Interlochen Shakespeare Festival

Professional theatre under the pines

The Interlochen Shakespeare Festival engages northwest Michigan audiences through professional theatre that celebrates the Shakespearean imagination. 

Since its founding in 2008, the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival has presented more than 15 classical and contemporary plays and earned several Wilde Awards from Encore Michigan.

Our Artistic Director

William Church

Director of Theatre

A graduate of the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University, William Church has performed with theatre companies across the United States and is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. Church also serves as the Director of Theatre at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

“In the hands of Director William Church, the inherent darkness in the plot is overshadowed by utter delight in this masterful production that shows, yet again, where one must travel to find the best Shakespeare in the state.” - Encore Michigan

Meet Bill Church

Our Venue

Interlochen Shakespeare Festival productions are staged at the Upton-Morley Pavilion, a 467-seat open-air venue nestled in a quiet corner of our campus. Under the starry summer skies, our audiences experience Shakespeare just as Elizabethan audiences would: Surrounded by the majesty of nature.

"It’s not just the extraordinary script, direction, acting, and technical elements that make this Lear remarkable. As is always the case at the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival, it’s the way the production works with the natural outdoor setting to more fully bring this drama to life.” - Encore Michigan

Our Cast

Our critically acclaimed cast features Interlochen’s theatre faculty and recent graduates as well as professional guest performers from across the United States—many of whom are Interlochen alumni themselves. Recent Interlochen Shakespeare Festival performers have starred on Broadway and appeared on television and in films.

Stay tuned for our full 2024 cast announcement.

“There’s no small role here, and every actor truly plays his part to the hilt, with nary a dull spot in the bunch.” - Encore Michigan

Andrew McGinn

Andrew McGinn

Instructor of Theatre

Matthew Lindstrom

Matthew Lindstrom

Instructor of Theatre

Scott Harman

Scott A. Harman

Instructor of Theatre

Past Productions

two men hold each others hand in a firm grip

Julius Caesar (2023)

a photo of a man holding a skull

Hamlet (2013)

a young man stands at a balcony in front of a young woman

Romeo and Juliet (2016)

Othello during the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival

Othello (2022)

three men stand before a figure in the trees

The Tempest (2014)

A man sits next to a court jester

King Lear (2017)

Our Accolades

The Interlochen Shakespeare Festival and its performers have frequently been recognized in the Encore Michigan’s Wilde Awards, which recognize the best theatre productions and performances in the state of Michigan. Our accolades include:

Othello (2022)

  • Winner, Best of the Bard
  • Sydney James Harcourt ("Othello"), Winner, Best Performance of the Bard 

Richard III (2019) 

  • Winner, Best of the Bard

Much Ado About Nothing (2018) 

  • Nominee, Best of the Bard

King Lear (2017)

  • Winner, Best of the Bard
  • David Montee ("King Lear"), Winner, Best Performance of the Bard

As You Like It (2016) 

  • Nominee, Best of the Bard
  • David Montee ("Jacques"), Winner, Best Performance of the Bard

Shakespeare News at Interlochen

Othello 2022 Othello
Interlochen Shakespeare Festival recognized in Encore Michigan’s 2022 Wilde Awards

Interlochen alumni Sydney James Harcourt, Arezu Tavakoli, and Mishka Yarovoy earned top prizes for their roles in the Festival’s award-winning productions of “Othello” and “Sanctuary City.”

Anything Goes photo call during Interlochen Arts Camp
Announcing theatre titles for Interlochen Arts Camp 2023

Students will perform a diverse selection of classic and contemporary works including Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ and ‘The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.’

Junior students react to a performance at "Collage."
From the Desk of Trey Devey: Celebration and anticipation

With the 2022-23 Interlochen Arts Academy year on the horizon, we reflect on a summer of returns and renewal.

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