Island Shakespeare Festival

When the national shut-down began, we initially felt the best way to weather this time would be to step back, make masks, improve our infrastructure and organizational culture, and look forward to the time we can create live theatre again. Then weeks and months went by, social distancing and shuttered theatres continued, and we were called to action by the necessity of social justice and our fervent commitment to our mission and to our artists. We saw the opportunity to use our work to help bring forth equity and justice in our culture. So what to do? We invited our postponed 2020 artistic teams to inspire us. Four unique projects emerged, inspired by our audiences and artists and the moment in which we live.

We recognize that the work we create together on a digital platform is made possible by physical lands and the indigenous peoples who've been their stewards since time immemorial. We share our debt of gratitude for the first peoples across our continent and commit to be conscientious stewards of this land we all love.

A podcast featuring short stories and conversation inspired by Shakespeare's canon and the lives of theatre people.

Playwright, director, and scholar Scott Kaiser has penned 38 short stories, each inspired by one of Shakespeare’s plays and (maybe) some real-ish events. A voice familiar to ISF will read a story and share their response, followed by a conversation about what inspired each story between Scott and ISF artistic director, Olena Hodges. Please be advised, most episodes will contain adult content.

Episodes are published every other Sunday at 11AM, beginning October 4, 2020.

Written by Scott Kaiser
Directed and Produced by Olena Hodges
Sound effects, Engineering, and Music by Orion Mikael Schwalm

10/4/20 The Lark Olena Hodges (she/her)
10/18/20 Corps A Corps J. Tyler Jones (he/him)
11/1/20 Doppelganger Cameron Gray (he/him)
11/15/20 Music and Dance Candice Handy (she/her)
11/29/20 The Audition Monologue Amanda Noriko Newman (she/her)
12/13/20 Partners Lexi Chipman (she/her)
1/10/21 The Cast List Helen Roundhill (she/they)
1/24/21 Just the Messenger Orion Schwalm (he/him/it)
2/7/21 It Takes Guts Davion T Brown (he/him)
2/21/21 Rumor Race Michael Blackwood (he/him)
3/7/21 Ecdysiast Eric Bermudez (he/him)
3/21/21 The Dream Job Renea S. Brown (she/her)
4/4/21 The Interview Zandi Carlson (she/her)
4/18/21 Jonathan Falls Maya Sugarman (she/her)
5/2/21 Love's Labour's Won David Ossman (he/him)
5/16/21 Theatre Francais Mary Reagan (she/her)
5/30/21 Shrewd Jeff Natter (he/him)
6/13/22 The Monitor Shelley Hartle (she/her)

On Teacakes & Tarot, theatre-maker Will Wilhelm (they/them) dreams and schemes with special guests about Shakespeare, making space for queer stories, and the ways forward when producing live theatre becomes safe again. Then, Will offers their guest a short tarot reading, investigating the intersections of the Major Arcana and Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Created by Will Wilhelm (they/them) and Erin Murray (she/her)
“Scenic” Design by Ray Kathryn Morgen (they/them)

Lisa Wolpe (she/her)
P. Carl (he/him)
Michael J. Bobbitt (he/him)
Joshua Catille (he/him)
Jéhan Òsanyìn (they/them)
Robert Ohara (he/him)

SUBSCRIBE FOR SEASON ONE ON DEMAND (and more from the ISF archives!)

Sonnet Tarot Cards Available Here!

What if Juliet Capulet was a 21st-century teen with a YouTube vlog? This episodic series seeks to explore and play within that question, lifting Juliet off the pages of this 400 year old play, and placing her at the forefront of her own story. The different episodes feature actors from past and future ISF productions, as well as other Nashville-based actors.

Follow along with Juliet as her story unfolds:

Timeline of Events

Cast and Crew

Abbey Rhyne (she/her) Juliet/Filmmaker/Director
Morgan Davis (she/her) Lady Capulet/Writer/Show runner
Santiago Sosa (he/him) Prince/Script editor/Show runner
Ayla Williams (she/her) Rosaline
Juan Graterol (he/him) Mercutio
Joe Leitess (he/him) Tybalt
Sean Martin (he/him) Capulet
Shannon Hoppe (she/her) Nurse
Mitchell Davis (he/him) Music Creator
*All COVID-19 safety protocols were followed during the making of this project

The Bard’s words burn bright as they’re used, and sometimes recontextualized, in this dramatic, devised experience created under Covid-19 restrictions. Musings of Fire, conceived as a response to the social movements of our time, directs a siren song inward – “knock, and ask your heart what it doth know” – while exploring strife and harmony in our culture. This world premiere, produced in partnership with the University of Kansas and featuring a mix of professional and student actors will resonate with anyone concerned about humanity, brutality, and culture.

Coming to your device March 2021!

Santiago Sosa (he/him)

Adapter/Director; Ensemble

Kennedy Brandenburg (she/her)

Stage Manager

John Rhor (he/him)

Scenic and Lighting Design

Hanah Glimpse (she/her)

Costume Design

Aubrey McGetrick (she/her)

Text Coach

Lauren Smith (she/her)


Morgan Davis (she/her)


Candice Handy (she/her)


Joe Leitess (he/him)


Jeff Natter (he/him)


Tereem Chaudhry (she/her)

Student Ensemble

Jeremiah Coleman (he/him)

Student Ensemble

India MacDonald (she/her)

Student Ensemble

Diego Rivera-Rodriguez (he/him)

Student Ensemble