Mission: The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to producing the plays of Shakespeare with an economy of style that focuses energy and resources on script, actors and audience.
Programs: Hvsf makes its home under a specially designed, 540-seat, open-air tent theater on the grounds of historic boscobel house and gardens on the banks of the hudson river. In 2014, hvsf presented three shows in repertory -- shakespeare's "othello" and "the two gentlemen of verona" and "the liar" adapted by david ives from the comedy by pierre corneille -- to over 35,000 people. Hvsf also offered an 18-week apprentice acting program for seven post-graduate students which included the opportunity to play roles in the season, dedicated courses and training, and the presentation of an apprentice production of "a midsummer night's dream. "
this was the 20th year of hvsf's well-established and highly regarded education program, which reached over 43,000 students in 48 schools in the tri-state area in 2014. It offered a diverse range of in-school programs and workshops, a fully-staged, 90-minute touring production of shakespeare's "much ado about nothing" for middle and high school students, as well as professional development for teachers,pre-performance outreach activities, and post-performance talkbacks.
hvsf offered a series of four developmental theater works during the summer season titled "hvsf2"; a staged reading of "turn of the screw," by jeffrey hatcher from the story by henry james for the fall season; along with a staged reading of the play "all is calm," by peter rothstein, with musical arrangements by erick lichte and timothy c. Takach, for the holiday season.
I can't say enough good things about the HVSF! One of the best gifts my husband gave me for Christmas was a donation to them on my behalf. We go twice per summer and have done so for 10 years. It speaks to how great the company is that the same actors come back year after year, such that I feel like I know them. My kids - age 13, 11 and 6 LOVE it and part of their looking forward to summer is organizing our tickets for HVSF. It would not cross their minds that Shakespeare might be seen as elitist or overtly intellectual because they have been introduced to it by such a fabulous company, in a casual setting and mostly because all the comedies are hilariously daft and have them laughing 'til they fall off their seats! All power to you HVSF!