Idaho Shakespeare Festival
The Idaho Shakespeare Festival's mission is to produce great theater, entertain, and educate. It is the flagship performing arts organization in Idaho, serving over 110,000 individuals annually and providing professional performance, arts education, and outreach programs to diverse constituencies in the Inland Northwest. The Festival, now in its 36th year, performs five main stage productions June to September in a state-of-the-art outdoor amphitheater for audiences exceeding 56,000. The Festival also brings theater arts programming to schools in 40 of Idaho’s 44 counties. The School of Theater provides classes for students of all ages. Summer camps, including Camp Shakespeare, Camp Improv, and Camp Musical, offer educational experiences for children aged three to eighteen. Apprenticeships and residencies are offered for extended theatrical training. Year-round outreach programs, listening-assisted and American Sign Language-interpreted performances, the summer Access Program, and The Shakespeare Society allow the Festival to serve a variety of audiences who might otherwise be unable to participate.
As part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s educational outreach program, Shakespearience, will bring Much Ado About Nothing to secondary students throughout Idaho and the Inland Northwest. Each 50-minute production will be fully staged with sets, costumes, and music, and presented along with related educational activities and materials. Post-performance question-and-answer sessions and workshops will explore themes and concepts in the play as well as the discipline and artistic choices of the production. Much Ado About Nothing will reach 20,000 students in a total of 85 performances in 75 schools throughout Idaho and beyond. The actor/educators will travel more than 7,000 miles through some of the region’s most remote intermountain areas to bring Shakespeare’s works to youth in grades 7 to 12. The company's visit to these rural communities is a much anticipated, community-wide event and is often the first exposure any of these student have to Shakespeare and professional, live theater.