Arts and Culture

This week, Kentucky Shakespeare kicks off its 58th annual season in Central Park with a comedy, a history and a tragedy.

The season begins with the professional productions of “The Comedy of Errors” this Wednesday, May 30, then “Henry IV, Part I” on June 14, followed by “Othello” on July 28.

Each production will run for two weeks, followed by all three productions in rotating repertory July 10 through 22.

An addition to this year’s schedule are Bard-A-Thon Double Feature Saturdays. On July 14 “The Comedy of Errors” and “Othello” will be performed, and “Othello” and “Henry IV, Part I” will be performed on July 21.

“The Comedy of Errors,” which is the shortest of Shakespeare’s plays, tells the story of two identical twins who were separated at birth. Both are named Antipholus and — stick with me — both travel with slaves named Dromio, who are also identical twins who have been separated. The play takes place over the course of a day and, as you can imagine, it’s filled with cases of mistaken identity.

“Henry IV, Part I” is the second installment in Kentucky Shakespeare’s “Game of Kings” series; the company will present two more plays over the next two years in the series — with “Henry IV, Part II” in 2019 and “Henry V” in 2020. In this play, audiences watch Prince Hal (the future Henry V of England) in his more rebellious days, navigating the seedy taverns of London. It’s a rowdy comedy mixed with a historical drama, and ultimately it’s somewhat of a redemption story for the young royal.

Finally, the season will conclude with“Othello.” Set in a contemporary military world, the iconic story of love, jealousy and deceit, stars Kentucky Shakespeare veterans Jon Huffman as Iago and Dathan Hooper as Othello.

The Louisville Improvisors return with Late Night Shakes on select Saturdays with late night improvised Shakespeare shows, June 2, 16, 30 and August 4.

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players Professional Training Program for high school students will present “Romeo & Juliet” and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company returns to the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival Stage to present their touring production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.