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In 2017, we celebrate 35 years of performing Shakespeare in San Francisco. One of the many things we’re celebrating is our dedication to artistic excellence.

To achieve artistic excellence, a theater company needs not only great plays (Shakespeare… check!) but also great artists. Since Rebecca J. Ennals became our Artistic Director in 2012, the Festival has worked hard to develop a family of Resident Artists (“RAs”) to bring a collaborative ensemble spirit to Free Shakespeare in the Park and ensure our educational programs meet the highest standards possible.

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Resident Artists Carl Holvick and Lauren Spencer* in our 2015 production of “Romeo and Juliet.”

Reflecting on the connection between education and artistic excellence, and recognizing that we have a responsibility as an anchor cultural organization in the Bay Area to develop the next generation of artistic talent, we’ve also created an internship program to give aspiring and early-career artists professional opportunities. These internships cover a variety of theatrical fields, ranging from performance to design.

2017 Performance Intern Erin Lockett performs in our Green Show.

Interns learn from professional artists throughout our company every summer: they get hands-on experience in everything, from writing promotional blog posts, to hanging stage lights, to performing our Green Show before Free Shakespeare in the Park.

A reliable, skilled, and loyal base of artists is crucial to accomplishing the SF Shakes mission of making the words and themes of Shakespeare accessible to everyone. Our dream is to offer scholarships and stipends to these two groups: doing so will allow us to diversify and strengthen the Resident Artist and Intern Companies. Professional recognition of these artists, coupled with further professional development, benefits not only the Festival (by improving the quality, reliability, and capabilities of our personnel), but also benefits our community (by providing more meaningful and more responsive artistic and educational programming).

These two programs are the bedrock of the SF Shakes artistic legacy: the Resident Artists have shared values and shared practices that they live and develop right now, and they ensure that those values and practices live on in the future and outside the Bay Area by sharing them with our interns each summer.


You can sponsor stipends for our Resident Artist and Intern Companies as part of our 35th Anniversary Campaign. A gift of any amount helps!



The $60,000 budget for this project includes stipends for all Interns and Resident Artists, development of both companies, and training for members of both companies from leading experts in the field.

Resident Artists Phil Wong and Phil Lowery in 2016’s “The Winter’s Tale.”


If you care to join our efforts, it’s easy to make a contribution to our 35th Anniversary Campaign. Help us provide top-notch education artists to all of our students and foster the next generation of incredible artists!