Forte Theatre Productions, in partnership with the Branson Regional Arts Council, announce that their anticipated 4th Annual Shakespeare In The Park production of The Tempest will be postponed until next year as part of the 2021 line up of BRAC arts events planned for our community. Originally scheduled for late September and early October 2020, the exact dates for the 2021 production of The Tempest is expected to be announced later this year.

Tina Cool-Anderson, Producer and Director of Forte Theatre Productions, shares this video announcement regarding the schedule change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The team at Forte Theatre Productions, along with the Branson Regional Arts Council, have made the difficult decision to postpone our 2020 Shakespeare in the Park production of The Tempest to 2021 due to COVID-19. Now, just because we have this pause in our season, doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop serving our Arts community. I mean, William Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague! So follow us on our social media pages and you’ll find information on upcoming virtual and in-person events. We’d also like to say a special thank you to the City of Hollister Parks and Recreation Department and all of our Arts Community who have helped make Shakespeare in the Park happen. So, keep safe and support your local Arts!” – Tina Cool-Anderson, Forte Theatre Productions

Past Shakespeare in the Park performances have included  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and last years Rock version of Hamlet. All of these productions have been held outdoors on the pavillion stage in Chad A Fuqua Memorial Park, and both organizations thank the City of Hollister and the Hollister Parks Department for their support and cooperation in making these community events possible.

NOTE: This change will not affect other musicals and plays already rescheduled for the 2020-2021 season at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson.

Upcoming BRAC performances include: The Odd Couple (Sept 10-15, 2010), The Sound of Music (Feb 11-14, 18-21, 25-28), The Glass Menagerie (Apr 8, 11,12), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Abridged (Apr 30, May 2-3), Summer Youth Theatre Institute (May 17-21, 24-28, 31-June 2), Peter Pan Jr. (June 3-6), Mama Mia! (July 8-11, 15-18), 9 To 5 The Musical (Sep 9-12, 16-19), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Nov 4-7, 11-14). Other concert type events and possible additions to the musical theatre schedule are expected and will be announced at the appropriate time. Reserved seat tickets the above performances are now on sale at


Shakespeare’s Hamlet Will Rock Hollister This Weekend

“To Be Or Not To Be” at Hollister’s Chad A Fuqua Park this weekend.  “That Is The Question!”

Forte Theatre Productions LLC, in cooperation with the Branson Regional Arts Council and the City of Hollister, present, Shakespeare’s Hamlet. 

This unforgettable Shakespeare in the Park event tells the story of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, who finds out that is father was secretly murdered and plots to avenge his father’s death.  It is the most quoted piece of Shakespeare’s collection of plays and has impacted popular story lines such as The Lion King.

Under the direction of Justin Ables, Hamlet is set in the 1990s and uses an original rock underscore written by local musician, Chris Skillern.  Skillern also portrays King Claudius in Hamlet where he plays live rock guitar as his character.  Josh Boulden, who plays Hamlet, paints temporary murals in selected scenes to help progress the story line.  “Shakespearean grunge meets visual art destruction” says Skillern, “You have never seen Shakespeare rock like this.”

Along with original music and performance art, Hamlet incorporates dancing in this production. “The choreography is dark, mellow and edgy. Definitely in line with the twisted story,’ says choreographer, Cori Briggs, “I tried to play up the turmoil, anger and confusion in the movement.”

This is the 3rd annual Shakespeare in the Park at Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park located in Hollister Missouri.  As a city park improvement, Hollister has newly installed lighting and audio system in the park’s performance pavilion. Hamlet will be the first to fully utilize the new equipment.

Additional production members include Jonathan Crum (Costume Designer), Ian Lahlum (Set Designer), Brian Huff (Fight Choreographer), and Tina Cool-Anderson (Producer) .

Photo: Matthew Noll Photography – Josh Boulden (Hamlet) and Charis Boulden (Ophelia)

Cast members include: Josh Boulden (Hamlet), Charis Boulden (Ophelia), Chris Skillern (Claudius), Jonna Volz (Gertrude), John Paul-Fox (Horatio), Ian Lahlum (Polonius), Conor Finnerty (Laertes),  Alex Shriver, Ashley Litke, Austin Delp, Brandon Farrar, Lindsey Lee, Lizzy Hinton, Michael Sager, and Bucky Buckner.

Tickets prices are $16.95 (Adults 18+) and $11.45 (under 18).

Advance tickets are highly recommended and available online at or by calling the Branson Regional Arts Council at 417-336-4255.


Show times are 8pm on  Sunday July 28th and Monday July 29th, and Sunday August 4th and Monday August 5th.  The gate open at 7pm.

