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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Shakespeare & Company, Inc.

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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

391 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

RogerThat14

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Love them. Great group with lots of heart and soul for the kids.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Craig12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakespeare & Company offers life-changing training for people of all backgrounds.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Studying with Shakespeare and Company was one of the best decisions I have ever made. This place is literally life changing. After five weeks in the Berkshires, I discovered a new perspective on myself as an actor and a human being. I will be back in some capacity as soon as I can.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A Group of the most amazing and devoted people, who drown themselves in work to put together a feast for all who attend.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

Every year my girls and I prepare for another wonderful Shakespeare experience at Shakespeare and Company. It's not just a show, it's an experience. The whole place brings you in right away, there are people in period costume before the show doing bits outside. Afterwards, we always go meet the talented actors and we learn something more. The show itself always brings a new light to an old favorite, or shows us something we've never seen. They have grown up on Shakespeare and Company and now -- at 21, 18 and 11 -- are big fans, thanks to this wonderful company. We are ever grateful.

Previous Stories
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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For years, my girls have been learning and enjoying the magic of Shakespeare because of this wonderful company. They bring it to life, make it relevant, and, importantly, affordable. Because of Tina Packer's Tales of Shakespeare, my three daughters and I prepare easily for each production, and then find ourselves immersed in talent, skill, imagination, and delight for each one. The unique take of the director for the tens of productions we have seen spurs fantastic conversation. The generosity of the actors after each production allows my girls and I access to them, talking for a few minutes (or more!) each time about motivation, difficulty, and involvement. Shakespeare and Company has made Shakespeare lovers out of my girls, now 19, 17 and 10. Thank you to them, and long may they live.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We bring our college students, especially those in theatre, to see Shakespeare performed with understanding, energy, and imagination that is unsurpassed in my experience. Seeing actors work in repertory gives audiences a clearer sense of the nature of acting. The openness with which actors have talked with our students after performances adds to this. Seeing Shakespeare staged in a space that resembles the Renaissance stage structure for which it was written is a revelation every time. The ability to walk the grounds and think about the play after seeing it enhances the playgoing experience, too.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I can scarcely believe that I did not train at Shakespeare and Company before I did. I've trained with some very fine institutions, but participating (not just learning!) in the innovative work and positive, constructive approach to developing ourselves as theater artists--while we quite literally lived and breathed Shakespeare--was not only great training, but also allowed me to bear witness to the way in which this work inspired actors and teachers to deeper and more personal exploration. I can't recommend S & Co more highly.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shakespeare & Company reminds us, vividly and powerfully, in all the work they do as artists, producers, educators of young people, trainers of theater professionals and champions of relishing the human connection that can be experienced so vividly in Shakespeare's plays, that there are lifelong rewards for engagement with any art, and that such engagement can re-invigorate our imaginations, re-awaken our humanity and expand our capacity for empathy and compassion. This is vital and necessary work in all times, but especially during these days of struggle for so many. Shakespeare and Company's outreach to area schools and juvenile courts is a powerful reminder that theater can and does change and save lives every day.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Co entered our family's life with actors' residencies in our elementary and middle schools. These were not only the education specialists, who are terrific, but their star actors! My kids learned so much from working with the professionals, who spent I think 6 weeks in the schools! The approach they took, exploring language until each student could understand and feel what Shakespeare was intending to say, was fantastic. A life-changing experience for us all.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I participated in the month-long intensive training as an actor and returned for a second year as a teacher trainee. I took shorter training as an actor in specific topic areas and participated in trainings taught by the Education Department as a teacher. My experiences had and continues to have transformational effects on my life and the lives of my students.

Review from Guidestar

William C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in the Fall Festival in High School and it remains, 13 years later, a formative experience in my life. The exposure to great art and artists is just the beginning. Working within the atmosphere of the Fall Festival gives young people confidence in public speaking, spatial movement, and passionate pursuit of goals. Thanks Shake&Co.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

After so many years of enjoying Shakespeare's comedies at The Mount, I am now able to attend WINTER performances of a variety of plays, both Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, and other forms of theatre. And I'm loving all of it!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I love live theatre. I particularly enjoy repertoire houses which allow me to see actors rotate though different roles. Unfortunately, I can not afford to see all the theatre I wish to see. Because I volunteer at Shakespeare and Company, I can satisfy my need for theatre.

Review from Guidestar

Maizy S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a student and employee at Shakespeare&Co throughout high school. It was the center of my life, educationally and socially, especially after leaving public school to pursue my education independently. I hope S&Co can continue to provide opportunities to young people.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have participated in the Fall Festival of Shakespeare for the past four years and it is literally the best time of my year. The environment in everyday rehersal as well as the actual four day festival in Lenox is so welcoming and friendly. Everyone I've met through it is somehow an amazingh person. I don't know of many other places you can find that.

