Despite the word “festival” in this organization’s name, it gives performances throughout the year. NSF began in 1988, when a group of local actors presented the first free-of-charge “Shakespeare in the Park” production, As You Like It, with a modest budget of $500. Since then, the company has grown into one of the region’s leading professional theatres, and as many as 15,000 audience members attend the summer performances in Centennial Park. In 1992, NSF developed a series of 50-minute versions of the Bard’s best-known works and dubbed them “Shakespeare Samplers.” These productions have been performed in schools throughout the state.
In 2008, the company found a permanent winter home in the Bill & Carole Troutt Theater at Belmont University, where it offers school matinees and public performances of its annual winter Shakespeare production. NSF has expanded its outreach to include businesses and adult groups, providing workshops that foster creative thinking, problem solving, and effective communication through study of Shakespeare’s language, characters, and themes. In addition to the works of Shakespeare, NSF has presented such diverse shows as Rip Van Winkle, The Little Prince, and The Belle of Amherst.
Nashville Shakespeare Festival Information
- Other Venues: Centennial Park bandshell, Troutt Theater at Belmont University, and various other locations.
- Public Transportation: Varies depending on venue.
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 50 events annually.
- Admission: Varies ($5 suggested donation-$25) depending on production.
- Subscriptions: Donors (from $50 and up) to the Festival receive benefits including t-shirts, reserved seating, complimentary beach chair rental, and Shakes Head Window clings.