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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 had an excellent time at the weekend intensive I took with Dave Demke. Even though the workshop was relatively short, it gave me a fantastic new perspective on my work in the theater and in Shakespeare. The Linklater voice work was particularly useful, as was the training on how to analyze the First Folio for clues in how to speak certain lines. My needs were met and my limits were pushed, and the result was that I felt much more confident in my knowledge and abilities. Shakespeare & Company is an amazingly valuable organization.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakespeare & Co. is a magnificent organization for its performances and contributions to our community. My children have taken summer programs in which they learned a lot about Shakespeare, acting and themselves. My son has performed in his high school's productions for the Shakespeare Fall Festival and they have been outstanding, as have those of the other high schools. Having of been a resident of Lenox for twenty years and watched Shakespeare & Co. up close, I couldn't ask for a better organization to entertain and inspire us.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just finishes the moth long intensive for actors in January, and it was life-changing for me as an actor, director, teacher, and as a human being. I have spent the month since I returned home working out how and when I can get back for more training. I have a good bit of training and experience in the field, but this is the training I have always hoped I would find. I want more.

Review from Guidestar

Ron G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company has changed my life for the better in the most profound ways. The intensive training program I participated in has helped me in the work I do in a wide variety of ways, and having come to more deeply understand myself and Shakespeare has immeasurably enriched my life.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Six of my children had the pleasure of partaking in our schools' production for the Fall Festival of Shakespeare. Each child came away with valuable knowledge of Shakespeare and how it relates to them. I witnessed my shyest child interpret her character with tremendous zeal. Everyday I picked them up from play practice, they were eager to tell me everything that went on. It opened our parent-child communications. The directors imparted their knowledge and skill in a fun and informative way. I can't thank Shakespeare and Co. enough for all they did for my family

Review from Guidestar

Alex S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a graduate of both the Summer Training Institute and the Conservatory program, and I hope to return to work at Shake & Co again. I've found the training environment to be safe, supportive, and conducive to doing good work. The training I received from the company is really the sum of my actor training, and I think there is hardly a better place to study Linklater voice than at the company where all the designations are held. More than just their training programs, however, I've seen first hand the wonderful work they do in the Education department, and the mainstages. The company is filled with good people committed to doing good theatre, and that is sometimes hard to find.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I live in Cambridge, MA, but we make sure to spend at least a week in the Berkshires every summer to do a blitz of all Shakespeare & Co. productions. We find most of their interpretations of the Bard to be fresh, though we sometimes question the acting. Tina Packer's "Women of Will" last season was masterful--an exposition of Shakespeare's works by a professional who has spent many years studying the plays and speaking about them with Shakespeare scholars. The company is unique.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in a winter month-long intensive and found it to be both inspirational and transformative. I can't wait to go back to Shakespeare & Company and participate in another training.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company is the most extra-ordinary theater company I have ever had the good fortune to study with. Their education program changed my life, and I cannot express how eternally grateful I am. Shakespeare and Co brings together talented, passionate, and generous people, and I know of no organization more deserving of support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company, Inc. has provided my children's schools with outstanding guidance and support making Shakespeare come alive to middle and high school English students. Their very professional and experienced approach has encouraged parents to scramble to find funding to continue these programs.

In addition to providing education programs, the company provides an outstanding theater program spanning classical to avant garde works. The Bard 's influence continues even as the group builds toward a vision of community theater suited to the upcoming generation of playwrights. The physical theater space reflects the open and engaging philosophy of this group.

Review from Guidestar