BC's Theater Program Announces Details for the 39th Annual Shakespeare Festival

39th annual Kern Shakespeare Festival @ BC; October 5-22

Friday, September 22, 2023

Bakersfield College’s Theater Program announced the details of the 39th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival, live and under the stars in the Outdoor Theatre at the Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center on the Bakersfield College Main Campus. The yearly tradition, started in 1985 by former Theatre Professor Randy Messick, will present, for the first time, three plays in repertory for the 2023 iteration: As You Like It directed by Artistic Director Brian J. Sivesind, The Winter's Tale directed by Professor Cody Ganger, and Electricidad directed by Professor Cristina Goyeneche.

The festival opens on Wednesday, October 4 at 7:30 PM in the Outdoor Theatre with a performance of The Winter’s Tale and continues through October 22. Tickets are available for purchase through the Performing Arts Eventbrite page

King Leontes suspects his wife of infidelity with his best friend from childhood. Driven by this unfounded jealousy, he explodes in a dangerous rage and loses nearly everything. During the bleak spiritual winter that follows, only time and forgiveness can bring healing to his family and his kingdom. Sweeping from tragedy to comedy, The Winter’s Tale is a compelling romantic drama full of suspicions, reunions, dancing shepherds, and a mystical, unforgettable conclusion.

Rosalind’s world has turned upside down. Her father has been usurped, she has fallen in love at first sight, and her deceitful uncle has banished her from the royal court. Escaping to the idyllic Forest of Arden disguised as a boy, she encounters an eccentric cast of characters, not knowing that the man she loves, also on the run, is just beyond the next tree. “All the world’s a stage” in As You Like It, Shakespeare’s exuberant and joyful romantic comedy, full of some of his most beloved characters and iconic musings.

Electricidad is out for vengeance. Her father has been murdered by her mother, and now her fury is burning the barrios of Los Angeles to the ground. Longing for the sweet revenge that will set her father’s spirit free, Electricidad must rely on her exiled brother Orestes to return from Las Vegas and help her finish the job. An updated take on Sophocles’ Electra, the maestro of Chicano theatre Luis Alfaro transforms this 2000-year-old story into a vital, unforgettable myth for the modern age in Electricidad.

The 39th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival will perform in repertory October 4 – 22, 2023 in the Outdoor Theatre at the Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center on the Bakersfield College main campus. A full performance schedule is listed below. Tickets are available now through Performing Arts Eventbrite page, and range from $10-$16, subject to change.