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  • Shakespeare Festival St. Louis Shakespeare Festival St. Louis


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Mission Statement

To produce professional Shakespeare theatre,
culminating in a free production in Forest Park, and
to celebrate both Shakespeare’s language and the artists he has inspired.

We present Shakespeare and works inspired by Shakespeare. We are in the Schools, in the Streets, and in the Park. We are about community, conversation, and collaboration.


Inspired by R. Crosby Kemper, III, the idea of a free, outdoor Shakespeare festival began in 1997. In 2001 Chairman of the Board Marvin Moskowitz, first Managing Director Lana Pepper and a visionary board of civic leaders produced the first annual free Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park. Since the initial two-week run and first season attendance of 33,000, the Festival has grown to a two-month celebration of the Bard throughout the city with annual attendance over 60,000. Averaging over 3,000 audience members nightly, the Festival has become St. Louis’ premier classical theater and a main cultural attraction for the city. To lead the Festival into its second decade, Rick Dildine was appointed as Executive Director in September 2009.

Our legacy is seen in the tens of thousands of patrons and students who have participated in our work. Year-round we are engaging our citizens in the schools, in the streets and in the park. With a commitment to community, conversation and collaboration, our theme of unexpected theatre drives our creative and producing choices. Each season hundreds of supporters come together to produce Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Unlike other theaters in the region, SFSTL depends almost entirely on the contributions of individuals, foundations, corporations and public institutions for support.

We do not follow a traditional model; we believe we are creating the next model. We’re still writing our story. We’re trailblazers; we’re making the path together. Join us!

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization. Contributions are eligible for tax deduction to the limit allowable by law. Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ tax identification number is 43-1815139.



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