Shakespeare by the Bow

Natasha Alexandra Strickey in Hamlet Trudie Lee

Shakespeare in Prince’s Island Park has a long and treasured history in our city. Theatre Calgary’s Shakespeare by the Bow gives all Calgarians an opportunity to enjoy theatre in this gorgeous natural setting throughout the summer. As Calgary’s largest and longest-running theatre company, we have a responsibility to nurture the up-and-coming artists who will grace our stages in future years. That’s why Theatre Calgary established this innovative program for recent graduates from post-secondary theatre training programs. All of the actors are Alberta residents embarking on the first stage of their professional careers. As we have for the past five years, Theatre Calgary uses professional expertise to mentor, celebrate and encourage the next generation of theatre artists.

Participants in Shakespeare by the Bow gain practical knowledge and production experience by working with one of Canada’s leading directors and a professional production team to present a Shakespeare play. The program also features a team of mentors and coaches providing instruction in classical text, voice, speech, and other theatre skills and techniques. Many of our Shakespeare by the Bow alumni have also moved on to perform in our main stage productions including in Bad Jews, The Crucible, King Lear, and Liberation Days.

Our 2017 Shakespeare by the Bow production:

As You Like It (June 20 - August 27, 2017)

Theatre Calgary is also pleased to continue the tradition of Shakespeare by the Bow, as we officially kick-off our 2017-18 season with As You Like It, directed by Lunchbox Theatre's Samantha MacDonald.  The show will once again feature a company of Alberta's up-and-coming actors and every performance is pay-what-you-will. “Our Shakespeare by the Bow program has become one of the highlights of Calgary’s summer season. We’re proud to showcase a company of emerging Alberta actors in our annual outdoor production, including a new stage and site design for this year's production. Bring a blanket, pack a picnic and join us for a gorgeous evening in Prince’s Island Park," says Interim Artistic Director Shari Wattling.

Special Presentation on St. Patrick's Island:

Victors, Villains, and Vixens (July 25 - 30, 2017)

Following the success of 2016's Shakespeare After Dark, we once again partner with Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and return to St. Patrick’s Island with VICTORS, VILLAINS, AND VIXENS for a week of evening performances in July 25-30. 

Join us for this special intimate presentation in the beautiful confines of St. Patrick's Island, featuring Shakespeare's most notorious characters starring Alberta's finest emerging artists. Victor's, Villains & Vixens is a collection of Shakespeare's liveliest, noblest and the foulest characters to ever emerge from the canon!

This show will also be presented with noon-hour dates at Prince’s Island in August. Theatre Calgary is also proud to collaborate with the National Theatre School of Canada in creating an expanded learning experience for the participant artists in the Shakespeare by the Bow program. This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance the development and education of our Shakespeare by the Bow artists.

With the help of our audiences and sponsors, Theatre Calgary can continue to support our next generation of artists and ensure the future of this beloved summer tradition. You can help with your donation by emailing us here.

“Participating in Shakespeare by the Bow was one of the best experiences I have had in the theatre. It is unlike anything available to emerging theatre artists in Alberta. I can honestly say that Shakespeare by the Bow launched my professional acting career.” 

– Julia Guy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2012) 


Theatre Calgary is proud to collaborate with the National Theatre School of Canada in creating an enhanced learning experience for the participant artists in the Shakespeare by the Bow program.