Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Summer 2024 Season | Theater | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is back for their summer season. Since 1987, HVSF’s professional outdoor performances of Shakespeare and Shakespeare-adjacent theater have been a high point of summer in the Hudson Valley. In 2022, HVSF moved from their former location at Boscobel House and Gardens to a spot four miles away at the old Garrison Golf Course, where they’ve been staging al fresco productions under a tent.

The new property spans 98 acres, and construction for a permanent open-air theater overlooking the Hudson River is soon to come. “We don't currently have the ability for the actors to materialize over the horizon like at our Boscobel shows, but we will have that at the new permanent theater in the summer of 2026,” says artistic director Davis McCallum. This season, HVSF is unveiling three productions to dazzle audiences in a temporary theater tent.

click to enlarge Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Summer 2024 Season
Richard Termine
The temporary outdoor stage at HVSF
The season begins on June 11 with the world premiere of “Medea: Re-Versed” by Luis Quintero, adapted from Euripides and co-conceived and directed by Nathan Winkelstein. The cast includes Sarin Monae West as Medea, Stephen Michael Spencer as Jason, and Jacob Ming Trent as Creon. This new hip-hop version of Medea written in battle-rap verse sheds light on the classic tragedy of family, power, and revenge while illuminating the lengths that some will go for justice.

June 13 marks the world premiere of “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Heidi Armbruster, adapted from Agatha Christie’s 1926 novel and directed by Ryan Quinn. The cast features Melissa Mahoney as Ursula, Sean McNall as Sheppard, Bobby Moreno as Ralph and Parker, Travis Raeburn as Blunt and Hammond, Kurt Rhoads as Mssr. Detective and Mr. Ackroyd, Malika Samuel as Flora, and Nance Williamson as Caroline, Mrs. Ackroyd, and Mrs. Ferris. When Roger Ackroyd is murdered, shockwaves are sent through the community of King’s Abbot, a tight-knit, drowsy village now invaded by suspicion and secrecy. But a certain mustachioed Belgian detective is on the case in this creative staging of the human psyche’s dance with truth and deception.

click to enlarge Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Summer 2024 Season
Tom Moore
HVSF’s 2024 featured playwrights: Luis Quintero, Heidi Armbruster, and Whitney White

June 15 is the start of “By The Queen” by Tony-nominated playwright Whitney White, adapted from Shakespeare’s “Henry VI” and “Richard III," and directed by Shana Cooper. The cast features Malika Samuel as Margaret 1, Sarin Monae West as Margaret 2, and Nance Williamson as Margaret 3. The show touches on the Wars of the Roses through the lens of Queen Margaret, the ultimate survivor in a country falling apart. It’s part dance party, part riotous post-mortem on a life lived to the fullest. “There's a big disco ball in the air and cool loungey furniture on the stage, which gets transformed to tell the story of the Wars of the Roses,” says McCallum. “Whitney White has an extraordinary theatrical imagination.”

Over the past few years, the format of the shows has shifted from an asynchronous schedule in 2021 to one where shows are running concurrently. As in past years, the cast is shared between productions. “The format of our season, with three shows in rotating repetition and the cast shared among the projects, is a return to a pre-pandemic structure, allowing audiences to see their favorite actors in multiple shows,” says McCallum. As for the choice to explore beyond Shakespeare’s works this season, “it doesn’t represent a strategic or philosophical change in our mission or focus,” McCallum says. “We have several thrilling Shakespeare titles on the boards for upcoming seasons. There's no making art without trying new things.”

click to enlarge Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Summer 2024 Season
HVSF's new home

“This season is going to be one of our best yet. We can't wait to share it with our devoted audiences and induct new folks into the summertime tradition of a picnic overlooking the river and a play under the tent,” says McCallum.

Performances run from June to September. For specific dates, times, and tickets visit HVSF’s website.

Location Details

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

2015 Route 9, Garrison


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    @ Daniel Arts Center at Simon's Rock

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