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Meet our Artistic Director
Mr Max McCreary! 

Here is Max's Vision and mission & vision statement for the festival

Bard Fest advances the culture of performing arts in Indianapolis by producing plays and educational programs of the highest possible standard that actively investigate the purpose and position of Classical Theatre in America. 

Bard Fest strives to captivate the community by producing stimulating and accessible programming that makes classical theatre approachable to a wide audience while creating a welcoming and supportive environment for artists and audiences from a plethora of social locations to deepen and expand their relationship with Shakespeare and an expanded canon of classical theatre. 

Bard Fest has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years and presented impeccable product like Paige Scott’s thrilling cut of Measure for Measure, Improbable Fiction’s celebratory and uproarious production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, and our exciting  foray into “Shakespeare Adjacent” work with Elizabeth Rex and Into the Breeches! It is an honor to lead the next step of growth and artistic development for this important work in  “classical theatre.” 
For me, I see this growth starting in three particular directions: 

  1. A cultivation of work that delivers high intrinsic impact. As a lover of the performing arts it feels like common sense to say plays can do real good inside of a person and a community… but such a broad and abstract thought begins to lose its focus. This idea can be qualified with more specific characteristics. A few that we will be holding in active consideration are a production’s: captivation, emotional resonance, intellectual stimulation, spiritual uplift, social bonding, and cultural relevance. 

  2. An exploration of “Classical Theatre.” What makes a play a classic? Why do we feel compelled to tell these same stories again and again? As Bard Fest grows, we will also be deepening our understanding of this phenomenon and using our work as a laboratory to make new discoveries about what may qualify a piece as a classic, what is important about continuing to tell that story, and which ones may need to be shelved for a time. 

  3. An expansion of the canon. In order for classical theatre to be accessible to new audiences we have to tell stories that feel important to our community right now. We must begin a process of active inclusion, rather than passive invitation so that Bard Fest can truly become a place for everyone, especially those who may have previously thought that “the classics” were not for them, whether artist or audience member. Part of this work must include an expansion of the stories that we tell, and the writers who created them. Of course you will still see stunning adaptations of Shakespeare… but also classics from the many incredible women writers of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and contemporaries from Asia, Africa, and translations from other non-english-speaking countries. 

So what should you expect from Bard Fest in the coming years? As always, you should expect incredible acting, beautiful production design, and phenomenal stories… but you should also expect (as cliché) as it may be… the unexpected. 
Welcome to Bard Fest. We can’t wait to see you soon. 

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