Celebrating Shakespeare in The Bend

As is the case in many places across the world, Shakespeare’s iconic works are celebrated around The Bend every year.

Shakespeare at Notre Dame puts on the wildly popular Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival every summer. The festival’s roots date back to an experimental course in 1989 at the University of Notre Dame called “Shakespeare-in-Performance.” The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, set for July this year, began producing theatrical events in 2000 and has grown in size since. Events included during the festival include community-oriented productions like Shakespeare After Hours and ShakeScenes.

Even better, there are events planned into the new year. Shakespeare at Notre Dame is partnering with The History Museum for a Shakespeare exhibit that opens in late summer, plus the Actors from the London Stage return to Notre Dame in September for a production of “Twelfth Night.”

Whether you want to see a live production or stroll through an exhibit, there are plenty of options in The Bend this year for Shakespeare lovers. Let’s take a closer look at the events.

Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival 

Shakespeare After Hours

7 and 9 p.m. | July 19 |  LangLab

This raucous, no-holds-barred take on Shakespeare is set for one of The Bend’s most unique performance venues. Adults only shows, they feature performances from dozens of local artists with unique takes on some of Shakespeare’s bawdiest works. Tickets are $15 for this show.


2 p.m. | July 20 | Washington Hall at Notre Dame

Looking to introduce the family to Shakespeare? This is your event. Dozens of young people from The Bend participate in producing these family friendly renditions of Shakespeare’s most famous works. ShakesScenes (pictured below) is in it’s 16th year. Tickets are $10.

Shakespeare in Fremont Park

7 p.m. | July 25-26 | Fremont Park

Now in its third year, Shakespeare in Fremont park returns with a new production featuring talent drawn from local neighborhoods. Bring your lawn chairs and snacks and be sure to grab a good spot to watch. These events are free.

Shakespeare + The History Museum 

Shakespeare at Notre Dame and The History Museum announced during the spring plans to partner on an exhibit “showcasing the past, present and future of Shakespearean performance, analysis and culture at the University of Notre Dame.” The exhibit opens Aug. 24 and run into the summer of 2021. It will use costumes, photographs, props and interactive pieces to explore the influence of Shakespeare throughout the University’s history.

Along with the exhibit, there are plans for a series of special performances and events leading up to Shakespeare at Notre Dame’s 20th anniversary in 2020.

Actors from the London Stage

Mark your calendars: Actors from the London Stage are heading out on tour during the fall. One of the oldest touring Shakespeare theater companies in the world, AFTLS will perform “Twelfth Night” at Notre Dame from Sept. 11-13. There are also plans for “The Tempest” from Feb. 5-7, 2020.