2019 Season



















From the Artistic Director

2019 Season

In early August, 2010, a band of merry madcaps held hands in a circle, in the woods behind the StoryHouse stage. We were getting ready to open Shakespeare's As You Like It, with no idea if anyone would make the trek through the trees to our Forest of Arden. Our fearless leader, Susannah Rose Woods, gave us the obligatory opening night pre-show pep-talk. She said that we had a show, and if there were as many folks in the audience as there are onstage, we had a hit. Most of our families were there that afternoon, so we had a pretty good idea that by this standard, a hit we would have. A short time later, we were alerted that audiences were building, and we might actually fill up. And we did. All weekend, and the next. To our surprise, Our community seemed not only hungry for, but ready to devour Shakespeare. Rosie didn't know it then, but she'd just founded a Shakespeare festival.

Here we are, ten years later, fulfilling on many levels our initial aspiration to bring quality classical theatre to our regional community and to compensate all of our artists for their work. We have over 30 artists joining us from as near as our own island community and as far as Chicago, New York City, LA, and more. All these artists come together with the common goal of creating quality work together, accessible to all. A leap of faith, a lot of hard work, and the generosity and support of you, our community, has kept us on this trajectory of sustainable growth.

This season, we bring to our stage three different but connected stories of truth, transcendence, and transformation. These plays invoke magic, mysticism, faith, and the supernatural to investigate age old questions of life, death, and love. Dante's journey through Inferno offers an allegory of obstacles each of us face at different times in our lives: when we have to make our way through the mire to face the most uncomfortable truths in ourselves and to come out the other side with renewed faith, finding a strength we didn’t know we had in ourselves and each other. A Midsummer Night's Dream invites us to play! With a triumphant journey through a magical forest, we find authenticity in love, and in ourselves, in an antithetical parallel to Inferno. And The Winter's Tale presents us with some of the darkest actions we can take against each other, and offers the possibility that forgiveness is the greatest response to the greatest offense. Is any of this magic? Or are we capable of actions and feelings so immense they may as well be? Our summer season invites you to find your own answer with truth, transcendence, and transformation.

Content Advisory:
We believe in creating a brave space for our audiences and artists to confront and contend with extreme circumstances within the human experience. Some individuals may encounter themes and interpretations that are disturbing or upsetting. If you feel the need to remove yourself from the space, please do. If you need support, please ask.

If you have questions about content in specific productions, please refer to each production page, where we will post specific content warnings. You may also email info@islandshakespearefest.org or call 360-331-2939.














From the Artistic Director

2019 Season

In early August, 2010, a band of merry madcaps held hands in a circle, in the woods behind the StoryHouse stage. We were getting ready to open Shakespeare's As You Like It, with no idea if anyone would make the trek through the trees to our Forest of Arden. Our fearless leader, Susannah Rose Woods, gave us the obligatory opening night pre-show pep-talk. She said that we had a show, and if there were as many folks in the audience as there are onstage, we had a hit. Most of our families were there that afternoon, so we had a pretty good idea that by this standard, a hit we would have. A short time later, we were alerted that audiences were building, and we might actually fill up. And we did. All weekend, and the next. To our surprise, Our community seemed not only hungry for, but ready to devour Shakespeare. Rosie didn't know it then, but she'd just founded a Shakespeare festival.

Here we are, ten years later, fulfilling on many levels our initial aspiration to bring quality classical theatre to our regional community and to compensate all of our artists for their work. We have over 30 artists joining us from as near as our own island community and as far as Chicago, New York City, LA, and more. All these artists come together with the common goal of creating quality work together, accessible to all. A leap of faith, a lot of hard work, and the generosity and support of you, our community, has kept us on this trajectory of sustainable growth.

This season, we bring to our stage three different but connected stories of truth, transcendence, and transformation. These plays invoke magic, mysticism, faith, and the supernatural to investigate age old questions of life, death, and love. Dante's journey through Inferno offers an allegory of obstacles each of us face at different times in our lives: when we have to make our way through the mire to face the most uncomfortable truths in ourselves and to come out the other side with renewed faith, finding a strength we didn’t know we had in ourselves and each other. A Midsummer Night's Dream invites us to play! With a triumphant journey through a magical forest, we find authenticity in love, and in ourselves, in an antithetical parallel to Inferno. And The Winter's Tale presents us with some of the darkest actions we can take against each other, and offers the possibility that forgiveness is the greatest response to the greatest offense. Is any of this magic? Or are we capable of actions and feelings so immense they may as well be? Our summer season invites you to find your own answer with truth, transcendence, and transformation.

Content Advisory:
We believe in creating a brave space for our audiences and artists to confront and contend with extreme circumstances within the human experience. Some individuals may encounter themes and interpretations that are disturbing or upsetting. If you feel the need to remove yourself from the space, please do. If you need support, please ask.

If you have questions about content in specific productions, please refer to each production page, where we will post specific content warnings. You may also email info@islandshakespearefest.org or call 360-331-2939.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: 360-331-2939 or managing.director@islandshakespearefest.org
July 14-September 3,
Shows Thursday through Sunday at 6:00,
(matinees at 1:00 Sundays in August).
Island Shakespeare Festival is located at 5476 Maxwelton Road, Langley, WA 98260 (MAP)
Mailing address:
PO Box 1262
Langley, WA, 98260
Click HERE for the performance schedule.