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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

I attended the January Intensive two years ago, and I'm STILL mining the discoveries about myself to be a more generous actor and authentic person. The Intensive stretched and grew me in ways I hadn't had in years, if ever. It's NOT for sissies; fourteen-hour days in six-day weeks will take you beyond what you thought you could do, and they'll bust you on old habits and mannerisms and life-cheating inauthenticities, which isn't pretty. But when confronting self-defeating barriers, their message isn't, "you're not good enough" but rather "this isn't worthy of you," meaning, "you're capable of greatness and I want to see it!" It's a tremendous gift when someone (and in Shakespeare & Co.'s case, everyone) takes a stand for the personal truth and passion you've been hiding from. The entire faculty is rooting for your truest, most life-affirming self to emerge, and the spirit of compassion and generosity runs deep and wide here.

Further, spending a month with some forty-odd other people who seek to show up and take themselves on in the name of Shakespeare and Art is nothing short of awe-inspiring. You'll adore these people for the rest of your life.

Again, not for the faint of heart, but if you really want to find depth and freedom in your work, it's a jolly good place to start. Worth every single penny, whether it boosts your career or not (and it often does).

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I have attended many performances at Shakespeare & Co. We have never been disappointed. The plays -- including cast and directing -- as well as the beautiful Berkshires setting, has been extraordinary. Shakespeare & Co. is also known for its community outreach and its training. We now spend our summers in the Berkshires. We depend on Shakespeare & Co to provide the best in theatrical performances year after year.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an oustanding organization that pervides a quality service for it's community.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My younger daughter attends the Shakespeare & Company summer camp programs. My older daughter did Fall Fest, and Young Company. The staff is dedicated and knowledgeable, not just on the topic of the wordsmith himself, but also on child psychology etc. I am grateful to Shakespeare & Company that they have given my girls an outlet for their creative energy and opened a world to them that they would never have seen otherwise. Also- Best performance of Midsummer's ever!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with Shakespeare and Company can only be described as excellent. The highly knowledgeable staff gave me most of the tools and skills that I use today. A truly wonderful organization that changes the lives of so many.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company is a WONDERFUL organization! Having participated in both Fall Festival and Shakespeare and Young Company, I can honestly say that Shake and Co is a place that CHANGES LIVES! Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended S&Co's month-long intensive a couple of years ago and LOVED it. Not only did it help me build great practical skills such as vocal and physical fitness, the creativity with which they teach is second to none. I would go back in a heartbeat. This company REALLY deserves this award. I would write a hundred reviews if it would help!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the month long intensive at Shakespeare & Co and it was te best actor training I've received thus far in my career. The time they spent with each one of us and their attention and care for all of our various needs and talents was truly extraordinary. This is the only training I've participated in where the students felt like a family and ensemble instead of competitors. They do beautiful work and changed my acting for the better. I am so glad they exist!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company made me want to sell my possessions, pack up, and go live in a cottage on their grounds for the rest of my life. Their passion, excitement, dedication, and undying love for their work is palpable from the moment you step onto the property. All of the teaching I experienced here, while being vast and mind-blowing, was suffused with a depth and love of the work that made my time here life-changing. The passion is infectious - it permeates every person who arrives here.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have returned to Shakespeare & Company several times to train as a teacher and artist, and to bring my students to see the annual High School Shakespeare festival & for them to take workshops. This year, Shakespeare & Co. graciously sent a teacher to help me with our Shakespeare production - what an AMAZING experience for all!!! This organization is truly the best in training teachers, artists and young people in the dynamic art of playing Shakespeare. They help all to get to the truth of the humanity of the characters & ourselves, while teaching us how to PLAY fully!!! Truly tremendous organization that gives and gives and gives to the communities that surround it and also succeeds in reaching-out far afield, sending teachers all over New England and the nation and touring their wonderful productions. Fantastic place!