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South Dakota Shakespeare Festival Sets Dates for 2018 Performances

Photo from previous South Dakota Shakespeare Festival. The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival will present “Richard III,” June 7-10, in Vermillion’s Prentis Park.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival will present their first history play, “Richard III,” June 7-10, in Vermillion’s Prentis Park.

In this gripping tale of political intrigue, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, entices the audience to join him on his treacherous climb to political power. Chock full of drama, seduction, betrayal, and some of Shakespeare’s most enticing characters, this play keeps the audience on the edge of their seats as they accompany Richard on his intoxicating ascent and turbulent demise.

“Richard III” will be SDSF’s sixth production in its seven years of existence. Managing Artistic Director Chaya Gordon-Bland is excited to bring one of Shakespeare’s history plays to the Vermillion stage, having previously staged several comedies, a tragedy, and a romance.

The SDSF is a professional non-profit theatre company, supported in collaboration with the University of South Dakota’s College of Fine Arts and Department of Theatre. The mission of the SDSFl is to increase the cultural, artistic and educational offerings of the state of South Dakota and surrounding regions through professional Shakespeare performances and arts education events delivered in a lively and accessible format. Under the leadership of the an active Board of Directors, alongside Chaya Gordon-Bland, and Scott Mollman, Director of Operations and Production, the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival seeks to fulfill an important cultural and educational need throughout the state and Great Plains region.

SDSF’s 2017 production of “The Comedy of Errors” was brought to life by a world-class company comprising artists hailing from New York City, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and South Dakota. The production engaged nearly 900 patrons with the magic of Shakespeare in Vermillion’s beautiful Prentis Park over the four days of the Festival. Education and outreach programming impacted an additional 200 youth and adults, through arts workshops, a Scholar’s Roundtable discussion hosted by USD’s College of Arts and Sciences, an audience talk-back, and programs created through partnerships with SESDAC (offering support services for adults with disabilities), Sanford Senior Care Center, Flandreau Indian School, and USD’s Upward Bound. In keeping with the SDSF mission of accessibility, all programming is offered at no cost to the public.

In November, the SDSF co-produced a School Tour, in collaboration with USD Theatre, bringing Shakespeare performances and theatre workshops to Wagner Community School, Flandreau Indian School, and the Minnehaha Juvenile Detention Center. Through this outreach tour approximately 200 high-school students and 14 USD Theatre students were engaged with the transformative power of live theatre arts.

The SDSF’s annual fundraiser, “Wine with Will,” will take place February 22, 2018, at the John A. Day Gallery, in the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts at USD. Tickets for this event will be $50/person and include wine and hors d’oeuvre tastings, live music, Shakespeare performances, and a silent auction. For tickets or further information email

Support for the SDSF is provided by the City of Vermillion, Vermillion Chamber and Development Company, Sanford Vermillion, United Way of Vermillion, the University of South Dakota, and many local and regional businesses. South Dakota Arts Council support is provided with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information, or to get involved, please visit:


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News