To view or not to view: Delaware Shakespeare offers a (Mostly) Virtual Festival

Delaware Shakespeare will offer a "Mostly" Virtual Festival that will include this hilarious T-shirt for sale.

Delaware Shakespeare will offer a “Mostly” Virtual Festival that will include this hilarious T-shirt for sale.

Delaware Shakespeare, which canceled its big summer show in the park because of COVID-19, is switching gears to offer a (Mostly) Virtual Festival Friday through Aug.2.

The point is to celebrate the aspects of the Annual Summer Festival at Rockwood Park, which would have run over three weekends, too, such as the great picnics, fun T-shirts and more.

The mostly virtual part refers to a wine and cheese party, as well as an Aug. 1 Soliloquy Stroll — featuring actors dressed as Shakespeare characters roaming through Rockwood Park. The stroll has sold out, but Del Shakes plans to add more. The $15 wine and cheese party on July 25 still had tickets available.


DelShakes joins other arts organizations that have to cope with ways to socially distance their audience and performers to avoid exposing anyone to the coronavirus. It had started daily online soliloquies in April, partly to help pay performers who had lost jobs.

Delaware Theatre Company has started performances on its steps with the audience spaced out in chairs in the parking lot. OperaDelaware’s singers have performed from fire escape steps at its building and in other locations. The Grand is about to host the second of its concerts in cars at Frawley Stadium.

The (Mostly) Virtual Festival also will honor its patrons. When Gov. John Carney closed everything in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Paula Janssen of Janssen’s Market in Greenville sent the festival her sponsorship check early, telling them she was sure they could use it now.


At 7:30 Saturday, July 18, Del Shakes will host the Janssen’s Market Picnic Contest Launch Party. It’s asking patrons to stream the site as they eat for a five-course meal of culinary monologues. The event also invites patrons to post photos of Shakespeare-inspired picnics. One will win a $50 Janssen’s gift card.

This summer, Delaware Shakespeare had planned to showcase a modern version of “The Tempest,” the Bard’s tale of magic, love, betrayal and forgiveness featuring Prospero, his daughter Miranda, a wildman named Caliban and a sprite called Ariel.

A range of original Shakespeare-related programming had been planned for the summer show. Now it will be on Facebook and the arts organization’s YouTube channel.


Del Shakes is selling a commemorative COVID-themed T-shirt for $20 pickup or $25 delivery. The green T says: “Withdraw into a chamber by yourself and when I send for you, come hither Mask’d” next to a depiction of Shakespeare wearing a mask. Order by Aug. 2.

“Delaware Shakespeare hopes the {Mostly} Virtual Festival will remind audiences of great summers from the past while setting the stage for a wondrous 2021,” said Producing Artistic Director David Stradley in a statement.

For a full list of events, go to

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LinkedIn

About the Contributor


Betsy Price

Leave a Comment