by Nancy Hinchliff, innkeeper and freelance writer
If you’re contemplating visiting historic Louisville, KY next week and looking for something to do, you might consider an outdoor festival or play. Louisville has plenty of both, and many of them are free, including movies, live theater and concerts.
A special treat is William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, which will be running today and all next week during Louisville Kentucky’s Shakespeare in The Park festival. Performances are held in historic Old Louisville’s Central Park bordered by Fourth Street, Park Avenue, Sixth Street and Magnolia. They will be ongoing until July 29 each evening at 8:30 p.m., pre-show at 7:30 p.m.
Shakespeare in the Park is the oldest free Shakespeare festival in the United States. Each summer, in Louisville’s Central Park, Kentucky Shakespeare, the non-profit behind the festival, stages the work of the Bard of Avon.
This year, which marks the 53rd year for this annual festival, Shakespeare in the Park presents Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Jane Page. Interested in learning more about the play? Here is a plot summary. Performances take place daily, July 12-29, at 8:30 p.m. Pre-show entertainment starts at 7:30 p.m.
Central Park is historic itself—the park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the man who designed New York City’s Central Park. The Shakespeare in the Park performances are free and open to the public, making the event ideal for a family picnic. Or sit on the benches for a grown-up date night. If you prefer VIP seating—two reserved Adirondack chairs in the front rows, frozen drinks and wait service for snacks and beverages—contact Kentucky Shakespeare and reserve your spots.
If you go, be sure to check out Louisville’s wonderful bed and breakfasts. Many are close to Central Park, as well as in other beautiful parts of the city. You can check availability here.