History of Classic City Shakespeare Co.

The idea for Summer Shakespeare began in 2018 when Helen DeMott, seeing that there were no existing opportunities to experience classical Shakespeare, or Renaissance art in Athens, began searching for opportunities to launch an annual festival and performance in the Athens area. Over the next year, the vision of the event was workshopped and a plan was formed to launch Classic City Shakespeare Company with its inaugural event to be held in the Summer of 2020. Of course, the 2020 event did not happen, and the idea was shelved for some time as the world coped with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the spring of 2022, as things normalized, the dream for Classic City Shakespeare Company – an organization that would bring an appreciation of Shakespeare’s works, historical education opportunities, and modern respect for classical art – was reborn. Classic City Shakespeare Co. was officially launched under the umbrella of Rose of Athens Theatre with the ambitious goal of hosting a festival and performance by August 2022.

The inaugural Summer Shakespeare Renaissance Festival on August, 27th 2022 to overwhelming community support, a remarkable feat given a short timeframe for event promotion.

The festival boasted family-friendly games and activities, performances by Tracie Brown and the Celtic Trio (performing traditional renaissance music on renaissance instruments), and Vivi Guerra, a musician whose contemporary setlist was specifically chosen to comment on several recurring Shakesperian themes. Additional education offerings such as a seminar on the history of the English language by theatrical historian Ken Johnston and live sword fighting demonstrations by Athens Fencing Club took place before a performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to a packed audience.

At the core of Classic City Shakespeare Co.’s mission is to provide these experiences and educational opportunities at no charge to the public to allow for maximum access to the rich history and artistry of Shakespearian works.

Classic City Shakespeare Co. original team consists of five theatre professionals and friends; Helen DeMott, Tim DeMott, Shane Pruitt, Rebekah Lecocq, and Lizzie Perez. We love theatre and want to make it accessible to everyone.

In the spirit of accessibility, our show and festival are free of charge to the people of Athens. This art is only possible through the donations and generosity of the community and our sponsors.

Consider joining this mission and visit our Support page today.