Inspired by the outdoor Shakespeare Festival in New York City, Bob Glenn decided to do a Dallas offshoot in 1971. The only production of the inaugural Shakespeare Festival of Dallas—a one-man version of Hamlet—was just a starting point. By 1973, the group had added a second play to its season and continued that tradition for more than two decades. Today, Shakespeare Dallas puts on three productions each summer in Samuell-Grand Park, has a fall season in Dallas and Addison, and offers educational and outreach programs to children and adults with a desire to learn about the works of William Shakespeare.
Performing the works of only one playwright for some four decades means there has been overlap from time to time (including multiple showings of The Tempest, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet), but Shakespeare Dallas often lets eight to 10 seasons pass before repeating plays. Productions in the summer series run throughout the month of July, with performances taking place Tuesday through Sunday. Shakespeare Dallas does allow food, beer, and wine at the Shakespeare in the Park series, so bring a picnic basket and a bottle of bubbly for the big kids.