Join me as I drive across the continental United States, visiting summer Shakespeare festivals from Richmond, VA to Ashland, OR to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall.

As a Bardolator, I wanted to explore Shakespeare festivals from the east coast to the west coast.

Along the way I hope to learn as much about America as I do about Shakespeare, and what the Bard means in a country so far away from his own, both chronologically and geographically.

Each company I visit will be written up on my blog, highlighting their unique personality and how their approach to Shakespeare compares with other companies across the country. I hope to bring all the companies I visit — large and small — into a national dialogue about Shakespeare theatre in America.

My first exposure to Shakespeare came from watching Star Trek. My father was an avid Trekkie so I absorbed a lot of Shakespeare through osmosis as I watched Picard and Kirk explore the galaxy in the starship Enterprise.

I fell in love with Shakespeare ten years ago and started volunteering with Quill — then Richmond Shakespeare — building sets, selling concessions, and eventually writing dramaturgical essays and teaching drama camps.

Over the last ten years I’ve taught in public and private schools as well as in a juvenile detention center. I’ve written educational TV spots for PBS and started a Shakespeare literary magazine. I’ve traveled across the US, to Canada and the UK to see Shakespeare productions. I’ve worked as a dramaturge on productions for Quill, and in 2016 I directed a short film of Measure for Measure.

But this year I will embark on my greatest Shakespeare project, making my way across the country, acting as an ambassador for American Shakespeare, visiting large and small festivals across America, learning about Shakespeare in the New World.

In the end I hope to write a book about my experiences, documenting what I learn about America and Shakespeare by spending the summer making my way to Ashland to visit the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

One must be flexible on a road trip, so all of my destinations will depend on timing and production schedules. But my tentative route is below.

​I set out from Richmond, VA on June 29th.

Currently heading northwest in the general direction of Ashland, OR. After visiting the Oregon Shakespeare Festival I will turn south down the Pacific Coast and then turn east after San Diego to head home to Richmond, VA through the south, Texas and Georgia, into North Carolina and then back to Richmond by way of Staunton.

If you know about Shakespeare happening along my route that I've not listed here, please email me and let me know!

Staunton, VA — American Shakespeare Center

Cincinnati, OH — Cincinnati Shakespeare

Louisville, KY — Kentucky Shakespeare

Boulder, CO — Colorado Shakespeare Festival 

Cedar City, UT — Utah Shakespeare

Lake Tahoe, NV — Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

Ashland, OR — Oregon Shakespeare

San Francisco (area), CA — San Francisco Shakespeare + African-American Shakespeare Company + Marin Shakespeare Company

Los Angeles, CA — Independent Shakespeare Co + New Swan Shakespeare Co

Light Seeking Light. Ashland. Days 15-17.

Saturday morning I woke up in the Lake Honey rest stop and made coffee in my French press with my electric kettle and then set off north. After a beautiful drive through the mountains and a few more stops to sightsee, I arrived in the tiny mountain town of Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare […]

So Fair and Foul a Day. Lake Tahoe. Days 13 and 14.

Days 13 and 14 Thursday morning I attended the last of Kate Moncrief’s seminars, which focused on Othello and The Merchant of Venice. Receptions of Lisa’s Shylock were extremely positive, although reactions to the fifth act were mixed. People complained that the reappearance of Shylock ruined the happy ending and made them uncomfortable, but I […]

Better The Instruction. Cedar City. Days 11 and 12.

Henry VI Part 1   Tuesday night I went to see Henry VI part 1, again at the large outdoor, Englestad theatre. I was especially excited for this particular show because not only had I not seen any of the Henry VI plays on BardVenture yet, I’ve never actually seen any of them, ever. So […]

A Round Unvarnished Tale. Cedar City. Days 10 and 11.

After sleeping five hours in the car at a highway rest area in the mountains of Colorado, I set off toward Cedar City, Utah before dawn. I was desperate to make it to Utah Shakespeare in time to see their matinee of Othello at 2pm. I averaged about 85mph on those empty stretches of painted […]