4th Annual Shakespeare Festival

September 15 – 21

Join us for a week-long celebration of the life, times, and works of The Bard!
Unless noted, all events are free and held at the Lewes Public Library.

Listing of all Festival events

Registration is requested for the events. Sign up online, by calling the Library at 302-645-2733, or stop by the Circulation Desk.

Walk ins are welcome at all the events with the exception of the Opening Reception and Bus Trip to DC. These are ticketed events – see below for information on how to purchase your ticket.


 ** Win a week’s stay in London! Tell me more. **


Sunday, September 15 – Saturday, September 21

 

Costumes on loan from the Folger Theatre of the Folger Shakespeare Library are on display inside the library throughout the week. These four outfits were used in professional Shakespeare productions performed at the Folger, and include outfits for Queen Elizabeth I, Henry IV, Mary Stuart, and Henry V.
The costumes may be viewed during regular library hours.


Sunday, September 15

 

4:00 PM | Music and the Spoken Word
Musical performance by members of the Lewes Chamber Players with accompanying readings from Shakespeare.
Online registration.

5:30 PM | Festival Opening Reception
Celebrate the start of our Shakespeare Festival with a reception inside the Library. Join us for a relaxing evening of cocktails, including beer from Dogfish Head, and heavy hors d’oeuvres from Big Fish Grill Market. The cost per person is $20 per person and tickets may be purchased online, at the Circulation Desk, or at the door that evening.


Monday, September 16

 

1:00 PM | Houses of the Bard: British Architecture in the Time of Shakespeare
Presentation on the variety of civic and domestic architectural forms being built in Britain, and especially around London, across the year 1600. Still heavily steeped in its medieval past, continental aesthetics based on classical antiquity had an increasingly important effect on the planning and design of the city’s most prominent buildings.
– by Ryan Grover, Sewell C. Biggs Curator of American Art, Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover
Online registration.

4:00 PM | Play to Stage: Measure for Measure
This conversation will engage community members in compelling explorations of Shakespeare’s text. Participants from all backgrounds and experience levels will be stimulated by the amazing hidden gems found in Shakespeare’s verse, and the powerful effect speaking these words has on the actor.
– by Kyler Taustin, Artistic Director, Brown Box Theatre Project
Online registration.

7:00 PM | Shakespeare in Unexpected Places
For the last three years, the Delaware Shakespeare Community Tour has brought professional Shakespeare productions to the full spectrum of humanity in our state, traveling to non-traditional locations such as prisons, homeless shelters, and mental health facilities. Through excerpts from the plays and stories from the tours, the presenter will share the thrilling results of these extraordinary artistic experiences.
– by David Stradley, Producing Artistic Director, Delaware Shakespeare
Online registration.


Tuesday, September 17

 

1:00 PM | What Was on Shakespeare’s Table? (kids’ version)
Want to taste what Queen Cleopatra ate? Emperor Julius Caesar’s favorite salad? Trail Mix loved by Cavekids? Come to see and taste these yummy healthy treats, all inspired by important moments in history and featured in Food Fight! A Mouthwatering History of Who Ate What and Why Through The Ages. Join us for a cooking demonstration and presentation!
Browseabout Books will have copies of the Ms. Steel’s book, Food Fight: A Mouthwatering History of Who Ate What & Why Through the Ages, available for sale at the event and there will be a signing afterwards.
– by Tanya Steel, Executive Director of the International Association of Culinary Professionals
Class size is limited and online registration is required.

4:00 PM | What Was on Shakespeare’s Table? (adult version)
Want to know what Queen Cleopatra ate? Emperor Julius Caesar’s favorite salad? Trail Mix loved by Cavekids? Learn the answers, all inspired by important moments in history and featured in Food Fight! A Mouthwatering History of Who Ate What and Why Through The Ages.
Browseabout Books will have copies of the Ms. Steel’s book, Food Fight: A Mouthwatering History of Who Ate What & Why Through the Ages, available for sale at the event and there will be a signing afterwards.
– by Tanya Steel, Executive Director of the International Association of Culinary Professionals
Online registration.

7:00 PM | Measure for Measure: Some Preliminaries
Our presenter will identify some of the odd and even inexplicable dimensions of this play, one unfamiliar to many theatergoers that have earned it the moniker “problem comedy.”
– by Dr. Bill Zak, author and Salisbury University Professor
Online registration.


Wednesday, September 18

 

1:00 PM | Film Screening of Orson Welles’ Macbeth (1948)
Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.
Directed by Orson Welles and starring Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, and Dan O’Herlihy.
Online registration.

