The Colonial Theatre of Rhode Island is committed to producing professional theatre of the highest quality, which includes providing an outdoor, summer Shakespeare Festival, and to establishing a series of educational programs and training opportunities for both children and adults designed to enhance both knowledge and appreciation of Theatre Arts.
The Colonial holds an equally strong commitment to our community: that its productions, overall, be both broadly appealing and challenging; that ticket prices be free or affordable, that local service organizations and other non-profits receive our support for their endeavors, and that Colonial Theatre’s offerings be a source of inspiration and education as well as entertainment.
Shakespeare in the Park
The Colonial’s flagship event, Shakespeare in the Park, has entertained tens of thousands in Westerly’s historic Wilcox Park every August since 1991. Over the past three decades our outdoor Shakespeare festival has become a beloved summertime tradition for the Westerly-Pawcatuck community.
We are committed to keeping Shakespeare in the Park free and open to the public as it always has been. We rely on generous donations from people like you to provide these high-quality performances to anyone who wishes to see Shakespeare, no matter their situation.
Youth Education and Mentorship Opportunities
The Colonial firmly believes that many essential skills we need to succeed in a modern economy — conducting presentations and meetings, working collaboratively, and the like — can be taught through theatre.
We offer summer camps as well as apprenticeship opportunities in our Shakespeare shows for local youth who are as passionate about learning, practicing, and producing as we are.
Board of Directors
Dawn J. Robinson, President and Trustee
Nicholas C. Moore, Vice President and Trustee
Cheyanne Robinson, Secretary and Trustee
George Abood, Treasurer and Trustee
Deni Cox Catullo, Trustee
Matthew J. Cunningham, Trustee
Kathy Tobin, Trustee
Paul Singer, Trustee
Our Mainstage: Wilcox Park
At The Heart of the Community
Since we held our first Shakespeare in the Park festival in 1991, Downtown Westerly’s historic Wilcox Park has hosted our shows. This remarkable Victorian strolling park and arboretum lies at the center of the Westerly-Pawcatuck community, and is a fitting home for one of the community’s oldest arts traditions.
Our summer productions are performed from a temporary, custom-built stage at the northern end of Wilcox Park. The Park’s grassy basin can accommodate over 10,000 attendees. Many people set down their blankets a few hours ahead of time, order dinner from a Downtown restaurant, and enjoy a picnic meal with family and friends before the show begins.
Summer evenings are special when the Colonial performs Shakespeare in the Park. As the light fades from the sky and the air begins to cool, the show draws you in a little further. We at the Colonial are proud to keep Wilcox Park, the back yard of the community, a place where anyone can gather and experience professional theatre, free of charge.