Denver Shakespeare Festival


Every year, hundreds of students memorize, rehearse, and bring one of William Shakespeare’s pieces to life. After months of preparation, participants get their chance to shine on a stage at the Denver Center for Performing Arts Complex.

The anticipation begins as students pick a play and begin to analyze it. They learn the meaning of the lines, the location of their scene, and the background of their characters. After memorization, participants block their play, developing their roles further. Next, they become their character through costumes and props.

But it does not end there. The audition process is next. Groups are scored in a similar way as grades. However, no matter the performance of the group, almost all groups are accepted with a few, rare exceptions. These scores then determine where your play will be held. The three types of venues are street, stage, and “The Globe”.

Street venues are for the lower scores. These stages are not elevated, but still have chairs and microphones. The next category is a “Stage”. This type of venue is elevated with microphones, and is usually located under a tent. Last but not least, The Globe. Nicknamed after William Shakespeare’s stage, “The Globe” is the highest scored stage. Located under a tent, it is the largest stage at the festival.

The festivities kick off with a parade through the Denver Center for Performing Arts Complex, and afterwards students are off to perform. With hundreds of performances, there is something for everyone.

This year, participants got to experience authentic London weather with overcast, drizzle, and even snowflakes. Everyone there was truly committed. Even the gelato stand turned in its ice cream scooper for warm cups of hot chocolate.

Nevertheless, students still had a great time. “I have to say, every year it’s so much fun to find plays that you’re interested in, learn about the acts and scenes, learn your lines and pick costumes, and perform!” says Malia Logan, who participated for the third time this year. “You will definitely see me back on the stage next year!”