25 for the 25th

From now through September 2017, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival will celebrate its 25th year of presenting high-quality professional productions of Shakespeare’s works and year-round education programs for youth ages 5-18. As part of this celebration, Heart of America Shakespeare will offer “25 for the 25th,” a series of 25 performances, presentations, and happenings in collaboration with several of Kansas City’s premiere arts organizations, museums, and community events. These presentations will provide an opportunity for audiences to connect with Shakespeare in new ways and encounter Shakespeare-inspired and derived works in art forms and mediums other than the plays and sonnets.

The schedule below is frequently updated, so check back often.

Sunday, June 4
2:00 p.m.
Plaza Branch – Kansas City Public Library
RSVP here!

McMeel Family Shakespeare Series:
‘Wild and Whirling Words’

Moral corruption, revenge, madness, murder. Shakespeare’s Hamlet runs the gamut of dysfunction. Set in the castle of Elsinore just after the death of Prince Hamlet’s father and remarriage of his mother Gertrude to his uncle Claudius, the story is rife with sadness, anger, and paranoia – even before the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears.

Psychoanalyst David Donovan joins Alyson Germinder, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s dramaturg, in discussing the villainy and abundant human frailty in perhaps the greatest of the Bard’s 38 plays. They explore the madness, real or feigned, of Hamlet and other characters as their psyches are laid bare and psychological truths are revealed.

The event, preceding HASF’s summer production of Hamlet, is part of the McMeel Family Shakespeare Series co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.

Tuesday, June 6
6:30 p.m.
Plaza Branch – Kansas City Public Library
RSVP here!

McMeel Family Shakespeare Series:
Hamlet: From the Page to the Stage

Veteran British director and master acting teacher Ian Wooldridge has helmed more than 100 stage productions, including The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Kansas City’s Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.

In conjunction with HASF’s 25th anniversary, the former dean of the British American Drama Academy shares insights from his experiences and years of training students to walk and talk the words of the world’s greatest dramatist. He spotlights soliloquies/speeches from HASF’s upcoming production of Hamlet.

Two days earlier, on Sunday, June 4, at 2 p.m., psychoanalyst David Donovan and HASF dramaturg Alyson Germinder explore the villainy and madness of Hamlet and the play’s other characters in “Wild and Whirling Words” at the Plaza Branch. Both events are part of the McMeel Family Shakespeare Series co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.

Mondays in June
1:30 p.m.
Plaza Branch – Kansas City Public Library
Cohen Room

Free & open to the public

SPARK Lecture Series

SPARK, in cooperation with the Festival and the Kansas City Public Library offers a lecture series on the summer production of HAMLET presented in Southmoreland Park  June 13- July 2, 2017.

This series will be Monday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. in the Cohen Room, part of the Truman Forum on the lower level of the Plaza Library. There is no fee or advance registration needed.

Full schedule is below:

Monday, June 5: Introduction to HAMLET– Alyson Germinder, Dramaturg

Monday, June 12:- Madness, Monsters, and Morality in Shakespeare’s Hamlet  – Adam Potthast, Park University

Monday, June 19: Putting on the Show – Sidonie Garrett, Executive Artistic Director & cast members

Monday, June 26: The Play’s The Thing – Dr. Robert Willson, UMKC Ret.


Ongoing 2016-2017

Shakespeare Solos Video Project

SHAKESPEARE SOLOS are video recordings of Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s alumni actors performing some of Shakespeare’s great speeches to celebrate the Festival’s 25th anniversary year. Two videos will be released each month, with a bonus video one month, offering 25 videos featuring actors who have performed on the Festival stage.

We’re currently featuring Bruce Roach and Phil Fiorini. Watch them here.

June 13 – July 2, 2017
7:30 p.m.


FREE professional production in Southmoreland Park


The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Previous 25 for the 25th offerings

August 29: Shakespeare-inspired Playwright Slam at Kansas City Repertory Theatre

September 23-25: Plaza Art Fair

September 29: Open rehearsal at Kansas City Ballet for the Ballet’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream 

October 7-9: Summit Art Festival

October 21 & 22, 28 & 29: Ghost Tours at Wornall House

October 14-30: The African Company Presents Richard III, presented in partnership with Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City at the Fishtank Theatre. Missed the performance? See a clip below!

October & December: Ghost Tours and Candlelight Tours at Wornall House

December: Team Shakespeare’s Winter Showcase

February 11: “Art of Love” Valentine Coffee at Kansas City Museum

March 11-18: Death, by Shakespeare with Fishtank Theatre

March 23-26: A script-in-hand performance of The Tempest in partnership with the Performing Arts Series at Johnson County Community College.

April 4: Classics Uncorked: Shakespeare in Music, a happy hour series collaboration with the Kansas City Symphony

April 9: Comedy Master Class at the Coterie

April 21: ShakesBEER Birthday Bash at the Buffalo Room.

April 23: Taking Tea with Shakespeare