Not only are the student there awesome, though; the people who work there exceed expectations by miles. Working with many of them through Fall Festival and Shakespeare and Young Company, I continue to be amazed. They are all so talented as actors and mentors. They know exactly how to bring out the best in all of their students so they not only produce great plays, but grow as actors as well.

Every play I've seen there as well has been impecable. Whether is Shakespeare or not, the actors, directors and designers all give 110%. I've never been to S&Co and not enjoyed my time.

Shakespeare and Company has changed my outlook on Shakespeare and on acting. It's the most amazing place on Earth.

Review from Guidestar

Victoria R.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The training at Shakespeare & Co. changed my life, both personally and professionally, in a profound way. I became a better actor and, frankly, a better human being for having spent a month in an environment of such intense warmth, inclusiveness, creativity, challenge, support, and inquiry. On a daily--if not hourly or more frequent basis--we not only increased our technical prowess, but we asked questions about the bigger issues of art. What does it mean to be human? How do we tell stories that move, excite, inspire our fellow humans? Many theatres can produce fine actors from their training programs, but this is the only one I've encountered that produces not only better artists, but better members of society.

As an audience member, I can say that this is some of the finest, most technically clear, and most heartfelt and sincere work I've ever seen on stage and I am privileged to have witnessed it.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first became aware of S&Co many years ago when I was Chairman of the DeSisto School in Stockbridge MA, a school for troubled teens. S&Co provided a unforgettable experience for the students, many of whom had never seen a play or acted or participated in any of the myriad opportunities a theatre company provides.The relationship went on for many years. As a result of the interaction of the Desisto School and S&Co, the school initiated a performing arts program, giving these troubled teens a wonderful expressive outle. tAs an attendee I have always been impressed with the calibre of the perfomers and performances. S&Co provides a very needed place in the Berkshire community.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been lucky to have been able to attend Shakespeare & Company performances since before they moved from The Mount. I gladly donate each year as well. It is one of the highlights of my summer, and now fall and winter as well, to visit S&Co. for one of their fantastic performances. Their talent, professionalism, dedication and also humor show through in everything they do. For the best in art and culture, it is not to be missed!

Review from Guidestar

Kathleen G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a teacher and Drama instructor at one of the high schools that takes part in The Fall Festival of Shakespeare, I can vouch for the enormous benefit of this program to our students. Over the nineteen years I have been involved, I have seen countless numbers of students get so excited about being in a Shakepeare play that they can't wait for school to begin in the fall because it means auditions and rehearsal for the Fall Festival will soon be starting. Many of our students take part in the Festival as they are older students because they have heard so much about it, but many others start as freshmen, some as actors and some as technical crew, and grow into larger character or technical roles as they mature and gain confidence. The day after the Festival finishes, when we have our final meeting at school, called closure, the students express very emotionally what being involved in the Festival has meant to them. It is a day filled with tears, but of the best kind, because the tears acknowledge just how pleased they are to have had this experience, and how much they will miss this very special magical feeling of being on stage with a completely appreciative audience and castmates who have rehearsed together to the point of virtuosity. This program has become the most important part of the performing arts calendar at Springfield Central High School, and is a large part of what helped our school identify itself as a magnet school for the Arts.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company is a tremendous asset not only to the local community, but their affect reaches across the nation. Not only does the company offer a superb collection of artists doing really powerful performance work on the stage, but their professional training programs are truly top-notch, and their education programs have made significant impact in the intellectual and emotional growth of many youngsters. I had the tremendous good fortune of growing up with the in-schools education programs offered by Shakespeare and Company, which provided the foundation for a life practice of working collaboratively, with honesty and integrity. I have since founded a theatre company dedicated to site-specific interactive performances, in some ways quite different from traditional stage work, but the core elements of emotional truth and clarity of thought and speech in performance, that I first experienced at S&Co, is at the heart of my approach. I put the full strength of my voice behind supporting this company.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been privileged to be a volunteer for many years at Shakespeare & Co. and have been amazed at the dedication of the staff regarding community outreach, youth education programs, and an overall commitment to excellence. I believe that this is one of the finest cultural organizations in our region.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a teacher at Upper Cape Tech over the 2007/08 and the 2008/09 school years I was introduced to Shakespeare and Company and attended a summer week long teacher training. The teacher training is aplicable and easy to use in a lesson plan, which is grounded in a student centered-format. The training helped me regain my love of Shakespeare and it prepared my colleagues and me to go back into our classrooms with a renewed confidence.
The practicality of the summer teacher training which takes place at the Shakespeare and Company campus in Lenox, is also the cost (which is very reasonable) and the time committment. It seems that Shakespeare and Company has really tried to make itself available to school districts that are always trying to stretch their professional development budgets, and they offer this training when most teachers can make the time committment. Bravo to all the Shakespeare and Company employees and donors who make this experience possible!

