!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Classical Theater in the Quad Cities | The Genesius Guild

1120 40th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201
3706 Kenwood Ave.
Davenport, IA 52807

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Free theatre in the park... all summer long... Shakespeare, Greek drama, Greek comedy, and ballet. A unique classic theatre experience located in Rock Island, Illinois.


The Genesius Guild is a Quad Cities theater specializing in free classical drama. Founded in 1956, the group performs Greek drama, Greek comedy, the works of Shakespeare, and other classical authors every weekend throughout the summer. The schedule also includes ballet in partnership with Ballet Quad Cities.

The diversity and focus of the Genesius Guild makes it a unique summer program. We provide free, outdoor theatre in the middle of the trees in Lincoln Park, Rock Island, with a strong focus on the classics. Greek tragedy, performed in mask, and Shakespearean comedies and tragedies are the base of our schedule, and are performed as written, with period costuming and scenery.

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Genesius Guild Radio Productions

The Genesius Guild's Artistic Committee has been working with our talented troupe of thespians to record audio dramas. We just launched our latest audio drama: Philoctetes by Sophocles.

Philoctetes is one of just seven surviving plays by Sophocles. First performed in 409 BC (and winning first prize in the festival Dionysia), Philoctetes tells the story of the Greek heroes Odysseus and Neoptolemus as they seek to convince the master archer Philoctetes to join the Greek army at the siege of Troy. Philoctetes had been abandoned by the Greek army on the way to Troy after being bitten on the foot by a snake, but a seer told the Greeks that they would not win the Trojan War until they convinced Philoctetes to rejoin their army.

As with many Greek tragedies, Philoctetes contains themes that remain relevant nearly 2,500 years later. The play explores questions of morality (and moral high ground), and the balance of individual wellbeing versus the wellbeing of a wider group or society.

Philoctetes has recently been used as part of the Theatre of War Project and in programs that seek to help military veterans explore and cope with post-traumatic stress and other disorders.

Listen to Philoctetes and subscribe here!

Giving Tuesday Fundraiser

Imagine that you are in Lincoln Park on a warm summer evening - sitting in the audience (or, maybe you are standing on the stage) under the towering oak trees, as you take in a performance of one of the classics. Maybe you are laughing along to a Shakespeare comedy, or are enthralled in the twists and turns of a great Shakespearean tragedy. Or maybe you are watching a Greek tragedy - at the only theater in the United States that performs Greek drama in mask every season.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we had to make the painful decision to cancel our 2020 season - the first time in the 60+ year history of the Genesius Guild that a season has been canceled. While this meant we did not have production expenses, we still had expenses as an organization - and it meant significantly fewer audience donations and grants. For Giving Tuesday, we are asking for your help to keep the Genesius Guild financially strong as we move into the future. All donations we receive go directly to offsetting costs for maintaining our costume house and stage - costs that do not go away even without a summer season.

Please donate if you are able through our GoFundMe or through the PayPal button below:

If you would like to donate but would rather not give online, you can mail a check to:
The Genesius Theatre Foundation
1120 40th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201

Thank you!


The Genesius Theatre Foundation follows an equal opportunity employment policy and employs or contracts personnel without regard to race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, disability status, veteran status, military obligations, and marital status. This policy applies to all Genesius Theatre Foundation employees, volunteers, members, clients, and contractors.