Distilled Theatre Company may be a new name to the local theatre scene, however we have a long, celebrated history of producing quality theatre utilizing Lexington's brightest stars.

In 2007, Kentucky Conservatory Theatre (KCT) was established to carry on the tradition and legacy of

The Lexington Shakespeare Festival (LSF).  Established in Woodland Park in 1982, LSF produced quality outdoor theatre specializing in the work of William Shakespeare, and later expanded to include American Classics and Musical Theatre.  Upon announcement of their closing in 2007, there was an outcry from the community to save outdoor theatre in Lexington.  Through the vision of

KCT founders, Joe Ferrell & Trish Clark, SummerFest was born in partnership with an

educational training program for high school students known as

Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory.  

Over the years, KCT continued to evolve and find its way in the theatre world.  Expanding its programming, KCT ventured into indoor productions beginning with the Pulitzer Prize winning August: Osage County, produced at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center.  Turning its eyes toward innovation, these indoor productions began laying the groundwork for what would become a rebirth for the company.  In January 2015, WinterFest was born as a sister season to the acclaimed outdoor festival SummerFest.  Local Lexington venue, The Grand Reserve, was transformed into The Kit Kat Club for a fully immersive production of Cabaret

Over the next five years, KCT began instituting carefully planned programming, administrative, and artistic changes.  This work culminated in a major announcement in 2019 with the rebranding of the summer outdoor productions as Broadway Under the Stars.  Finally, in September of 2019, KCT officially evolved into DISTILLED THEATRE COMPANY.  With a fresh new mission, vision, and emphasis on innovation, inclusiveness, and originality, Distilled was founded by Executive Director Wesley Nelson, along with Associate Artistic Director Jessica Greene, and founding board members Laura Farris, Shannon Yates, Sharon Murphy, Cole Campbell, and Navji Dixon.  Distilled burst onto the Lexington theatre scene with a completely re-imagined immersive production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, produced at

Limestone Hall in the Historic Courthouse.



Romeo & Juliet (SummerFest)

The Crucible (SummerFest)

Taming of the Shrew (SummerFest)



Antony & Cleopatra (SummerFest)

Lord of the Flies (SummerFest)

Hair (SummerFest)



Henry IV (SummerFest)

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (SummerFest)

Once on this Island (SummerFest)



Merchant of Venice (SummerFest)

Pride & Prejudice (SummerFest)

Rent (SummerFest)



The Impersonation of Being Earnest (Studio Season/Conservatory)

Richard III (SummerFest)

Frankenstein (SummerFest)

The Rocky Horror Show (SummerFest)

August: Osage County (Studio Season)


24 Hour Theatre Project (Studio Season/Conservatory)

A Midsummer Night's Dream (SummerFest)

A Streetcar Named Desire (SummerFest)

Legally Blonde: The Musical (SummerFest)

8 (Studio Season)

Spring Awakening: The Musical (Studio Season)


Blackbird Dance Theatre's: The Great Grey (Studio Season)

24 Hour Theatre Project (Studio Season/Conservatory)

J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan (SummerFest)

A Chorus Line (SummerFest)

The Girl Project (Studio Season/Conservatory)



Twelfth Night or What You Will (SummerFest)

Little Shop of Horrors (SummerFest)



Cabaret (WinterFest)

Hamlet - One Man Adaptation (WinterFest)

Monty Python's Spamalot (SummerFest)

The Comedy of Errors (SummerFest)



My Fair Lady (WinterFest)

As You Like It (SummerFest)

Jesus Christ Superstar (SummerFest)



Dreamgirls (WinterFest)

The Wiz (SummerFest)


Sweeney Todd (WinterFest)

Freedom to Dream Concert 

Disney's Beauty and the Beast (SummerFest)

Othello (SummerFest - Produced by Antagonist Prod.)


Mamma Mia! (WinterFest)

Broadway Under the Stars


In 2014 the KCT Board of Directors voted unanimously to establish the SummerFest Lifetime Achievement Award. This award will be presented each summer to an individual who has contributed to the production of quality outdoor theatre in Lexington. We hope to honor and celebrate the men and women who built the foundations of outdoor theatre in Lexington; with its humble beginnings on the concrete slab at Studio Players, to its move to Woodland Park, the UK Arboretum, Moondance Amphitheater, and now back home at Woodland Park. Without these individuals, we would not be able to continue what has become a cherished

Lexington summer tradition.



Would you like to audition for an upcoming production?

Would you like to learn how to volunteer or become a member of the Board?

Would you like to become a Sponsor?

Would you like to purchase tickets to an upcoming production?

If this sounds like you, or if you have any other questions, please send us an email.  You can also leave a voicemail at our information hotline listed below, and we will return your call as soon as possible.



PO Box 864

Lexington, KY 40588

Tel: 859.935.1564​


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