In 1995, Daniel J. Watermeier's wrote in Shakespeare Companies and Festivals: An International Guide:
"In 1982, the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department invited Ross to present A Midsummer Night's Dream free to the public outdoors in Monument Valley Park near downtown Colorado Springs. On a cold, damp summer evening, Ross arrived at the site to inform his acting company that no audience could possibly turn out in the harsh conditions, only to find 700 people seated on a hillside, eagerly anticipating the evening's performance. A Shakespeare festival was about to be born."
And we're so glad that it was! Since that dreary night nearly forty years ago, Theatreworks founder Murray Ross' Summer Shakespeare tradition has been bringing top-notch Shakespeare productions to Colorado Springsites. Summer Shakespeare eventually found a home at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, a picturesque setting with sprawling green lawns nestled near the soaring red cliffs of Garden of the Gods.
You may have seen our tent while driving past the Ranch on 30th Street. You may have even ventured inside for a performance (or several). Whatever the case, you know that what Murray started is a truly unique and invaluable part of what we do. This year, we're expanding our programming to include two productions: the timeless masterpiece Macbeth, as well as the audience favorite Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
Macbeth director Jeff Flygare recently established an endowed fund to support the salaries of non-equity members of Theatreworks Shakespeare productions at UCCS in perpetuity. Thanks to his generosity and commitment to fostering local talent, the upcoming productions feature all-local casts.
"Because they represent Theatreworks’ roots, I wanted to make sure that local, non-Equity actors continue to be a major part of our program," he explains. "I wanted to make sure that we never lose sight of the fact that there is great local talent in Colorado Springs, and that talent isn’t always found in someone in possession of an Equity card." Read more about Flygare's long history with Theatreworks and his creative vision for Macbeth here.
Call for volunteers
This year's expanded Summer Shakespeare will be one to remember, but we need your help! Come volunteer with us at Rock Ledge Ranch to set up a theatre inside our tent: stage, risers, seating, and decor! We need anyone comfortable lifting 50 lbs. or more, able to use a screw-gun, and willing to sweat a bit.
- July 3, 5, 6, from 8am-noon.
- Rock Ledge Ranch, the Southwest Meadow
- Park along/near 3216 Chambers Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
RSVP to Don Fox, firstname.lastname@example.org.