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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

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakespeare & Company has been a central part of our life for the past 6 years through their Fall Festival program with local high schools. Both of our children participated in the Shakespeare program at their school, and it is impossible to praise it highly enough. The program was incredibly enjoyable to them, while improving their language skills, poise, and opportunities to interact with other area youth. I love Shakespeare & Co and wish them success in future endeavors. I support them wholeheartedly.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

We saw the play Dangerous Liaisons, and we both thought the play was awesome. There was plenty of humor built into this story of plotting and backstabbing. Actors and actress were professional and well prepared, while being able to connect with the audience. Would love to see it again.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended several weekend intensives in San Francisco which not only strengthened my skill in performing Shakespeare, but inspired me to produce and perform several plays: an all-female Merchant of Venice ( in conjunction with Woman's Will) and small-cast Macbeth (at the Loading Zone in Santa Rosa). I noticed a huge improvement in my vocal ability in performing outdoor Shakespeare after studying with Virgina Ness Ray, a teacher at Shakespeare and Co. Within a semester of her class I went from a rather weak Tatania one season to a clear and funny Olivia the next. Shakespeare and Co teaches the connection of language to body and breath which are so crucial and enlivening for performers and audience; I felt the language resonate in my bones as I performed: my breath supporting and opening my voice. Shakespeare and Co.'s teachers and coaches are committed, encouraging and inspiring. I attribute the joy and success of my experiences directly to Shakespeare and Co.'s excellent technique and training.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in a month-long acting intensive. This workshop was not only fantastic in terms of expanding my horizons and skills as an actor, director and teacher, but also incredibly influential in my life as a creative, open-hearted and socially active individual. It gave me added perspective on the power of the arts in any community, and how much I had to offer in that arena.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Othello took my breath away and Twelfth Night broke my heart. The best Shakespeare company I know. Their education program gives young students the confidence to stand onstage in front of hundreds of their peers and feel confident in themselves and in their text. "I can no other answer make but thanks and thanks and ever thanks."

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been involved in The Fall Festival Of Shakespeare for three years. This is a program where esteemed members of Shakespeare & Company staff go into area high schools, and help put on a Shakespeare play. I have been involved both on the stage and behind the scenes. I have met numerous students from other schools. I have learned all about shakespearean language. And i have greatly enjoyed myself.

4

Client Served

Rating: 4

Each summer my husband and I make Lenox part of our vacation. We always make sure we see at least one or two productions by Shakespeare & Company, and also visit Tanglewood. We love staying at the Seven Hills Inn, by the way! It's next door to the mansion owned by Wharton. A very nice week each year.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family has attended many of the free offerings in the summertime. S&Co;does a FANTASTIC job making the performing arts (and Shakespeare) alive and accessible in the best ways, and still remain true to the the bard. We love it!