BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Some of America’s best up-and-coming actors comes to Central Illinois every summer for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival at Bloomington’s historic Ewing Mansion.

The festival began in 1978, with an Illinois State University production of “Twelfth Night.” Now, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival is a professional repertory theater known for attracting actors from across the country.

“This time last year, we had over 800 submissions for our acting company. And that’s pretty typical’, we look primarily for people and actors that can handle the language. Shakespeare’s language is all important.” John Stark of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival said.

Supported by the ISU foundation and the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival has three productions this year-the farcical “Comedy of Errors,” the magical “The tempest,” and the contemporary “The Book of Will. “

Before productions, there’s entertainment, a chance to eat, drink and socialize. In Shakespeare’s day, his plays attracted anyone interested in having a good time.

“I think that this is the most beautiful place for Shakespeare in the county, the grounds, the viewing of the Ewing cultural center, and what’s better than Shakespeare under the stars, and that’s what we can offer the public.”

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival opens June 23 and ends Aug. 5. You can find all the details here.