SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s annual Shakespeare festival will be free, online, and live this year due to the pandemic. The festival starts July 18, and will run until September 27. 

A live performance of “King Lear”, this year’s featured performance, will be available live on Youtube on July 18 at 7:00 PM, and on Sunday, July 19 at 4 PM. The show will then continue twice a week, every week to the end of September. Virtual sponsors for the online festival include Cupertino, Redwood City, and San Francisco, who have helped the organization make virtual live theater a reality this year.

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival has been an annual tradition since 1983, and is non-profit organization that remains a regional theater company, and a provider of arts-education. Part of their mission statement says:

“The Festival plays a vital role in the Bay Area arts community, serving as a catalyst for audience development by reaching thousands of people who otherwise do not attend live theater or may have never experienced it at all. The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to arts education, using its programs to foster a life-long appreciation of learning and the arts. The Festival is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to make the words and themes of Shakespeare accessible to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, financial status or level of education.”

To view this year’s full online schedule or to make a donation, visit