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mary7

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Shakespeare & Company, Inc.
February 27, 2010

I am most impressed by Shakespeare & Company's education program. One fabulous program, Fall Festival of Shakespeare, brings what the company calls "a language-based program" into ten high schools in western Massachusetts and eastern New York. What does that mean? Besides sending two young directors into each school each year to work with the kids to produce one of Shakespeare's plays both on the school stage and in one fabulous weekend, on the professional stage in Lenox, these young directors teach the kids in a most natural way to "speak Shakespeare." Without any of the usual pain and suffering but with joy and enthusiasm, these young people learn the subtleties of the language. Two great things come of this: first, when all the schools are together for festival weekend watching each other's plays, all the kids understand each play and each line - and are screaming and stomping and laughing on cue; second, and ultimately more important, they each have the tools to enjoy Shakespeare's works all their lives. They become passionate about a major piece of our culture that leaves many of us cold. This is priceless.

The Great!

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

seeing my child and other children gain the tools to become passionate about Shakespeare's works.

Ways to make it better...

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

make it larger and even more influential.

More feedback

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

the incredible power of the productions.

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

dedicated and energetic, of course, but committed from the core of their beings to spreading their passions.

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

change the image of Shakespeare for even more than the hundreds of young people they reach every year now.

Ways to make it better...

I knew that each school didn't have to worry year to year that they would be able to pay for the program, Fall Festival.

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

financial. It's always hard for arts organizations, but in the current economy it's very tough.

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

by dedicating so much of themselves to youth, they truly improve the world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public & I attend Fall Festival Weekend.