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St Petersburg Shakespeare Festival is Back in Williams Park with an All-Woman Production of “Twelfth Night”

Join us in Williams Park, downtown, St Petersburg for William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: or What You Will. Sept 30, Oct 1-2, and Oct. 7-9.  All performances start at 7:30pm. Admission is free! Donations are gratefully appreciated.  Bring your lawn chair or blanket and join us for some Shakespeare under the stars!

An all-woman cast!

Shakespeare’s hilarious tale of love, cross dressing, gender-misidentification, secret crushes, and sexual chicanery kicks off St Pete Shakes 22-23 season. Our production is directed by Clareann Despain and features an all-woman cast.

The idea for the all-female production is the brainchild of SPSF founder Veronica Leone Matthews, and has been the works for some, waiting semi-patiently through the pandemic to finally be brought the Williams Park stage.  Director Clareann Despain says “Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most accessible plays in terms of language and one of his silliest.  So it’s great for Shakespeare aficionados and those with little or no prior experience of the Bard.” This production reflects St Pete Shakes intention bring quality Shakespeare performance through traditional and non-traditional staging, and to making Shakespeare accessible and fun.

About this production, Despain says “Something I love about Shakespeare is that the comedy of cross dressing usually centers on mistaken identity rather than the perceived violation of heteronormative gender norms. The laughter that this queering provokes tends to arise from delight not derision.” Despain continues “Our all woman cast revels in the myriad delights afforded by the text - queer and otherwise. We’ve packed it full of contemporary references without changing a word. I think folks who might normally avoid Shakespeare will find plenty to please them in this production.”

St Petersburg Shakespeare Festival is a professional theater company dedicated to generating cultural engagement in the St Petersburg, and Bay Area, community through the works of William Shakespeare.  We pursue community enrichment through innovative educational opportunities, local arts partnerships, and quality live performances. In addition, we firmly believe that the arts and culture are for all the community.

Producing Artistic Director, GJ Thompson, PhD, says “We are pleased and excited to bring this event to St Petersburg and we look forward to doing so for many years to come.”

For more information, please visit our website or email


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