From truck beds to basements to coffee shops and rooftops, William Shakespeare's words will electrify the city with the 3rd annual Shake 38 beginning on Friday, May 18, and culminating with the Bard's preview performance of "Othello" on Wednesday, May 23 at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park. "Othello" is the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' 12th annual production of free theater in an outdoor setting at the park.
The citywide marathon reading/performance of Shakespeare's 38-play canon will run from noon to 8 p.m. each day. The past two years, the event was held within a 38-hour timeframe. This year's event has been expanded over five days, giving St. Louisans more opportunities to experience Shakespeare in varied settings.
Some of last year's highlights included a group presenting "Julius Caesar" on top of a "Sweet Treats Truck" in the Loop, Tricia's Treasure Chest performing a reading of "Much Ado About Nothing," at Pat's Bar & Grill, and the Glass Monsters reading "Titus Andronicus" in a downtown parking lot. Others danced, painted and sang their way through the Bard's repertoire in locations as varied as the Loop, a Steak 'n Shake restaurant, the Arch grounds, and in Tower Grove Park near Shakespeare's statue.
"Shake 38 is one of the most amazing theatrical experiences I have ever been part of," said Rick Dildine executive director of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. "Three years ago, we set out to create a unique performance experience, drawing upon the depth of talent in St. Louis, and the creativity from all parts of the city is proof this is a vibrant, innovative community."
In the past 11 years, the Shakespeare Festival has attracted more than 500,000 people to the performances in Forest Park. Last year's show, "The Taming of the Shrew," drew a season attendance record of 63,000 people. The organization has reached an additional 235,000 students through its educational touring productions, school programs, summer camps and community partnerships. For more information, please visit www.sfstl.com or call 314/531-9800.