The company began with a dream of presenting Shakespeare in Point Pleasant Park, an historic urban park in South End Halifax, Nova Scotia. Patrick Christopher Carter, Elizabeth Murphy and Jean Morpurgo invited the original company to perform Twelfth Night in the ruins of a military battery for a weekend in July, and to their great surprise, over 3000 people attended the inaugural production in just four days! With the energy from such a positive response, the company was incorporated as a not-for-profit charity called The Shakespeare By The Sea Theatre Society. 

The company has been consistent with it's annual productions of Shakespeare's work for 23 seasons, and has included classical and modern pieces in it's repertoire to round out the theatregoer's experience in the beautiful surroundings of Point Pleasant Park, or in the cozy confines of The Park Place Theatre. 

Hundreds of thousands of people have been entertained by our unique brand of outdoor theatre, and have been delighted to find the quality of the work is upheld in the intimate indoor venue that houses performances during inclement summer weather, as well as during the fall/winter/spring months. 

Shakespeare by the Sea is dedicated to the development of Canadian theatre artists, and the list of alumni is long, with many of them gracing stages across Canada. SBTS is a company where many emerging and established artists get the opportunity to play major roles in some of the greatest plays ever written.

SBTS History At-A-Glance


  • Founded: 1994, incorporated as Shakespeare By The Sea Theatre Society.
  • First public performance: July 1st, 1994 - Twelfth Night at Cambridge Battery, Point Pleasant Park, Halifax.
  • Artistic Directors: 1994-2005 Patrick Christopher Carter, 2006-2011 Elizabeth Murphy, 2012-present Elizabeth Murphy & Jesse MacLean.
  • From 1994-2015: 80 Professional Productions, 24 Premieres of New Works, 1,689 Individual performances, 332 082 Audience Members, 364 Artist and Staff Contracts.

Shakespeare by the Sea is a member company of Theatre Nova Scotia, The Greater Halifax Arts Coalition and The Bus Stop Theatre Co-Op.

Craig1 m3 COXPLogoCMYK m5 m6 NSLabourandEducation CanadaSummerJobs m15 EcoGreen

SBTSLogoWeb2 fb yearsbytheseasticker