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About Us

Shakespeare in the Woods (SitW) is an outdoor theatre company experimenting with the Bard's canon through a modern, radical, and gender expansive queer lens. The company was founded in 2019 by producing artistic director, Katharine Maness (they/them), and is based in Manchester, VT. 


Each production seeks to deliver a professional caliber celebration of classical text through unconventional, innovative, and socially aware approach, all while embracing Vermont’s natural offerings. The intention behind every production is to meet the natural landscape with respect, and to mindfully work in collaboration with nature versus imposing upon it.    

SitW is proud to be fiscally sponsored by The Center for Arts and Learning, whose mission is "to enhance the cultural life of central Vermont through its founding member organizations, as well as embracing individual artists, musicians and other nonprofits in a collaborative and welcoming community."  


To provide exceptional quality theatre that celebrates the text through exploration of relevant social issues and themes;

To make bold and innovative art that is accessible to all audiences regardless of socioeconomic or geographic standing; To engage younger generations of Vermonters through educational outreach that demonstrates the importance of making art outside traditional pathways.


Shakespeare in the Woods is a House Member of Theatre Advocacy Project (TAP's mission is to create safe and equitable working conditions for all theatre professionals).  

We believe that working in theatre should be an equitable, healthy, and thriving space for everyone involved, and we're actively invested in being part of the push to change the status quo. By partnering with TAP, we are gaining access to essential resources, tools, and community necessary for dismantling the long replicated and normalized harmful practices in theatre making. We’re excited to grow and strengthen our already existing practices as well as develop new ones through this partnership. Learn more about our current Creative Culture practices here.


SitW is also a member of the EarthShakes Alliance (a global collective of Shakespearean theatres and companies of all sizes, pledging to put environmental concerns at the heart of their practices and productions)

As an outdoor theatre company existing during accelerated climate disaster, we're engaged in implementing sustainable eco-theatre practices that counteract the typical high-waste output of the theatre industry. We reuse, repurpose, and borrow costume, prop, and set materials. Additionally, we work with minimal set design in an effort to disrupt the natural space we're in as little as possible. We want the outdoors to feel like part of the production vs detached from, which means incorporating the natural space in concept and a less is more design approach. By becoming an alliance member, we're also able to connect with other outdoor companies to pool resources, advice, and knowledge about sustainable practices and the reality of producing in a rapidly changing climate. 

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