about us

Indianapolis Shakespeare Company is entering its 11th year of producing high quality, fully professional Shakespeare productions in White River State Park. Indy Shakes is proud to offer these performances to the Indianapolis community for FREE! 

Indy Shakes is committed to serving the community in many ways!

  • We love providing an inviting, high quality arts experience for those who typically do not go to the theatre. Over the past years, 9%-12% of our audiences report that our production is the first live theatre they have seen!
  • We also love serving the arts aficionados of Indianapolis! These arts goers see our Indy Shakes artists around town during the year at multiple Indy locations, and enjoys the opportunity to witness their favorite artists’ work in our outdoor Shakespeare setting.
  •  A growing constituency for Indy Shakes are Indy’s out of state visitors who are staying in downtown hotels and enjoy walking over to White River State Park for our performances. Special shout-out to VisitIndy, Downtown Indy, and all of the Indianapolis concierges for promoting our productions. Our vision is creating great theatre for a great city—and we love sharing our art with Indianapolis’ visitors.
  • A very important constituency we serve are local theatre artists. One of our motivating factors in producing Shakespeare each summer is to prevent “creative brain drain” in Central Indiana. Indianapolis Shakespeare Company offers local theatre artists artistically satisfying, paid jobs during a time of year when many of the other local arts organizations are not producing. Artists thrive in our joyful, rigorous environment where we work in collaborative ways to create high quality productions for the city of Indianapolis. We value all of our artists, from our college interns to our young professionals to our seasoned pros. We strive to create a wide variety of opportunities for all artists by offering workshops to our interns and providing new challenges to our seasoned artists.
  • We have a commitment to all theatre artists on both sides of the “footlights”. In the process of changing our name over the past months of 2017, we recreated our definition of what it means to be a Company Member of Indy Shakes, and invited the entire design/tech/management team who has been with us these past several years to be inaugural Indy Shakes Company Members. Our Company is now comprised of not only actors and directors, but also stage managers, designers, technicians, production and event managers, and our Premium Seat coordinator. We have worked as a team for many years now, and it is this team effort that makes creating the productions so satisfying for all team members—and ultimately for the audiences, too, who sense our joyful, collaborative esprit de corps, and appreciate our dedication to excellence.

Our company was founded in this collaborative spirit in 2006 by a group of Indianapolis actors—Michael Shelton, Ben Tebbe, Lauren Morris, Michael Downey, and Nick Carpenter—who created the Heartland Actors’ Repertory Theatre, a company which initially began by producing contemporary work and brand new plays. Over the years, the free Shakespeare productions became the galvanizing focus of the company. During our Lilly Endowment-funded strategic planning process in 2016, we gathered information from focus groups and individuals all over the city. After careful consideration, our next move was to change our name to reflect our focus on Shakespeare. Indianapolis Shakespeare Company has been rooted in the Indianapolis community for a decade and will continue to serve the great city of Indianapolis for years to come.