Enjoy Shakespeare Under the Stars at USJ



On Stage

The Merry Wives of Windsor

July 11-28, 2019



Each year Capital Classics brings outdoor Shakespeare to the University of Saint Joseph's beautiful campus.


“The Merry Wives of Windsor” will be the featured presentation of the 28th Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival — outdoors — a bawdy and riotous romp that stars one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comic characters. Falstaff, an impoverished knight in search of wealth, sets his sights on two married wealthy women. Little does he know, these “merry wives” have a few tricks up their sleeves. The production will be directed by Geoffrey Sheehan, Capital Classics artistic associate and theatre professor at Housatonic Community College.


“The Merry Wives of Windsor” and the Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival are produced by the Capital Classics Theatre Company, in partnership with the Carol Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities. The Festival is supported by passionate Shakespeare fans and local businesses, as well as a growing list of foundations, including the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.


The Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival is held outdoors (indoors in case of rain) at the University of Saint Joseph, 1678 Asylum Avenue in West Hartford, Connecticut. Audience members should bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. The Autorino Center does not provide any outdoor seating. There are also designated areas for blankets (up front) and lawn chairs (middle and back). And, it's just a short walk from the free parking lot to the theater building to drop off your chairs and picnic baskets.


Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for students/seniors, and $12 for discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more and “Let's GO Arts!” members. There is also a $2 per ticket transaction charge on top of these stated prices. That incremental $2 per ticket applies whether tickets are purchased in advance or at the door, with cash or a credit card.



Pre-show entertainment & specialty vendors:

o Each Thursday at 7:00 PM: Young artists from programs in our community perform work they have created during summer arts programs.

July 11: Kalligraphy/Morlock Studio of Dance, Program Director - Anthony Villalovos

July 18: SeaTea Improv Teen Company Comedy, Program Director - Julia Pistell

July 25: Hartford Stage’s Breakdance Shakespeare - Preview scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Program Director - Nina Pinchin

o Each Friday at 7:00 PM: Longtime festival favorites, The Elizabethan Consort, brings their special blend of song and silliness.

o Each Saturday at 7:00 PM: The Festival welcomes a variety of Connecticut musicians to perform for you, plus a chance to win big at Prize Night during intermission! This year we are excited to present Ballet Hartford, Moxie Dance Company, and IMMIX!

o Each Sunday starting at 5:00 PM: Hear short lectures by professors and Shakespearean experts on ideas relating to The Merry Wives of Windsor:

July 14:  Jacopo della Quercia, award-winning educator, essayist, and novelist

July 21: Milla Riggio, Ph.D., Former James J. Goodwin Professor of English, Trinity College

July 21: Post-Show Q&Q with Director Geoffrey Sheehan and members of the cast!

July 28:  Robert Davis, Professor of Theatre, The Hartt School


OneSong Biscotti - July 13, 14, 21 and 27


Capital Ice Cream - July 12 and 19


It is the perfect thing for a warm summer night to bring the family or a date to and enjoy a picnic on the grass along with some hilarious and high-quality Shakespeare.



About Capital Classics:

Capital Classics was founded in 1991 to enrich the cultural environment of Greater Hartford through the theatre arts. They are committed to:

  • Providing classical entertainment that is affordable, accessible, and engaging
  • Serving the community with cultural and educational programming
  • Providing job opportunities and training to Connecticut's professional theatre artists


Learn more about Capital Classics.