Shakespeare & Company, Inc.

Rating: 4.94 stars   391 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 70 Kemble Street Lenox MA 01240 USA

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.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 04-2666826
413-637-1199
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Shakespeare & Company offers life-changing training for people of all backgrounds.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Studying with Shakespeare and Company was one of the best decisions I have ever made. This place is literally life changing. After five weeks in the Berkshires, I discovered a new perspective on myself as an actor and a human being. I will be back in some capacity as soon as I can.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I worked with Shakespeare and Company in many different capacities. My children benefited from the programs they ran at their high school, they worked with my fourth grade students for 10 weeks to put on a Shakespeare play, my mother was the principal of a middle school where they worked, I attended a workshop they offered to teachers, and I've attended many of their productions. After all these experiences I truly think that Shakespeare and company is an extraordinary organization. My children felt it was one of the best things they were involved in during high school and that it had a profound impact on them. They were given respect for their ideas, feelings and abilities and ended up producing an incredibly professional performance, that they felt very proud of. The work they did with my 4th grade students was also amazing. They brought out aspects of my students I had never seen before. They managed to keep everything playful and fun. They were able to bring out the best in all my students and taught me much about handling my most difficult kids. The workshop I attended went deep and truly made me think differently about teaching Shakespeare to children. I am always amazed at how effortlessly I am able to understand Shakespearean English when I watch Shakespeare and Company's performances. I have worked with innumerable staff members, all whom were excellent. I keep thinking the next crew can't be as good, but they always are. I am also impressed with the work they do with adjudicated young people. They are truly a unique organization and one I hope will be around for a long time.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I think Shakespeare and Company is one of the most astounding organizations I have ever encountered. I have been involved with Shakespeare and Company as an audience member, the parent of two high school students involved in the Fall Festival, a teacher of a 4th grade class that Shakespeare and Company worked with for 10 years and as a workshop participant. Each of these experiences have been outstanding. As an audience member I enjoy and understand Shakespeare performances better than any company I have ever seen. The Fall Festival was one of the best experiences both of my children had in High School. The staff's ability to bring out the creativity of all participants, to incorporate their ideas and energy and to help teenagers grow emotionally was exceptional. As a teacher I loved the playful way the company brought out the best in ALL my students. They managed to keep the work fun and yet, at the same time, deep. My students were enthusiastic Shakespeare lovers at the end of their experiences. The workshop I attended was one of the best teacher workshops I have ever gone to. I am also impressed with the work the company does with juvenile offenders. This is a company with high standards for all they do and they always seem to meet their own and my expectations.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been involved with Shakespeare and Company as an audience member, the parent of two high school students involved in the Fall Festival, a teacher of a 4th grade class that Shakespeare and Company worked with for 10 years and as a workshop participant.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it available to everyone. Give them the MacArthur award.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Every year my girls and I prepare for another wonderful Shakespeare experience at Shakespeare and Company. It's not just a show, it's an experience. The whole place brings you in right away, there are people in period costume before the show doing bits outside. Afterwards, we always go meet the talented actors and we learn something more. The show itself always brings a new light to an old favorite, or shows us something we've never seen. They have grown up on Shakespeare and Company and now -- at 21, 18 and 11 -- are big fans, thanks to this wonderful company. We are ever grateful.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

presenting excellent, innovative, accessible theater, as well as in reaching out to the community and school system.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing. They provide affordable quality theatrical experiences.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

For years, my girls have been learning and enjoying the magic of Shakespeare because of this wonderful company. They bring it to life, make it relevant, and, importantly, affordable. Because of Tina Packer's Tales of Shakespeare, my three daughters and I prepare easily for each production, and then find ourselves immersed in talent, skill, imagination, and delight for each one. The unique take of the director for the tens of productions we have seen spurs fantastic conversation. The generosity of the actors after each production allows my girls and I access to them, talking for a few minutes (or more!) each time about motivation, difficulty, and involvement. Shakespeare and Company has made Shakespeare lovers out of my girls, now 19, 17 and 10. Thank you to them, and long may they live.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing their amazing productions.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I really can't think of anything.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how they make theater accessible and delightful for all ages.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Incredibly helpful. Just recently, they helped me to find a copy of a Shakespeare poster I wanted to create in my own home.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

finish the Rose Theater, do more outreach.

Ways to make it better...

nothing.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I love how they invite children in.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

I participated in the Fall Festival in High School and it remains, 13 years later, a formative experience in my life. The exposure to great art and artists is just the beginning. Working within the atmosphere of the Fall Festival gives young people confidence in public speaking, spatial movement, and passionate pursuit of goals. Thanks Shake&Co.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My public speaking skills and confidence.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Put them in every high school in America.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

After so many years of enjoying Shakespeare's comedies at The Mount, I am now able to attend WINTER performances of a variety of plays, both Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, and other forms of theatre. And I'm loving all of it!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

entertaining my family for decades!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

offer some of the theater experiences out of doors to take advantage of the surroundings.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

As a teacher at Upper Cape Tech over the 2007/08 and the 2008/09 school years I was introduced to Shakespeare and Company and attended a summer week long teacher training. The teacher training is aplicable and easy to use in a lesson plan, which is grounded in a student centered-format. The training helped me regain my love of Shakespeare and it prepared my colleagues and me to go back into our classrooms with a renewed confidence.
The practicality of the summer teacher training which takes place at the Shakespeare and Company campus in Lenox, is also the cost (which is very reasonable) and the time committment. It seems that Shakespeare and Company has really tried to make itself available to school districts that are always trying to stretch their professional development budgets, and they offer this training when most teachers can make the time committment. Bravo to all the Shakespeare and Company employees and donors who make this experience possible!

I can tell you as a classroom teacher who has taught the struggling student, and the less confident student, that all students can be reached by using the methods that have been developed by the Shakespeare and Company teacher trainers. I am now an ELA instructional leader for an urban school district in Rhode Island, and as Rhode Island's new State Standards will be the Common Core, (which are based on Massachusett's State Standards), the Shakespeare and Company teacher training, is something I will direct my teachers to. The end result is having an engaged classroom of students confident in their ability to experience and understand the language of Shakespeare.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it part of a credit system so that teachers can opt to recieve masters degree credit, through New England Colleges. (Maybe they are already doing this).

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

All throughout middle and high school I turned to "Shake n' Co" as an outlet for my creativity. Not only did SnC give me a greater knowledge of the importance expressing oneself, it gave me a greater sense of community. I became friends with kids from rival schools, even schools with otherwise no affiliation with mine through the Fall Festival program it hosts in the fall to local high schools. Without Shake n Co, I would not have stepped on stage once, or become a more confident person.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daily life. It has helped me in tremendous ways. Without Shake n Co, I don't know where I would be.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would try to get the kid's programs more affiliated with the adult programs they have. I feel like there wasn't a lot of encouragement to see professional shows outside of the free pass they gave us.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Shakes and Co helped me become the person I am today. I went to the STI program and learned more about myself and my craft in 5 weeks than I have in the past 5 years. I have been exposed and inspired by working actors and educators who believe in telling truth to the world. I hope that I can continue to bring what I have learned from them to my teaching and acting everyday for the rest of my life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I learned to love Shakespeare and have faith in my craft.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

having more workshops in the summer time. I'm a teacher and can't do anything unless it's during the summer

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I was depressed! Now I am blessed! As I attest, you must invest!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the plays there and being in a play there through Fall Festival of Shakespeare.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

more shows year-round!!

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Review from Guidestar