This is a “bring your own chair or blanket” event. Seating is not provided. Enjoy an original version of one of the world’s most popular plays, under the stars in beautiful Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park, 312 Esplanade Dr., Hollister Missouri.  In case of a rainout, the show will move to the Historic Owen Theatre, 205 S Commercial St. in downtown Branson.

Shakespeare in the Park Opens This Sunday in Hollister

Forte Theatre Productions and The Branson Regional Arts Council are partnering once again to present Shakespeare in the Park in Southwest Missouri.  This year’s production, “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” is set in the last days of the Civil War.
Performances will take place at Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park in Downtown Hollister on Sunday July 29, Monday July 30 and August 5th and 6th at 8pm.  Tickets may be purchased at the gate line, however (no wait) advance tickets are available at

This is a “bring your own blanket or lawn chair” event.

The famous Shakespearean love tragedy takes on a new challenge, as not only are Romeo and Juliet from opposing families, they are on opposing sides of the war.  “Incorporating Missouri Civil War history in our version of Romeo and Juliet plays to the tension of the story,” says Forte Theatre producer Tina Cool-Anderson. “Here in Missouri, it was family versus family.  The state was extremely divided.”

Music and costumes from the era are utilized in the production.

The show features a 15 foot antebellum home set piece designed by Ian and Duane Lahlum. It is distressed to showcase the wages of war. Extensive fight sequences choreographed by Brian Huff include sword play and even a bull whip.  “These are not your traditional fights seen in Romeo and Juliet.  It is going to keep the audience on their toes,” says Cool-Anderson.

The cast of 15 includes Maceo Cortezz as Romeo and Brenna Kellem as Juliet.  Cortezz is a recent high school grad and will be studying acting in London in September at the prestigious Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.  Kellem will be a senior at Forsyth Public Schools.
Other cast members are Josh Boulden (Mercutio), John Paul Fox (Benvolio), Brian Huff (Tybalt), Michael Sager (Friar Lawrence), Randi Shetley (Lady Capulet), Mindy Law (Nurse),  Jeffrey Stringer (Capulet), Tommie Anderson (Montague), Joel Ashur (Paris), Daniel Bush (Prince), Charis Boulden (Featured Ensemble) Mary Huff (Featured Ensemble) and Brandon Farrar (Featured Ensemble).
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is directed by Justin Ables with choreography by Cori Briggs.

Shakespeare In The Park – Steampunk Style!

The Branson Regional Arts Council has partnered with Forte Theatre Productions to present one of their most unique entertainment events yet, a steampunk version of William Shakespeare’s classic  A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

There will be four performances of this fun, family friendly show on Sunday July 30th, Monday July 31st , Sunday August 6th, and Monday August 7th at Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park, 312 Espanade Drive in Historic Hollister.

Local area artisans will display their work at 6:30pm, leading into the pre-show and main performance at 7pm each evening. The show will end around 10pm, and tickets are available for pre-sale at or at the park entrance.

Advance ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for Students and Branson Regional Arts Council members, and $5 for children ages 12 and under. Audience members should bring their own folding chairs or blankets to sit on.

In a community packed full of amazing live music shows, this Theatre-In-The-Park production is sure to stand out with it’s beautiful outdoor location, clever use of puppetry and imaginative, one-of-a-kind make-up and costumes.

The seasoned troupe of professional actors known as Forte, not only produce a fantastic production, but pave the way for future artists by directing members of the Branson Regional Arts Council’s Youth Troupe, who will perform a pre-show specifically designed for this event.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy written by Williams Shakespeare over four hundred years ago. The dominant theme is love, and the play portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Thesus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, former queen of the Amazons.

Produced by Tina Cool-Anderson and Directed by Justin Ables, the Forte cast members include Parke Fech as Oberon, Randi Shetley as Hippolyta, Jacob Waid as Nick Bottom, Kristen Ables as Titania, Tommy Anderson as Theseus, Mellisa Rivera as Hermia, Joshua Boulden as Demetrius, Charis Bartenslager as Helena, Jon Leicy as Snout, Ashlee Heyward as Mustardseed, Cliff House as Egeus, and Christopher James as Starveling.

BRAC Youth Troupe actors include Derek Brown, Tobias Collins, Morgan Brown, Cole Hill, Izzy Hall, Olivia Fennell, Danielle Groff, Jordan Kendrick, Carter Hendrickson, Gianna Reding, Jacob Deeter, Gemma Reding, Carlie Strong, Austin Cardwell, and Dakota Cooner.

Mark your calendars now, and make plans to bring your family and friends out for some big fun, in this intimate park setting next to the Historic Train Depot in Hollister, Missouri.

For information on Forte, visit or search facebook for “Forte Theatre Productions LLC.

For information on the Branson Regional Arts Council, visit or search facebook for “Branson Regional Arts Council.”