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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Performing Arts, Theater

Mission: Founded in 1978, Shakespeare & Company aspires to create a theatre of unprecedented excellence rooted in the classical ideals of inquiry, balance and harmony; a company that performs as the Elizabethans did -- in love with poetry, physical prowess and the mysteries of the universe. With a core of over 150 artists, the company performs Shakespeare, generating opportunities for collaboration between actors, directors and designers of all races, nationalities and backgrounds. S&Co provides original, in-depth, classical training and performance methods. S&Co also develops and produces new plays of social and political significance. Shakespeare & Company's education programs inspire a new generation of students and scholars to discover the resonance of Shakespeare's truths in the everyday world, demonstrating the influence that classical theatre can have within a community.

Programs: Performance - fy15 consisted of 9 productions across 2 indoor and 2 outdoor stages on a 33-acre campus in the berkshire hills of ma; over 38,000 attendees participating in 263 public performances: 4 shakespeare plays, 4 contemporary plays, 1 original dance presentation; in addition, 26 opportunities for in-depth discussions and/or behind the scenes tours for interested members of the community. Rooted in shakespeare's work and elizabethan ideals of inquiry, balance and harmony, and committed to nurturing creative impulses, exploring themes of human experience, and influencing future generations, productions demonstrate a commitment to language, classical ideals, physical prowess, and a contemporary voice.

education - fy15 consisted of flagship, nationally-recognized program "fall festival of shakespeare" involving nearly 500 students from 10 different high schools in ny and ma, each exploring a shakespeare play and presenting it to each other and their communities; 16 adolescent offenders in need of support participating in an effective and action-oriented 6-week courts' program as alternate to traditional sentencing (i. E. , "sentenced to shakespeare"), which has been celebrated at a white house ceremony and honored as an outstanding community arts program with a gold star award from the massachusetts cultural council; new england tour of shakespeare furthers classical literacy in 75 communities' schools from new jersey to maine with performances and smaller-scale student workshops, all a part of the national endowment for the arts' "shakespeare in american communities"; 6 elementary or middle school residencies, with multi-week in-depth explorations of events and themes in shakespeare culminating in performances for the communities from long island to the berkshires; 7 "riotous youth" programs designed to introduce young actors (7-15 yr. Olds) to shakespeare's heightened language, imaginative stories and extreme situations through creative and collaborative activities; 3 "young company" programs of deeper training for 16-20 year-olds, including paid public performances; 2 week-long professional development programs catering to up to 25 high school teachers of shakespeare exploring and redefining a student's experience of shakespeare while inspiring deeper appreciation, wonder and delight.

training - fy15 consisted of rigorous programs in voice, text, clown, stage fight, rhetoric and movement are offered to theatre professionals in new england and throughout the united states: month-long residential actor training workshop for up to 60 participants; 5-week-long residential summer training institute for up to 40 college-aged actors; several week-long and up to a dozen weekend intensive studies offered around the country.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

RogerThat14

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Love them. Great group with lots of heart and soul for the kids.

Craig12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This remarkable program provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about drama - and more importantly themselves - under the expert tutelage of internationally acclaimed professional actors, technicians, and costumers. The dedication of these professionals to their craft - and more impressively to the students - is a marvel. To see hesitant, often shy, young people blossom before your eyes on stage - in just a matter of weeks - is an extraordinary experience for the adult volunteers. It's a truly transformative experience for the young people themselves.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A Group of the most amazing and devoted people, who drown themselves in work to put together a feast for all who attend.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I love live theatre. I particularly enjoy repertoire houses which allow me to see actors rotate though different roles. Unfortunately, I can not afford to see all the theatre I wish to see. Because I volunteer at Shakespeare and Company, I can satisfy my need for theatre.

Review from Guidestar

Maizy S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a student and employee at Shakespeare&Co throughout high school. It was the center of my life, educationally and socially, especially after leaving public school to pursue my education independently. I hope S&Co can continue to provide opportunities to young people.

Review from Guidestar

Kathleen G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a teacher and Drama instructor at one of the high schools that takes part in The Fall Festival of Shakespeare, I can vouch for the enormous benefit of this program to our students. Over the nineteen years I have been involved, I have seen countless numbers of students get so excited about being in a Shakepeare play that they can't wait for school to begin in the fall because it means auditions and rehearsal for the Fall Festival will soon be starting. Many of our students take part in the Festival as they are older students because they have heard so much about it, but many others start as freshmen, some as actors and some as technical crew, and grow into larger character or technical roles as they mature and gain confidence. The day after the Festival finishes, when we have our final meeting at school, called closure, the students express very emotionally what being involved in the Festival has meant to them. It is a day filled with tears, but of the best kind, because the tears acknowledge just how pleased they are to have had this experience, and how much they will miss this very special magical feeling of being on stage with a completely appreciative audience and castmates who have rehearsed together to the point of virtuosity. This program has become the most important part of the performing arts calendar at Springfield Central High School, and is a large part of what helped our school identify itself as a magnet school for the Arts.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been privileged to be a volunteer for many years at Shakespeare & Co. and have been amazed at the dedication of the staff regarding community outreach, youth education programs, and an overall commitment to excellence. I believe that this is one of the finest cultural organizations in our region.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

s&co touches and enriches my life in so many ways. the performances we see are superb and daring and inspiring. the experiences my children have had with s&co in our lenox school system have been beautiful and meaningful. and the artistic training i’ve done at s&co has been invaluable to me as an actor and as a human being. i have deep admiration for the artistic integrity and generosity of s&co and for the hearts and souls of it’s company members.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a student at Lee Middle & High School, currently in my senior year, and i have had the pleasure of working with Shake & Co for three years now. I can honestly say that the Fall Festival of Shakespeare is the most fun i have ever had the pleasure of being a part of!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company has been a huge part of my life since I moved to the area a few years ago. Every play that they touch, turns to gold. I have had the pleasure of acting in a few plays with S & Co. from a professional and a student level. They are truly a gem in the acting world.

Review from Guidestar