The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre was founded as The Red Heel Theatre in 1989, initially focusing on classic works of English theatre. In 1993, Carmen Khan became the Artistic Director of Red Heel and in 1996 focused the company’s efforts on the works of Shakespeare, renaming it The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival.

In 2008/2009, we engaged in intensive planning with our board of directors and cultural and community leaders and decided to re-brand and rename the company The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, to better reflect our programming. We now have several programs for adults and students including the Shakespeare in the World lecture/performance series, featuring world-renowned Shakespeare Scholars, a Shakespeare School Tour, and the Classical Acting Academy, providing early career actors with intense classical training culminating in a reduced-admission summer Shakespeare play for the public.

The City Council of Philadelphia passed a resolution honoring The Theatre for excellence in performance and educational programming, recognizing the impact The Theatre has made on Philadelphia’s cultural landscape and particularly on its high school students.

By the numbers:

50 plays in 20 seasons

110,000 adult audiences served

100,000 high school and middle school students served