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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

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

S&Co. brings so much to Berkshire County and beyond. Seeing the results of their outreach school program culminating in the Fall Festival is heartwarming in this era. Being a full time Berkshire resident, it is
wonderful to have theater all year. With smaller casts one gets to interact with the productions. Open rehearsals and discounted tickets to County residents are other winning factors. S&CO is generous in donating time and tickets to help other non-profits in their fundraising.
During the summer the place is wildly busy with a bucolic atmosphere, and something for all ages, often free. Other than the two main stages, Bankside, the Rose Footprint Stage is family and young actor friendly appealing in a madcap way to a diverse audience.
It is a no-brainer to support S&Co.

Review from Guidestar

Petie H.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have admired and supported this amazing asset to the cultural world for a number of years. It's unique style of actors sharing administrative work of the organization while honing their impressive artistic skills has created a rare responsiveness. Far reaching vision and standards combined with practical experience is what this group of fine artists is about. Add to that, the grounding created by teaching each other and their peers as well as the new generation of young people, makes for teamwork that is unsurpassed. No wonder their artistic work is world renowned and each production a revelation.

In addition, they have developed beautiful property which had been abandoned, right in the center of Lenox, MA. It has become alive, a stunning setting for all citizens and visitors to enjoy the delight of first-class theatre in imaginative programs.

Donor

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company has been an important part of my and my family's life for the past 32 plus years. From the very first performance of Midsummer Night's Dream at the Mount we knew we had connected with something very magical. It is so rare to find Shakespeare performed in such a way that everyone who attends totally understands what is being said. You can see the meaning of each word in the actor's toes. I think if you were deaf you would be transported. I have taken the intensive training three times over the past thirty years and each time brought home gifts for my life as well as my art. Shakespeare and Company has fed my body, mind and soul. What more could you ask from any organization.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been an audience member and supporter of Shakepearse & Co for over 15 years. The group is terrific-in educating and entertaining students, adults and pretty much anyone with whom they have contact. William Shakespeare himself would be proud of their work.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company consistently brings world-class theater to the Berkshires. It makes Shakespeare live and accessible to all audiences in an intimate setting. The non-Shakespeare plays are well-chosen and are a wonderful mix of old and the new. All and all a terrific value for the ever-shrinking entertainment dollar.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

We have a second home in the Lenox area and frequent Shakespeare & Co and other local theatre. S&CO;consistantly delights with entertaining and thought provoking shows and presentations. Thery are one of the treasures of the Berkshires.

2 dahurwitz

Donor

Rating: 5

We became aware of S&Co;last year when my son applied to be a performance intern for the 2009 summer season. He was fortunate to be selected and had a wonderful learning and performing experience that truly solidified his appreciation of Shakespeare and advanced his performance skills. We also had the opportunity to see several of the main stage productions, often joined by friends, and we greatly enjoyed Shakespeare, maybe for the first time ever. The people, the leadership the other performers made our frequent visits to Lennox most enjoyable.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

We are hooked! Our first experience with Shakespeare & Company came in 2005 when we went to see "King John" after reading a review in a Berkshire newspaper. It was one of the most delightful theater experiences ever! We sat in the front row (could have put our feet up on the stage!) and were mesmerized. I gushed to my friends that I had witnessed more sword fights in that one night than I had ever in my life up to that point. The performances never disappoint. We always come away with at least one specific memory, be it the twigs in Mad Cordelia's hair in "Hamlet", the full bodied sinister portrayal of Iago in "Othello", the thrower lights from "Midsummer Night's Dream" or the delivery of the line from "As You Like It" (Rosalind pursuing Orlando in quest of marriage) "What do you say?" The non-Shakespeare plays are equally enthralling. "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is Broadway worthy. We would have seen it more than once had we the time. We even took in the tour. Loved the costume and props shops!

7

Donor

Rating: 5

One thing is for certain that Shakespeare and Company is great theater...One never ever says they are good for summer stock...No they are just plain great theater compared to all venues...I have grown up with live theater both in LA and NY as well as performances in London...To me Shakespeare and Company is on a par with the best...They just happen to be located in the beautiful Berkshires so you'll need a car cause yellow cabs and checkers are not always lined up outside...Chris Morley

6

Donor

Rating: 5

Shakespeare & Company has been for many years an extraordinary organization performing plays of Shakespeare and other playwrights. The plays are always performed well by talented actors and actresses. They recently did a hilarious performance of Hound of the Baskervilles. They also provide theater exposure to many students.