridgeland, Jr; and our Operating Support Partners, The Ohio Arts Council, The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts with Arts Midwest, The Shubert Foundation, Lightborne, and the tens of thousands of people who give generously to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.