Risk-taking interpretations of the English language’s greatest plays.
Stellar work from Philadelphia’s most innovative theatre artists.
A blanket, a picnic, a community event under the stars and the trees.
Shakespeare in Clark Park brings free productions of Shakespeare's plays to one of Philadelphia's most beautiful parks. Founded in 2005, SCP re-imagines the world of the park through the works of Shakespeare, inviting the community to spend a summer evening outside with the Bard.
Shakespeare in Clark Park is a theatre company committed to presenting free, outdoor productions of Shakespeare’s plays, creating a cultural event accessible to the Clark Park neighborhood and the greater Philadelphia area. While engaging the community and expanding Philadelphia’s summertime cultural scene, Shakespeare in Clark Park re-imagines the world of the park through the works of Shakespeare.
Shakespeare in Clark Park was formed in the fall of 2005 by Marla Burkholder, Maria Möller, Tom Reing and Whitney Estrin. In our inaugural season, Shakespeare in Clark Park presented four performances of Twelfth Night, drawing an audience of over 2,000 people. Toby Zinman of The Philadelphia Inquirer said of the production:
"Clark Park is not just a venue, but a real place, where a perfectly shaped, immense tree provides a set of real theatricality. The actors come down the hill into their next scene, and darkness falls just as the plot turns grim. The company has cobbled together, with borrowed footlights and generosity of talent, a real treat for a summer evening."
We've grown since that first summer. A single Saturday night performance in "the Bowl" can find over 1,000 people coming out with their picnics. Free Shakespeare in the vibrant green space of Clark Park has become a much-anticipated annual event in Philadelphia. And J. Cooper Robb of The Philadelphia Weekly observed in 2009:
"It’s an impressive achievement for any theater company to last four years. It’s even more impressive when you consider the unique troupe Shakespeare in Clark Park has never charged so much as a penny for their performances."
We hold a core value that public art is both important and necessary, and are committed to continuing to provide access to free and surprising performance in a community-based environment. We believe in the continuing value of presenting Shakespeare’s work to as wide as possible an audience, and that participating in this cultural tradition allows for an extraordinary level of self-recognition and personal fulfillment for audiences and artists alike.