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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

128 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

William C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar