This company does the best Shakespeare I've ever seen, consistently, to the point where they reveal to even a Shakespearean scholar (me) lnes of truth and insight I'd missed, despite my knowing virtually the entire canon. However, they are intro-friendly and spread Shakespeare to novice audiences because they are very conscious of the need to make Shakespeare enjoyable to average Americans, adults and students alike. S&Company speak the verse clearly, without being stilted or overly intellectual, engage the audience in a variety of ways, and are consistently and truly funny. And that is only their within their "performance" mission statement. As a teacher, I knew firsthand of how extraordinary the company is at winning over a student audience or engaging in workshops that students never forget, encouraging and even inspiring them. I brought the company out 70 miles once a year to put on their touring production and they were always tremendous experiences for 600 kids.
This remarkable program provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about drama - and more importantly themselves - under the expert tutelage of internationally acclaimed professional actors, technicians, and costumers. The dedication of these professionals to their craft - and more impressively to the students - is a marvel. To see hesitant, often shy, young people blossom before your eyes on stage - in just a matter of weeks - is an extraordinary experience for the adult volunteers. It's a truly transformative experience for the young people themselves.
I worked with Shakespeare and Company in many different capacities. My children benefited from the programs they ran at their high school, they worked with my fourth grade students for 10 weeks to put on a Shakespeare play, my mother was the principal of a middle school where they worked, I attended a workshop they offered to teachers, and I've attended many of their productions. After all these experiences I truly think that Shakespeare and company is an extraordinary organization. My children felt it was one of the best things they were involved in during high school and that it had a profound impact on them. They were given respect for their ideas, feelings and abilities and ended up producing an incredibly professional performance, that they felt very proud of. The work they did with my 4th grade students was also amazing. They brought out aspects of my students I had never seen before. They managed to keep everything playful and fun. They were able to bring out the best in all my students and taught me much about handling my most difficult kids. The workshop I attended went deep and truly made me think differently about teaching Shakespeare to children. I am always amazed at how effortlessly I am able to understand Shakespearean English when I watch Shakespeare and Company's performances. I have worked with innumerable staff members, all whom were excellent. I keep thinking the next crew can't be as good, but they always are. I am also impressed with the work they do with adjudicated young people. They are truly a unique organization and one I hope will be around for a long time.
I think Shakespeare and Company is one of the most astounding organizations I have ever encountered. I have been involved with Shakespeare and Company as an audience member, the parent of two high school students involved in the Fall Festival, a teacher of a 4th grade class that Shakespeare and Company worked with for 10 years and as a workshop participant. Each of these experiences have been outstanding. As an audience member I enjoy and understand Shakespeare performances better than any company I have ever seen. The Fall Festival was one of the best experiences both of my children had in High School. The staff's ability to bring out the creativity of all participants, to incorporate their ideas and energy and to help teenagers grow emotionally was exceptional. As a teacher I loved the playful way the company brought out the best in ALL my students. They managed to keep the work fun and yet, at the same time, deep. My students were enthusiastic Shakespeare lovers at the end of their experiences. The workshop I attended was one of the best teacher workshops I have ever gone to. I am also impressed with the work the company does with juvenile offenders. This is a company with high standards for all they do and they always seem to meet their own and my expectations.
A Group of the most amazing and devoted people, who drown themselves in work to put together a feast for all who attend.
Shakespeare & Company continues with marvelous productions that are entertaining, understandable and educational. See my last year's review for additional comments based on our 33-34 years of attending.
My wife, son and I have been attending Shakespeare & Company performances since about their second season. We find the productions excellent with clear dialogue and action that conveys the meaning of language not always similar to our own and that propels the story. My son went to his first performance at about age 3 and was silent throughout as he was transfixed by the language and action. The productions are always wonderful.
Review from Guidestar
The arts are crucial to our experience of being human. Shakespeare is at the center of our western tradition of literary and performance artistry. Shakespeare & Co. reinterprets the Bard's and related work for our new age. I continue to be thrilled by and learn so much from this most excellent troupe's work. Their mission is entertainment, philosophy and education - exploring what makes us human and how to be better at it. My 16 year old son still proclaims his Riotus Youth experiences as among the best of his life, and he is not an aspiring actor. Some of my family's most transforming times have been as audience members at S & Co. They are very worthy of continued support.
My son and daughter both have participated in Riotus Youth over several years. Both enjoyed it immensely and learned so much about Shakespeare, acting and life. My son said his experiences there were among the best in his life. I also see most of the productions which are second to none and I spent many years in London seeing the RSC. This is an industrious and truely inspiring institution doing worthy work.
Review from Guidestar
Shakespeare and Company will be celebrating its 35th year with some wonderful productions scheduled. Meanwhile, they can look back on the past year of outstanding productions with pride. The company is now year round with a robust fall production of The War of the Worlds, a Christmas delight with Santaland and an incredibly funny production of Moliere's Learned Lady with a skilled cast of young and talented actors. This is a company that provides its audiences with unique theatrical experiences. One can not praise it enough.
My husband and I have been attending Shakespeare and Company for twenty-five years or more. Our son and daughter-in-law attended their summer training program and a winter intensive. We attend a great deal of theatre in his country, Canada and Great Britain, but there is a special quality to Shakespeare and Company. There is an energy and a vitality to the company that is unique. We would take our friends to see the performances at the Mount and will never forget the magic of seeing As You Like It and A Midsummer's Night Dream out of doors. However, it makes no difference where they perform, indoors or out, they make plays come alive. We enjoyed their Bare Bard performances, their comedies at the Elaine Bernstein theatre, their student productions; all were outstanding. I have always been amazed that everyone who works there, not just the actors and the other artistic people , but the box office people, the ticket takers, the food people, all exude the same friendly, enthusiastic spirit. We are thrilled that they not have performances in the fall and winter so that we can enjoy them all year round.
Review from Guidestar