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Open & Free
The Festival stage is situated at the base of a sloping hill in Southmoreland Park. Admission to the Festival is free.

  • Open seating on the hill is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • There are designated areas for blankets and for lawn chairs.
  • Beach chairs are allowed in the blanket area as long as the chair seat rests on the ground.

The gates open at 6:00 p.m. nightly. At that time any waiting audience members will be allowed into their reserved seats or to select their non-reserved blanket spot or chair seating area. We appreciate everyone’s consideration in arranging their seating so that everyone can see the stage.

Chair Rental: If you do not bring your own lawn chairs, plastic chairs are available for rental in the merchandise tent for $10 per chair per evening.

Accessible Seating: Accessible seating is available nightly. Please speak with the reserved seating coordinator in front of the stage or with any Festival staff member for assistance.

There is a reserved seating section down front close to the stage and reserved seats can be purchased for $25 Sundays through Thursdays and $35 Fridays and Saturdays. We will start taking seating reservations for the 2020 season May 13, 2020.  To make your online reservation, click HERE. You may also call our office at (816) 531-7728 to reserve seating during regular business hours, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

  • We recommend seating reservations be made in advance of the performance.
  • To reserve after business hours, you can make an online reservation by clicking HERE after May 13, 2020. You can also go directly to Southmoreland Park and pay for reserved chairs or blanket seating as long as they remain available. Gates open at 6:00 p.m.
  • If you are a Good Will Society member, you receive complimentary reserved seats as part of your member ship benefit package. Call (816) 531-7728  to set up your reservation for your chosen performance date.

Once you arrive at the Festival, you may go directly to the reserved seating section and a volunteer will direct you to your seat.

Reserved Blanket Seating: There are a limited number of reserved blanket spaces right in front of the stage, available for $25 per blanket Sundays through Thursdays and $35 Fridays and Saturdays. Given the limited space, we recommend that you plan for three people per blanket. We do NOT provide blankets for the reserved blanket spots. Please bring a blanket you are comfortable using for the performance.

In the park, enjoy a variety of items available for sale from Festival vendors, including dinner options and beer and wine. Sno cones, kettle corn, soft drinks, and bottled water will also be available. Food and drink sales help keep the Festival free. Cash and major credit cards are accepted.

You may also bring your own food and drink to the Festival.

More information about our Festival vendors and menus will be available closer to our 2020 summer Festival.

Our gates open at 6:00 PM nightly. We offer the following Pre-Show Activities:

  • Show Talk at 7:00 PM: A nightly presentation given in Southmoreland Park prior to the Festival performance. The presentations are made by Dr. Felicia Londré, Curator’s Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Co-Founder of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival; and by Phillip blue owl Hoosier, a local arts educator and playwright.
  • Shakespeare Parody at 6:30 PM and 7:15 PM: Presented nightly in the park prior to the performance. The script is written by the teens with the guidance of teaching artists and presented in an improvisational style.

Information about our Private Party Tent and options will be available here closer to our 2020 summer Festival.

Due to growth and exciting new entertainment options in the neighborhood, street and lot parking in the area is more limited than usual. Consider carpooling, Uber/Lyft or Z-Trip, riding your bike, taking a Bird or a bus.

Subject to availability, parking is available at:

  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for $10 CASH per car (Friends of Art park free) * Festival parking unavailable June 22, 2019.
  • Kauffman Foundation Memorial Garden (free)
  • 44th Street and Warwick Boulevard (free)
  • 45th Street and Oak Street (free)
  • 48th Street and Rockhill Road (free)
  • UMKC Oak Street Parking Garage (free)

Vehicles transporting patrons who have special needs or who are in a wheelchair can check in at the street closure signs and will be allowed to drive to the special needs access point. Golf cart transport is available from this point to the patron’s seats. Golf carts will also transport patrons after the show and return them to the special needs access point. Special needs/handicapped parking will be allowed for any patrons with a state-issued handicapped hang tag or sticker on Oak or Warwick Streets on a first-come, first-served basis as long as space is available. Call (816) 531-7728 for additional information or to gain answers to questions about special needs accessibility.

We will also provide a bike rack near the front gate. We encourage patrons to utilize this due to our large Festival audiences.

Southmoreland Park is located in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri. The park is just two blocks east of the Country Club Plaza and across the street (to the west) from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Click here to link to an online map.

From the North

  • Take I-29 south to I-35 south.
  • Exit at Southwest Trafficway (Exit 1A).
  • Drive south several miles.
  • Immediately after 46th Street, turn left on Roanoke Parkway.
  • Continue east 1-1/2 miles on 47th Street/Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd. to Oak Street.
  • Oak Street is the first stoplight after Main Street.

From the Southeast

  • Take U.S. 71 north.
  • Exit at Swope Parkway/Brush Creek Blvd.
  • Go beyond the stoplight at Swope Parkway and get in the left lane.
  • Turn left at the next light, on Brush Creek Blvd.
  • Drive west on Brush Creek Blvd. to Oak Street.

From the Southwest

  • Take I-435 to I-35 north.
  • Exit right at Shawnee Mission Parkway (Exit 228B).
  • Drive east several miles.
  • After passing State Line Road, stay in the right lane and continue past the next light.
  • Move one lane to the right (Ward Parkway) and drive east.
  • Continue past the light at Wornall Road.
  • Turn left at the next intersection, J.C. Nichols Parkway/Baltimore Avenue.
  • Get in the right lane and go to the second light (Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd.).
  • Turn right on Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd.
  • Go east 3 blocks to Oak Street.

