A Brief History

Cape Fear Shakespeare on the Green is among Wilmington’s most anticipated summer traditions. In 1992, Stan Norman a UNCW professor had a vision of a free Shakespeare festival that would bring the bard to the masses in our area. The FREE aspect would allow us to include traditionally underserved audiences and eventually, our outreach would encompass a youth Shakespeare and performance education component. Born around a kitchen table where cappuccino (a very new rage) was served with reckless abandon, a small group of UNCW students, teachers and young artists drew posters, hand-stamped and mailed donation request letters, and did the multitude of things necessary to make Stan’s vision a reality.

Fast forward to 2015, TWENTY-THREE seasons later and here is where we stand:
Long past are the days of hanging a painted sheet and shining a light on it as our stage. The City of Wilmington in 2008 recognized the importance of renovating the Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre as well as the intrinsic value of Cape Fear Shakespeare by proclaiming the months of May and June each year Cape Fear Shakespeare Months into perpetuity. We, in turn, with the help of a veritable throng of volunteers have made it our constant goal to enhance our production quality, i.e. performances, costumes, lighting, sound and sets up to the quality of our wonderful surroundings.

We also bought phase two of the mission into being. The Shakespeare Youth Company P.E.T. Project (Performance Education in Theatre) was born. A diverse group of professionals… teachers, writers, set designers, sound and lighting technicians, lets. and their skills are drawn upon in the form of Performance Educators. The children and professionals, utilizing our artistic community’s wealth of resources are given an opportunity to learn and grow while being part of a comprehensive and unique process. Activities like these enable us to continue fulfilling our mission, part of which is reaching out to young people through performance education, and being able to offer free admission to the public, staying true to our mission of artistic excellence available to all. With sustained support, we will continue to, keep Shakespeare widely available, in all its beauty and complexity, to the greatest number of our fellow citizens, regardless of soci-economic class.

Drama Free Since 1993