4:00 PM | A Day at the Folger
Learn about the Folger Shakespeare Library, the world’s largest Shakespeare collection. This gem is right in our backyard in Washington, DC.
– by EJ Truax, Folger Shakespeare Library Docent
Online registration.

7:00 PM | Bad Habits and Good Intentions: Theater and the Law in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure
This talk will focus on the way Shakespeare exploits the motif of theater within the action of his problem comedy to interrogate the functioning of morality and law within the state.
– by Dr. James Keegan, University of Delaware Associate Professor and professional actor
Online registration.


Thursday, September 19

 

1:00 PM | Film Screening: Broadway HD The Taming of the Shrew (2016)
The merchant Baptista has two daughters, but the younger, daintier daughter, Bianca, cannot be married before her strong-willed sister, Katherina. What’s a suitor to do? The basis of Hollywood films like Ten Things I Hate About You, this classic romantic comedy is fun for the whole family.
Directed by Chris Abraham and Barry Avrich. Starring Ben Carlson, Deborah Hall, Sarah Afful and Peter Hutt.
Online registration.

4:00 PM | Was It Really William?
Our presenter will speak about Shakespeare’s knowledge of the law, medicine, astronomy, botany and gardening, politics and history, and more. He explains how these details help reveal the true author of Shakespeare’s works. “The world loves a great mystery, and this is one of the greatest mysteries of all time.”
– by Robert Meyers, Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship scholar, journalist, and former president of the National Press Foundation
Online registration.

7:00 PM | Magic Garments: Clothing Shakespeare’s Characters
This presentation will explore the fashion styles, materials, and manufacture of clothing during the Elizabethan Age, with particular focus on Shakespeare’s use of clothing and fashion in narrative structure and as social commentary. We will also investigate the critical role that clothing plays in helping actors transform into the Bard’s unique, unforgettable characters.
– by Robert Tietze, Wilmington University Adjunct Faculty, actor and director
Online registration.


Friday, September 20

 

7:00 AM – 6:30 PM | Shakespeare in our Backyard – bus trip to Washington, DC
Shakespearean wonders are just a quick ride away! The Library is hosting a trip to the Folger Shakespeare Library and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. In the morning we will have a guided tour of the Folger and its gardens. After lunch on your own at the Capitol Visitor Center, we will have a guided tour of the Kennedy Center to learn the history of the building, see stunning artwork and gifts from around the world, and get a look at the theaters where the arts come alive.
The trip includes bus transportation, cost of the tours, and bus driver and tour guide tips. Lunch at the Capitol Visitor Center is not included. The bus leaves from and returns to the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center parking lot on Route 1 in Lewes.
Tickets are $40/adult and $20/student and may be purchased online or at the Circulation Desk.

1:00 PM | Film screening of Orson Welles’ Othello (1951)
The Moorish General Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his Lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality, it is all part of the scheme of a bitter Ensign named Iago. Directed by Orson Welles and starring Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, and Robert Coote.
Content Warning: blackface. The role of Othello in this film is played by Orson Welles, a white actor who wears blackface to appear as a Moor.
Online registration.

7:00 PM | Lute Recital by Theodore Cheek, the Advant Bard
Based out of Philadelphia, music has been the foundation of Mr. Cheek’s life. He holds two Master’s degrees from the Peabody Institute for Music, one in Lute Performance and the other in Musicology. He has performed regularly with the Baltimore Baroque Band and the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble.
Online registration.


Saturday, September 21

 

7:30 PM | Outdoor Performance of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure
Free Outdoor Shakespeare returns with political drama Measure for Measure, as performed by Brown Box Theatre Project.
What happens when corruption reaches the highest level of court? Explore the price of principle, and witness what happens when the law is bent by those who serve to uphold it. A duke in disguise leaves the fate of his people in the hands of a ruthless judge. A loyal sister is faced with an important decision: save the life of her brother, or uphold her honor? Join us for Shakespeare’s timeless tale of deception, virtue, and honor, and decide for yourself whether justice is served.
Enjoy the Bard under the stars on the lawn behind the library. Bring blankets or lawn chairs for your comfort. In case of inclement weather, the performance will be in the large meeting room.
Due to mature themes this show is recommended for ages 13 and older with the advisory of a parent.
Play performance sponsored by the Friends of the Lewes Public Library


This festival is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This Festival is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on DelawareScene.com.


Thank you to the individuals who sponsored our Festival:
Gerald Cowan – film series
Hilary and Connie Goodman – Friday evening concert
John and Sally Freeman