Shakespeare. His very name conjures up a slew of images. From men in tights and bejeweled ladies to shipwrecks and human skulls, Shakespeare's work is as much a part of our culture as McDonald's and Walt Disney.
Okay, admittedly, Shakespeare may be a bit more polished. However, at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival held on the campus of University of Colorado Boulder each summer, you'll not only see the Bard's polished plays brought to life, but you'll also see contemporary takes on the classics and Shakespeare-themed theater that breathes new life into these old masterpieces.
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival captivates theater-lovers every summer — Photo courtesy of Colorado Shakespeare Festival
The stage is set on CU of Boulder's beautiful campus, as hundreds gather in the Shakespeare Gardens, a beautiful outdoor venue with a spectacular view of the Flatirons in the distance. Magnificent sets and intricate costumes are a staple of Colorado Shakespeare Festival productions, as is world-class acting.
Not to mention, CU of Boulder's campus is within walking distance of "The Hill," known for it's fun hangout spots, diver eateries, and bars. Not interested in mingling with the college kids after your play? Never fear, Pearl Street with all of its restaurants and breweries is just nearby.
CSF's latest season set the stage for The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Winsor and Henry IV. Adding a bit of spice to the lineup, CSF also offered the comedy I Hate Hamlet, which follows young Hollywood star Andy, who leaves his plush TV gig to pursue the stage in the role of the forlorn Prince of Denmark.
In season's past, CSF has put on excellent shows, including Richard II and Macbeth, along with Women of Will: The Complete Journey - a play that delves deep into the themes of love, freedom and loss. Offering a variety of plays with a Shakespearean theme but without the often difficult to digest dialogue ensures that there's something for everyone to enjoy.
But CSF doesn't stop there: the fun continues throughout the year with educational lectures and community outreach. CSF also strives to use the Bard's work to teach violence and bullying prevention in community schools.
This season, CSF is using Much Ado About Nothing to teach students about the power of words and gossip, using characters Beatrice and Benedict as examples of a prank and gossip gone wrong. CSF will also bring The Tempest to area schools in order to teach students about the cycle of violence and power imbalance.
Be sure to plan your visit well in advance and snag tickets early, as they go fast!