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SummerArts: Theater

Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Boulder, CO)

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(June 8 – August 18, 2012) Summer nights are rarely more perfect than those underneath the Colorado skies, so its perhaps only natural that the state should give rise to what Time Magazine has hailed as “One of the top Shakespeare Festivals in the U.S.” Spawned from the 100 year old tradition of ‘commencement time dramas’ held on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, the CSF has evolved into a fully operation professional theatre employing over 180 artists each summer, and pulling in as many as 40,000 audience members each season at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre.

Infamous for providing patrons with the complete “Shakespeariance,” the Festival provides pre-show picnicking, roaming madrigal singers, a Shakespearian garden, and even a chance for guests to meet and chat with the ‘Bard’ himself about the play at hand. While typical fare revolves around traditional Shakespearean offerings, the season has recently expanded to include classic American plays and musicals like Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and The Fantasticks, as well as an annual winter holiday production (staged at the indoor University Theatre). Staying true to its campus roots, CSF offers an extensive training program each summer for both adults and youth in the art of classical acting.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Boulder, CO) Information

  • Venues: The Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre and the University Theatre, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Public Transportation: Good
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good (both)
  • Performances/Programs: Performance schedule is Tuesday–Sunday
  • Ticket Prices: $14–$54 single tickets, preview tickets half-price, $5 discount for students, seniors, and university faculty/staff. Half-price tickets for 13–17 year olds (no previews), tickets for kids 5–12 years old are $5, 25% discounts available for groups of 10 or more
  • Subscriptions: Season subscriptions (or Five-Flex Pak) are $64–$204. Five-Flex Pak benefits include 2-for-1 vouchers for Curious Theatre Company, Boulder Philharmonic, Central City Opera, and the Colorado Music Festival; subscribers save up to 28%.