San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s mission is to make the words and themes of Shakespeare accessible to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, financial status or level of education. By lowering practical and perceptual barriers, we encourage broad participation in the arts and make these activities a part of community life.
The Festival serves as a catalyst for audience development by reaching thousands of people who otherwise do not attend live theater or may have never experienced it at all. Our programming represents the plays in their finest light, demonstrates their relevance to today’s society, and inspires our students and audiences to seek out additional theatrical experiences.
We are dedicated to arts education, using our programs to foster a life-long appreciation of learning and the arts. We offer day camps and classes for children age 7 to 17, as well as in-school residencies and playshops.
Our 42nd season of Free Shakes returns to the parks in 2024 with our production of The Tempest, directed by Rotimi Agbabiaka. Dates, times, and locations for live performances (July-September 2024) wiil be announced soon. Meanwhile, check out our photo gallery for images from summer 2023!
Shakespeare’s Heartbeat uses the Hunter Heartbeat Method developed by Kelly Hunter of Flute Theatre, utilizing the iambic pentameter (heartbeat rhythm) of Shakespeare’s words and the physicality of his characters to engage with students on the autism spectrum. Geared towards grades 4-12.
Saturday Upstart Crows classes are physically and mentally engaging weekend sessions where students age 11-18 deepen their skills and knowledge through a comprehensive rehearsal process that explores language, history, voice, movement, text analysis, and play.
Our annual gala fundraiser returns in-person with An Enchanted Evening at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club on May 20. Celebrating our 41 years of Shakespeare, there will be live entertainment, a fabulous multi-course Italian dinner, and everyone can participate in the auction to make donations and bid on wine, travel, experiences, and more.