Tourist inYour Own Town: St. Louis – Shakespeare in the Park

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Every year there is a free production of Shakespeare in the Park that kicks off the summer in Forest Park. Every year we talk about going but never go. This year we made it happen. And we kicked ourselves for waiting this long. Lesson learned. Shakespeare in the Park in St. Louis totally rocks.

Shakespeare in the Park

This year marks the tenth anniversary of these outdoor productions and they did Hamlet. Now I’ll confess, I’m a little rusty on my Shakespeare. Okay, if you consider that I wasn’t really even sure what Hamlet was about, I guess I’m a lot rusty. But, as we discovered last night, it’s okay if you are rusty on your Hamlet. Before the show begins they have “The Green Show” in which they do a 20-minute version of the play. It is VERY good for giving you an overview of the story.

Shakespeare in the Park

The girls enjoyed it so much they watched it twice. Right next to the Green Show stage, there are tables with crafts for the kids to do.

Shakespeare in the Park

 The kids made masks and crowns and then dressed up with brocade fabrics draped around them and paraded through the crowd with musical instruments.

Shakespeare in the Park

There was more pre-show entertainment by way of jugglers and jesters who interacted with the crowd.

Shakespeare in the Park

And then there was the play itself. I was not allowed to take photos during the show, but I did snap a photo of the set before the show started.

Shakespeare in the Park

Now then, for the 411 on how to do this. I think we avoided this in the past because of the heat and the bugs and the small children we would be toting with us. We figured we need to push through this this year and try it anyway. I’m pretty sure we could have done this in the past and been fine. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Arrive by 6pm – The play itself doesn’t begin until 8, but there are things to do beforehand (like The Green Show, crafts, and crowd entertainment). You need to get there early if you have any hope of securing a decent seat.
  • Bring blankets and pillows – lawn chairs are optional – We hauled in three blankets and at least 6 pillows in addition to two camping chairs. If we didn’t have the chairs we could have moved up to that “blankets only” section. I’m thinking next year we’ll bring crazy creek chairs or something so we can sit up there. Of the six of us, I’m the only one who used the camping chair the whole show. Everyone else got comfy with the blankets and pillows. We used one blanket to save the spot in front of the girls from anyone tall sitting there and it worked (shhh, don’t tell on us).
  • Bring food – I thought packing out dinner would be too big of a hassle this year so we ate at home before we left and just brought some snacks. But really, you have so much time before the show starts, it would have helped the time to pass had we just eaten dinner at the park. Lesson learned.
  • Bring jackets – I would never have thought of this, but we were encouraged to bring jackets because by 11pm, it does get a little cool.
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5 thoughts on “Tourist inYour Own Town: St. Louis – Shakespeare in the Park

  1. aubrey says:

    So I just did a tourist in your own town post for Charleston, SC.
    I think I only made it once to shakespeare in the park, but if we ever get back that way, we will definitely try to make it. Last time we got there late and so couldn’t see a whole lot. It was still cool, though.

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  2. Kate says:

    Now I’m really sad that we didn’t get to stay for the actual play. Any tips on how to do it with a 6-month-old? One that you can’t leave at home because he doesn’t eat food yet and he won’t take a bottle? 🙂

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  3. Carrie Schmeck says:

    I had to check where you were because the Shakespeare stage is exactly like the one in Lake Tahoe, NV. I took my daughter there last summer and it was fabulous. Same deal…blankets and kind of a relaxed cultural atmosphere.

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  4. Jessica @ Acting Adult says:

    Aw, it looks like you guys had so much fun! I can’t believe you’ve never been before. 🙂 It’s my favorite thing to do in St. Louis during the summer.. but that may be because I used to work there and just love the people. Glad you enjoyed it! We’re going next week sometime…

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