About Us

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Lakeside Shakespeare exists to incorporate Chicago professional theatrical experiences into the greater Northern Michigan community by producing fresh, vital takes on classic texts and leading empowering educational

workshops — to all without regard to income or any other demographic.

Our Story

TODAY

2003

Elizabeth Laidlaw founded Lakeside Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night's Dream was performed 3 times over a long weekend at the Elberta Bandshell.

2004

Due to tremendous audience reception, Lakeside expanded to 2 productions performed over a 2 week period.

2005

Christy Arington established our free kids theater workshops, a program that has become integral to Lakeside and still thrives today!

2006

Lakeside formalized our intern program, providing an opportunity for high school age youth to engage in a 2 week long educational opportunity with us, and even perform in our shows!

2010

Tank Hill became the new home of Lakeside Shakespeare, a beautiful, natural space where we have been performing ever since.

2014

The Apprentice Program was created, offering acting and stage management opportunities for Chicago area college students.

2018

Christy Arington, who has been with the company since our second season, took on the role of Artistic Director.

2019

Lakeside Shakespeare formalized a Board and established 501(c)3 non-profit status. 

2021

Educational workshops were held virtually during Covid to supplement local high school curricula on Shakespeare's work.

Lakeside continues to dedicate our resources to education and performance in the greater Northwest Lower Michigan area.