St. Louis Shakespeare was founded by Artistic Director Donna
Northcott in 1984 to perform Shakespeare's plays and other
dramatic classics. Originally begun as a summer festival
presenting plays in rotating repertory, the Company now presents
three Shakespeare plays and one non-Shakespearean classic
each season. Since 1995, the Company's home has been the
beautifully restored Grandel Theater in the Grand Center Arts and
Entertainment District of St. Louis, located between Powell
Symphony Hall and the Fox Theater on Grand Avenue.
SLS is dedicated to producing Shakespeare’s entire canon. To
date, the Company has presented more than three quarters of the Bard's plays, including such seldom-seen works as TROILUS &
CRESSIDA, KING JOHN, WINTER’S TALE and TITUS ANDRONICUS; SLS closed its 24th season with the Midwest premiere of
EDWARD III. Additionally, SLS presents the works of other classical playwrights such as Aristophanes, Euripides, Feydeau, Oscar
Wilde, Sheridan, Moliere, Shaw and 20th century classics by playwrights such as Arthur Miller and Tom Stoppard.
St. Louis Shakespeare is committed to introducing middle and high school students to classical
theater, offering reduced-price weekday matinees, drawing thousands of students from schools in
Missouri and Illinois.
In 1995 the Company added a touring show to its schedule, presenting original productions and
adaptations of Shakespeare’s works for kindergarten – 8th grades. More recently, the Company is
offering Bard-In-a-Box, an interactive program that brings Shakespeare’s world to life through
theatre games, scenes, and monologues. The educational program can be tailored to suit any
grade or curriculum.
2006 saw the first Shakespeare Boot Camp for students grades 9-12. A talented group of high
school and home-school students spend three weeks in the summer rehearsing and participating
in intensive workshops with local theatre professionals, culminating in a fully-mounted production.
In 1996, a spin-off company, Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre, was born. Each spring, MSMT presents an original, late-night
parody of a beloved cult movie or TV show. The Company has had huge success with productions such THE ONE-HOUR STAR
WARS TRILOGY: LIVE!, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE!, GLEN OR GLENDA, REEFER MADNESS, THE TEN
COMMANDMENTS, and most recently, THE ONE-HOUR LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY: LIVE!
St. Louis Shakespeare’s Founder and Artistic Director Donna Northcott received a BA in Theatre from St. Louis University and an
MA in Theatre from Northwestern University, studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and interned in Artistic
Administration at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. She has taught Shakespeare and Meisner acting workshops in St. Louis and
Chicago, and works as a voiceover actor. For five years, Donna was the Live Theatre Manager at the St. Louis Science Center and
also worked as the Youth Theatre Coordinator and Director of the Camp of the Arts for the Jewish Community Center. She is
currently the Costume Designer and an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department at Lindenwood University.