I can tell you as a classroom teacher who has taught the struggling student, and the less confident student, that all students can be reached by using the methods that have been developed by the Shakespeare and Company teacher trainers. I am now an ELA instructional leader for an urban school district in Rhode Island, and as Rhode Island's new State Standards will be the Common Core, (which are based on Massachusett's State Standards), the Shakespeare and Company teacher training, is something I will direct my teachers to. The end result is having an engaged classroom of students confident in their ability to experience and understand the language of Shakespeare.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We appreciate Shakespear & Company on multiple levels. For many years we have attended performances. We have never been disappointed....the caliber of the actors--including the actors in training/students, the quality of the material, is truly inspiring. Conversations with students confirm our impression of the life-changing experience time spent with S&Co is for them. Indeed, we value S&Co so much it was a key reason for our deciding to retire to the area.

Over the years we have read with amazement the extensive outreach during the year, the number of students exposed to great works and the impact such exposure must have on them. We have attended numerous performances at which children of all ages have been in the audience. In an age increasingly online, to have children experience live theater, up close and personal, REAL, must stand out as unusual, if not unique, special, and not only thought-provoking, but fun!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Having a son participate as a young actor in Shakespeare and Company,
he was mentored, educated and treated with great kindness by all at this
wonderful complex. He was challenged as an actor and grew as he
became involved in the touring company and took on the responsibility as a director for the high school Fall Festival. How wonderful to see so
many young people excited about Shakespeare!! This is a great place and should continue for years to come.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a teacher and have taken many workshops at Shakespeare and Company and each time am renewed and inspired at the esthetic value's the education department teaches. They embrace what few company's dare to, the ability to live with ambiguity and not shame students into a polished performance but allows for a genuine process which results in a high quality production. I am a better teacher because of the experiences I have had in those workshops. Cheers!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

All throughout middle and high school I turned to "Shake n' Co" as an outlet for my creativity. Not only did SnC give me a greater knowledge of the importance expressing oneself, it gave me a greater sense of community. I became friends with kids from rival schools, even schools with otherwise no affiliation with mine through the Fall Festival program it hosts in the fall to local high schools. Without Shake n Co, I would not have stepped on stage once, or become a more confident person.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended several performances at Shakespeare and company over the last three years. I am consistently impressed with the quality of performance and especially their ability to develop young talent - including actors, stage managers, lighting experts prop people and other theater professionals in training.

Their performances are carefully thought out, creative, educational and compelling. Their professional staff is dedicated to developing young talent.

I can think of no more deserving organization than Shakespeare and Company.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My middle school students absolutely love the Shakespeare performances. They enjoy being drawn into the stories by the actors. They walk away with great enthusiasm to see more Shakespeare plays. They always want to know when we can read another play and, most of all, are anxious to see another performance.

I appreciate that the company gives students a real taste of what the original Shakespeare performances must have been like. The simplicity of the set and props, the constant motion, the amazing sword fights and interaction with the audience all are consistent with performances of Shakespeare's day.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been attending the productions at Shakespeare & Company for several years and think they do a terrific job. The casts are talentd and the productions are extraordinarily professional. They are doing a tremendous job of training our future actors and giving them an opportunity to perfect their craft. Shakespeare & Co is the reason I come to the Berkshires every year.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

There are only a few theatres in this country dedicated to the works of Shakespeare and Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, does it with wit,
verve, grace, tenacity and power. The level of talent, commitment and expertise is of the highest level, and they inspire and elevate everyone who come in contact with them.
In a time when support for culture and the arts is dwindling, this company generates community involvement, and world wide recognition. Audiences everywhere thrill to their work, and there educational and training programs are second to none.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We need Shakespeare to invent more words to describe the experience of Shakespeare & Co. I've been attending performances since their start in 1978, and have never been disappointed. I couldn't wait until my daughter was old enough to join me - she started loving Shakespeare at age 7. She now attends their summer camp every summer. What she learns there translates into every aspect of her life - fearless public speaking, the sheer joy of words, the companionship of creating a perfomance...all that and sword fighting too. It brings us infinite joy.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakes and Co helped me become the person I am today. I went to the STI program and learned more about myself and my craft in 5 weeks than I have in the past 5 years. I have been exposed and inspired by working actors and educators who believe in telling truth to the world. I hope that I can continue to bring what I have learned from them to my teaching and acting everyday for the rest of my life.

