Access Program

Signing Shakespeare 2014, Holly Thomas-Mowery and Karen Nelson, Interpreters

Access Program

Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s Access Program creates opportunities for people to participate in the theater who otherwise would not be able to do so. The goal of expanding access is pursued in the following ways:

  • Signing Shakespeare – Each of the summer productions are interpreted into American Sign Language for the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing. Each production is interpreted on one night of its run. For dates, please see the season calendar.
  • Student Ticket Discount – The Festival offers discounted tickets to students with valid ID. Contact the Box Office for more information.
  • Complimentary Tickets – The Festival partners with community groups that serve people who face financial constraints to bring these patrons to the theater free of charge. Groups include at-risk youth, elderly on fixed incomes, veterans, refugees, and more.
  • The Helena Project – named for a character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream who grows and blossoms over the course of the play, the Helena Project engages teaching artists from the Festival’s School of Theater to conduct classes for children receiving care at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital.
  • Blue Star Theatre – TCG member theater Idaho Shakespeare Festival is proud of and welcomes U.S. military personnel, veterans and their families. Click here for full details of the Blue Star Theatre program.

Through the Access Program, the Festival is able to offer an inclusive cultural experience to the broader Idaho community of the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing; provide an enriching and enjoyable outing for elderly citizens living with few means and often without family support; offer an educational, socializing experience for children in the juvenile corrections system; and engage newly arrived refugees with the language and culture of their new home. All of these groups and more have participated in the Access Program. We look forward to many future successes through this program.

For more information on the Access Program, please contact Carly Oppie at or 208-429-9908 x207

The Festival would like to thank our generous donors who make this program possible:

  • National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works
  • Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation
  • The Charlotte Y. Martin Foundation
  • John William Jackson Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation
  • Bahner Fiedler Charitable Trust
  • University Television Productions at Boise State

Signing Shakespeare

Idaho Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to making the magic of live theater accessible. As part of our summer Access Program one performance of each play is interpreted into American Sign Language. Please contact the box office at 208-336-9221 for tickets.

2018 Sign Interpreted performance schedule:
June 19: Macbeth interpreted by Holly Thomas-Mowery & LaVona Andrew
July 24: Misery interpreted by Fran Bennett & LaVona Andrew
August 15: Mamma Mia! interpreted by Holly Thomas-Mowery & Shelia Robertson
August 28: Pride and Prejudice interpreted by Sarah Spellman & Terry Hardy
September 18: Beehive: The 60’s Musical interpreted by Karen Nelson & LaVona Andrew

Click for performance times and details.

Click here for the ISF YouTube Signing Shakespeare Channel for play synopsis videos and more.

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