A treasured summertime tradition is back with another season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, which began this month and runs through August 8. Performances are created through a partnership between the School of Theatre and the College of Fine Arts. Together they have established a level of excellence recognized by audiences and media from Chicago to New York and back to Shakespeare’s home country of England.

This season’s repertoire includes The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Three Musketeers. ISU alumni night is scheduled for July 23. Enjoy a buffet dinner hosted by President Al Bowman and his wife, Linda, prior to seeing The Tempest. Illinois State’s Madrigal singers will perform and theatre tours will be available. WGLT Night is August 1, with a performance of The Three Musketeers. All proceeds will benefit the public radio station’s equipment fund.

Throughout the summer festival patrons will have the opportunity to take a backstage tour or attend design talks that give insight into the creation of the sets, props, and costumes. Other extras linked to the festival include Shakesperiences, which includes free performances by Glenn Wilson and Friends Jazz Series.

Free Green Shows will continue this summer as well, with entertainment for all ages while enjoying a picnic at the Gardens of Ewing Manor. Post-show talks and ice cream socials are also planned and also have no charge to attend.

Plan now to make the Illinois Shakespeare Festival part of your summer fun! Get more information online at http://thefestival.org. Tickets are available by calling (309) 438-2535, or (866) 366-4478 toll free if out of state. Call between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, or send an e-mail to shake@ilstu.edu. The festival is now on MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter as well, with videos available on YouTube.