Our mission is to provide accessible, classical theatre realized for a contemporary audience.

Our Vision

We believe art is for everyone. By providing accessible classical productions in innovative and compelling ways, we intend to ignite the power of theatre to illuminate, inspire, and foster our ability to live, locally and globally, in connection with each other.

We believe in accessing the classics through intersectional storytelling and a commitment to excellence, so they become alive--relevant-- visceral—to the widest possible audience. Gatherings of audience and artists add immeasurably to the quality of life in our regional community, resonating long after the experience has ended. The classics are an important cultural touchstone, expressing the humanity that exists across borders and generations, affirming that we are more similar than separate.

Our Values

At Island Shakespeare Festival, the center of everything we do is reflected in our values. We believe in:

Accessibility: We believe in three pillars of accessibility. One, that art should be available to all, regardless of financial constraints. Two, that classic theatre should be engaging and resonant to a modern audience. Three, that we anticipate the needs of all audience members and artists so everyone can enjoy the multi-sensory experience of live theatre.

Anti-Racism: We work to dismantle systems of oppression in ourselves, our work, our organization, and our community while we build a care-centered culture of belonging.

Intersectional Inclusion: We believe that classic theatre belongs to everyone, and we strive for inclusion and representation of the scope of humanity in our audiences and in our company of artists.

Excellence: We believe excellence is iterative. Never resting on our past accomplishments, we relentlessly strive to improve even in the smallest of ways.

Regenerative Sustainability: To us, sustainability is foundational. We seek to build a base so that we may persist with financial, environmental, and creative endurance.

We make our artistic home on occupied lands

Tscha-kole-chy (Lushootseed) is the ancestral home of Coast Salish peoples including the Lower Skagit and Snohomish tribes who were forcibly moved from what is colonially known as Whidbey Island with the Treaty of Point Elliot in 1855. We honor the speakers of Lushootseed whose ancestors loved and cared for this land and these shared waterways long before European settlement began. We celebrate the ongoing sovereignty and vitality of local Native communities, including the Snohomish, Swinomish, Tulalip, and the wisdom of those who have called this place home since time immemorial.

Indigenous Groups Whose Land We Occupy:

With this acknowledgment, we seek to resist the erasure of indigenous histories and build mindfulness of our ongoing participation in colonial systems. The invitation to our audience is to understand the history of peoples and land where you reside, and to take steps toward repaired relationships with native communities in your region. Some organizations supporting and uplifting Coast Salish peoples are listed below:

Find the tribal land that you inhabit here or here.