Cape Fear Shakespeare on the Green began in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1993 when Dr. Stan Norman of UNCW wanted to give the community the opportunity to attend a free Shakespeare festival. He helped organize the first production, As You Like It, on the lawn of the de Rosset House downtown. A Midsummer Night's Dream was performed the following weekend at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, kicking off a tradition that now stands as the largest free Shakespeare festival in the Southeast.
Cape Fear Shakespeare on the Green (CFSOTG) is among Wilmington’s most anticipated summer traditions. Since 1993, visitors and residents have enjoyed free productions of the Bard's works in a family atmosphere at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. Located in the heart of Wilmington on the lake's edge, the stage is surrounded by stately moss-draped cypress trees and well-manicured gardens of Greenfield Park. With 900 seats, the amphitheater is the only one of its kind in Southeastern North Carolina and is among Wilmington’s largest entertainment venues. Most importantly, we are able to offer free admission to the public, staying true to our mission of artistic excellence available to all.
By reaching out to young people and underserved audiences, we keep Shakespeare’s work alive and relevant to contemporary audiences. CFSOTG also remains committed to strengthening its position as the preeminent presenter of Shakespeare in our community. In order to manifest our vision of a program that offers even greater access to the arts, Executive Director Cherri McKay includes performances by both adult actors (CFSOTG Company) and youth actors through the Shakespeare Youth Company (SYC). In support of our mission, the city of Wilmington, N.C. signed an official proclamation designating May and June of each year as the Cape Fear Shakespeare on the Green Festival months at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. Each year, CFSOTG serves nearly 6,000 people, young and old, in Wilmington and visitors from all over the country. We invite you to be a supporter as we enter our 20th season!