The Shakespeare Festival is the largest, cyclical, international theatre event, organised each year in the first week of August in Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia (called TriCity). It is an international event combining performances’ presentations with artistic events, workshops, meetings with theatre creators. Its history begins in 1993, with the first Gdańsk Shakespeare Days, which later evolved into an international festival. The organizers are the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre and Theatrum Gedanense Foundation.
The festival presents the most interesting Shakespearean theatrical productions from Poland and abroad. During 15 editions of the event over 160 theatre companies from around 40 countries, including such exotic and faraway places as South Korea, Israel, Japan and Cuba, performed on the stages of the TriCity. The works of great masters of the theatre were staged, among them those of: Peter Brook, Luk Perceval, Elizabeth LeCompte, Lev Dodin, Oskaras Koršunovas, Roberto Ciulli, Edward Hall, Robert Sturua and many others. The event is accompanied by a contest for Best Polish Staging of Shakespeare's Work of the Season with theatres from around the country competing for the award – the Golden Yorick. For years the festival has also included an extensive educational program "The Shakespeare Summer Academy", aimed at young people from Poland and abroad. The Gdansk Shakespeare Festival is a place to experience theatre, a platform to for meetings and intellectual exchanges between artists, directors, actors, critics and animators from around the globe.
The festival organizers have been developing their cultural ties with organisations from around the world through creation of international projects and co-productions. The festival also initiated the idea of the European Shakespeare Festivals Network (ESFN) which was founded in Gdańsk. We aim to develop a community of people deeply devoted to Shakespeare and, in the future, intensely involved in the activity of the Gdansk Shakespearean Theatre, which will soon have its very own headquarters.