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February 27, 2010

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February 27, 2010

I took the Month Intensive in January of 1999 and found it to be a life and career changing experience! The great information was one thing, but the methods of working and the passion for the process is what was truly inspiring. Since then I have returned for several other workshops, all equally well run and taught.

The Great!

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

how it has affected my professional work.

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

the continued contacts.

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

terrific! Incredibly talented and wonderful teachers.

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

retire it's debt and build the replica of the Rose; expand its teaching mission.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 27, 2010

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February 27, 2010

Shakespeare & Company is by far the most inspiring company that I have ever worked with. They consistently bring together the most talented and passionate people in their fields to create vital pieces of theatre. In particular, the volunteers that donate their time to this company, do so with joy and passion that is unsurpassed by any other company I have worked with. All together, the experience of working there is essential to my (and many others') growth as an artist and a human being.

The Great!

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

my many productions that I have done with them.

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

the joy that every person brings to their work. There isn't a single person that does not think of others before they think of themselves. Everyone is very generous with their time and energy and is devoted to their craft.

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

the most kind and devoted people I have ever met at any job. They all believe in and are passionate about Shakespeare & Company.

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

build a theatre company that would be the pride of America.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 27, 2010

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February 27, 2010

As an educator with 44 years of experience in teaching high school English, I have participated in countless professional development workshops and meetings. No professional development has come close to matching the powerful positive impact of the programs offered by Shakespeare and Company. Not only was my own teaching enlivened and deepened by exposure to the talented and dedicated actors of the company, but my entire school district was transformed into Shakespeare enthusiasts. The first daylong workshop I attended gave me a wealth of new tools with which to teach the plays and, more importantly, made the sense of "play" a key part of my approach to introducing students to Shakespeare. The risk-taking that Kevin Coleman demonstrated and encouraged in the little band of educators was a gift that carried on to my students as I asked them to go far beyond just reading the text into living the emotions of the characters. Then came my opportunity to participate in a month-long workshop "Shakespeare and the Rose Theater." That was truly transformative for me. I met and questioned world-renowned scholars in the field; I struggled along with my peers to memorize lines; I went on stage and felt the pain of a father losing his son to Macbeth's tyranny and the bawdiness of a tavernkeeper's wife who entertained Henry V. I returned to school ready to lead the entire district in a Renaissance festival, the centerpiece of which was an in-house performance by "Shakespeare and Company." An entire public high school in rural upstate New York dressed themselves in handmade Renaissance costumes, ate a banquet of authentic foods hosted by a queen and king, performed contradances, and enjoyed jesters and jousting matches. The information, the enthusiasm, and the attitudes I learned from the dedicated staff at "Shakespeare and Company" have, over the years, allowed me and other teachers like me to bring to life for thousands of students the ideas and emotions of Othello and Macbeth and Hamlet that otherwise would be mere words on a page. The tradition of inviting "Shakespeare and Company" to our district has continued, despite budget limitations, for over a decade, clear evidence that the entire district has been "hooked" by the Company's fine performances and student-friendly attitudes. I am deeply grateful for the experiences offered me by Shakespeare and Company and can only hope that others will be able to be similarly affected over the coming years.

The Great!

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

performances at the Founders Theater, day-long and month-long workshops for educators, and in-school performances.

Ways to make it better...

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

find them permanent funding so that the company could focus totally on their artistic output.

More feedback...

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

that I can share my experiences with my students by helping them, too, to become active participants in Shakespeare, not mere readers of plays.

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

totally committed to the program and eager to share with others. They believe in what they are doing and they absolutely love Shakespeare's work. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

Ways to make it better...

I lived closer to Lenox and could have attended more performances and activities there.

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

lack of permanent and reliable funding. They agonize over the possibility that they might one day be unable to continue programs they so totally believe in.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 27, 2010

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February 27, 2010

Shakespeare and Company is an invaluable organization for the arts. As an actor it provided me training and performance experiences that were transformational. (Even though it's almost 15 years since my stint there, I can use that word without reservation.) It has imbued me with a sense not only of gratitude, but of community, such that it is one of the landmarks in my 35-year career as an actor. There are many moments from my time there that defy easy description, but that will stay with me for the rest of my life. More than that, Shakespeare and Company sees itself as an inseparable part of its community. From its longstanding annual touring of New England schools, to the many ways it involves itself with the Lenox, Mass. community, to its vanguard efforts to widen casting opportunities for actors from ethnic minorities, it is a community resource whose absence would be felt mightily if – god forbid – it failed to survive. The place Shakespeare and Company holds in the American and international theatre community can't be given enough emphasis.

The Great!

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

my work as an actor, and my sense of the place of actors and theatre in the larger community, wherever that may be.

Ways to make it better...

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

Got me again.

More feedback...

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

the ethos of the company, their belief in risktaking as part of the arts.

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

passionate, creative, talented, driven, uncompromising, caring, understanding, brilliant.

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

secure its future, and act on the many ideas they probably have on a list of dreams not yet fulfilled.

Ways to make it better...

Sorry, I can't think of a thing. Of course, as an actor I would have liked to work with them more.

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

I don't feel qualified to answer this one.

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

I don't know if I can describe the affection I have for brilliant, inspirational teachers like Tina Packer, Dennis Krausnick, Tony Simotes and others.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

February 27, 2010

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February 27, 2010

Transformative. I've taken various training programs over the years since 1983, when I took my first Linklater voice class with Andrea Haring. I've done two month-long intensives, and assisted the amazing Tina Packer on a production. Their work has informed my aesthetic, challenged me to think about Shakespearean performance in new ways, and introduced me to other producers, performers and scholars that shape my rehearsal process. Since working with Shakespeare & Company I have co-founded two Shakespeare Festivals, and am running one of them now. Shake & Co. is a treasure. I highly recommend their company.

The Great!

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

a keener awareness of structure in Shakespearean rhetoric, and an appreciation for the skills that an actor can indeed develop that allows their passion, insight and emotion to be fully expressed in body and voice.

More feedback...

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

the level of discourse is at its height. They offer classes for professionals. The founders of this organization are highly intelligent and educated, and are actively contributing to the body of knowledge that the rest of us draw on.

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

compassionate, brave, intelligent, educated, sensitive to current events and visionary.

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

build the first replica of The Rose theater creating opportunities for new scholarship and discover. (And employment for many.) It could offer scholarships to talented professionals who need new skills in order to reach their full potential.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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