Our history shall with full mouth
Speak freely of our acts.
Shakespeare on the Plaza originated in June 2014 as a collaboration between the City of Albuquerque and The Vortex Theatre. From 2010 to 2013, The Vortex had been the site of "Will Power," a three-play, 9-week summer festival at its home theatre. Taking its Shakespearean experience to the Plaza allowed the plays to move outside, where they originated in the English Renaissance and flourish in so many summer festivals around the world.
The first summer featured "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Romeo and Juliet" alternating over four weeks and sixteen performances. Audiences immediately flocked to see these al fresco shows. "I can't think of a better way to spend a summer evening in the Land of Enchantment," said one reviewer. "The outdoor setting encourages people to bring children to see Shakespeare," he continued. "I guess that's why Shakespeare really is for the ages."
In June 2015, the Plaza hosted "Julius Caesar" and "The Taming of the Shrew," again for sixteen shows over four weeks. One reviewer described "Caesar" as "fast-paced, well-performed, and wonderfully staged." Another called "Shrew" "enjoyably balanced" and "thoughtfully directed."
2016 took us on adventures far and wide. "The Tempest" and "Much Ado About Nothing" delighted audiences, which spilled off the stage and onto the plaza. More than 3000 people attended our productions - an attendance record.
In 2017, we enjoyed successful productions of "Macbeth" and "Comedy of Errors."
2018 was a season of comedies, with "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and "Much Ado About Nothing."
Finally, in 2019, we moved to our new home in the amphitheatre at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Park to produce the first season of the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival! This beautiful venue allowed us increased seating capacity (as well as better parking) for our audience. We performed "Romeo and Juliet" and "Loves Labours Lost" to enthusiastic crowds.
The second season of the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival will feature performances of "Hamlet" and "Twelfth Night."