Belly Up to the Bard

More than a sum of its plays, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival is a 53-year-old tradition that combines outdoor fun with classic works and high-quality performances. “It’s a summertime thing,” explains spokeswoman Mell McDonnell. “People from all over come to sit under the stars. Everybody brings a picnic and eats it before things start to happen. It’s a Colorado icon and incredibly pleasurable.”

This year’s five-week festival continues through August 8. The 2010 lineup includes three Shakespeare plays -- King Lear, Measure for Measure and The Taming of the Shrew -- as well as two non-Bard classics, Our Town and The Fantasticks. This year’s festival also features early curtain times on Tuesday and Wednesday, when plays will start at 6:30 p.m. In addition, there will be free concerts or “Green Shows” two hours before each performance on the lawn in front of the Hellems building. And 45 minutes before each show, producing artistic director Philip C. Sneed will give a short talk on that night’s play.

The productions are at the University of Colorado in Boulder, either at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre or the University Theatre; ticket prices range from $10 to $54. For more information, go to or call 303-492-0554.
July 1-Aug. 8, 2010