From the East

  • Take I-70 west to I-435 south.
  • Exit at Eastwood Trafficway (Exit 65) and turn right.
  • Drive west until the road ends. Turn right at Blue Parkway (US-350).
  • Drive west on Blue Parkway for several miles.
  • Go through the stoplight at Troost Avenue. The street turns into Volker Blvd.
  • Follow Volker Blvd. toward the Country Club Plaza.
  • Turn right on Oak Street and continue north to the stoplight at Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd.

From the West

  • Take I-70 east to I-35 south.
  • Exit at Southwest Trafficway (Exit 1A).
  • Go south several miles.
  • Immediately after 46th Street, turn left on Roanoke Parkway.
  • Continue east 1-1/2 miles on 47th Street to Oak Street.
  • Oak Street is the first stoplight after Main Street.

Seating
Accessible seating is available nightly. Please speak with the reserved seating coordinator in front of the stage or with any Festival staff member for assistance.

Signed Performances
Signed performances for The Tempest will be offered. Dates are to be determined.

Assistance Animals
Assistance animals are allowed at the Festival. Please speak with the reserved seating coordinator in front of the stage or with any Festival staff member for assistance.

Parking
Special needs and wheelchair access parking is available on the east side of the park on Oak Street. Vehicles transporting patrons who have special needs or who are in a wheelchair can check in at the street closure signs and will be allowed to drive to the special needs access point. Golf cart transport is available from this point to the patron’s seats. Golf carts will also transport patrons after the show and return them to the special needs access point. Special needs/handicapped parking will be allowed for any patrons with a state-issued handicapped hang tag or sticker on Oak Street on a first-come, first-served basis as long as space is available. Call (816) 531-7728 for additional information or to gain answers to questions about special needs accessibility.

Reserved Seats: We have a “no refund” policy for reserved seats. Given the nature of outdoor theatre, we will, however, honor rain checks for reserved seats in the event of show cancellation due to weather. Call (816) 531-7728 to reschedule your reserved seats for a remaining performance (subject to availability).

VIP Tent Buffet: We have a “no refund” policy for the VIP Tent Buffet. Given the nature of outdoor theatre, we will, however, honor rain checks for buffet dinner reservations in the event of show cancellation prior to 7 pm due to weather. Call (816) 531-7728 to reschedule for a remaining performance (subject to availability).

The show must go on — and will, unless conditions are unsafe for the company and our audience members. Should the decision be made to delay or cancel a performance because of weather conditions, a notice will be posted on the Festival’s Facebook and Instagram pages and an announcement will be made in the park. It will also be posted on the Festival website homepage. This decision is made as close to show time (8:00 p.m.) as possible, so we won’t announce a cancellation during normal business hours. If it’s sprinkling, plan on bringing a rain coat to the park!

How much are tickets?
General admission tickets are free. Seating is first-come, first-served. Premium reserved seats and blanket spaces are available for a fee. Click HERE to purchase reserved seating.

How do I reserve premium, up-front seating, chairs or blankets?
View reserved seating information HERE.

Are children allowed at the Festival?
Yes. Children of all ages are welcome at the Festival.

Are pets allowed at the Festival?
Only service animals are allowed on Festival grounds.

What time can audience members get seating?
The gates open at 6 p.m. nightly. At that time, audience members may move to reserved seating if they made reservations or select their non-reserved blanket or chair seating area.

If I ride my bike to the Festival, is there a place to secure it during the performance?
Absolutely. We will provide a bike rack near the front gate. We encourage patrons to utilize this due to our large Festival audiences.

What’s the timeline for the evening?
View the Festival schedule HERE.

Are food and drink available in the park, and do you take credit cards?
View food and drink options HERE. All major credit cards are accepted.

Can I bring in my own food?
Yes. We encourage you to buy food at the Festival; all food sales help defray the costs of the Festival and keep it free. View food and drink options HERE.

Can I bring alcohol onto the Festival grounds?
Patrons over age 21 may bring alcohol (beer, wine, or liquor) into the Festival for their own consumption. Patrons who appear to be intoxicated may be asked to leave the Festival grounds. We encourage you to buy beer and wine at the Festival; all beverage sales help defray the costs of the Festival and keep it free.

Is there a designated smoking area?
There is no smoking on the Festival grounds.

Where can audience members park?
View parking information HERE.

Is the Festival accessible to those with special needs?
View accessibility information HERE.

Do you offer signed performances?
Yes, signed performances by ASL interpreters for the hard of hearing are June 15 and June 26.

Concerned about the forecast?
The show must go on — and will, unless conditions are unsafe for the company and our audience members. Should the decision be made to delay or cancel a performance because of weather conditions, a notice will be posted on the Festival’s Facebook and Twitter pages and an announcement will be made in the park. This decision is made as close to show time (8:00 p.m.) as possible, so we won’t announce a cancellation during normal business hours. If it’s sprinkling, plan on bringing a rain coat to the park!

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is proud to have IN Kansas City Magazine as our media sponsor and creator of our 2020 program book. The Tempest program will be available online closer to our summer Festival. Physical copies will also be available in Southmoreland Park during our production run.

To view last season’s digital program for Shakespeare in Love, click HERE.