Review from Guidestar

Debra A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter started with Shakespeare & Co. her freshman year at Mt. Greylock with the fall festival program which is a six week whirwind of fun resulting in the kids performing one of Shalespeare's works on stage at their school and then coming together with all ten schools who are involved for a fall festival weekend where the kids perform their show on the shakespeare and company stage. The kids really get into it and the energy is amazing. It was a life changing experience for her and her friends. Her love of Shakespeare and acting blossomed with this program. The actors from Shakespeare & Co. direct the students and we have gotten to know all of the directors very well. They are not only amazing actors but wonderful role models. I have lived in the Berkshires my entire life and knew nothing about Shakespeare and Co. until my dtr started with them. Our entire family loves going to the performances and we try our best to coordinate our schedules so we can see the shows they offer. Just wonderful. Deb and Jim Allen

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been attending Shakespeare & Co. performances for the past eight seasons and never once have webeen disappointed in anything that we've seen. We have gone from just attending one play to trying to attend everything that is done in the month of August and to frequently coming up during the rest of the year to see what we missed. Shakespeare & Co are the highlight of our summer.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Attended Hounds of Baskerville last year which is a production I would not expect a orgaination with Shakespeare in it's name to perform. We laughed and laughed so this year we just had to go see Irma Vep and even bring firends with us. What a cure for the February blues.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was depressed! Now I am blessed! As I attest, you must invest!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The educational programs at S&Co are life-changing, even for those who are not professional actors - perhaps especially for them. The creative ways of approaching Shakespeare's text deepen and enhance understanding of the plays, but can also make ordinary interactions and self-reflection more powerful. I took a month-long intensive workshop more than 15 years ago, followed by shorter studies with various teachers. I have used techniques in teaching my own classes, many of which have not even been in theater. And my two children were raised as lovers of Shakespeare, partly because of being enthralled at an early age by productions on the Mount.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My children have benefited in so many ways from the talent and education that come from Shakespeare and Co. programs and performances. I feel so fortunate to live in a community that is enriched by such a program. I have learned a great deal about Shakespeare myself and have enjoyed a number of performances.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Words cannot express my appreciation for all Shakespeare & Company does for this community and my family, and I'm a writer by trade! My daughter has been involved in Shakespeare & Company's education program since she was in 7th grade. Last year she was given the honor of having a role in S&Co's production of Richard III. This was one of the most rewarding experiences of her life and has helped her make her decision to pursue acting as a career as she leaves for college. Our lives were made richer by this experience, and we were exposed to more Shakespeare than anyone could dream of. We are so lucky to have this amazing company in our area. I tell everyone to encourage their children to be part of the education program and I just signed up to volunteer for next season. The productions are outstanding, the professionalism immense and the quality of instruction, stellar! I cannot say enough about this company.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Been there 5 times for the classic Shakespeare plays - awesome experience and great actors! We need it to continue!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been attending performances at Shakespeare and Company for about ten years and have never been disappointed. The major productions are wonderful, but we especially enjoy the performances at the Bernstein which feature the younger members of the company or the intern program. Summer in the Berkshires is great, but we love having quality theatre during the rest of the year at Shakespeare and Company.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Training at this company last summer in the Summer Young Company, Interning, performing, and watching many of the shows night after night has brought me invaluable knowledge and experience about the world of theatre, as well as very strong and personal love for the works of Shakespeare and storytelling. The Company is so united in working as an ensemble of creative artists, each with different skill sets, but all working cohesively to create great theatre and a wonderful atmosphere to work, learn, and play.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The training I received at the Shakespeare & Co. Intensive monrth-long workshop informed my teaching and my performing for many years. This is a company that takes very seriously the power and possibility of the complete human . In an era dominated by mediated entertainment, it is inspiring to experience what this company can do with fit bodies, barre-naked voices, dynamic speech, and respect for the text. Their performances are always full of lively surprises, but refreshingly free of gimmickry.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

s&co touches and enriches my life in so many ways. the performances we see are superb and daring and inspiring. the experiences my children have had with s&co in our lenox school system have been beautiful and meaningful. and the artistic training i’ve done at s&co has been invaluable to me as an actor and as a human being. i have deep admiration for the artistic integrity and generosity of s&co and for the hearts and souls of it’s company members.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Shakespeare & Company has brought thoughtful, understandable productions of the Bard's plays, of Edith Wharton adaptations, and of many contemporary works to audiences in The Berkshires for over 30 years. The audiences know they are going to experience something fresh, alive and relevant when they come to S&Co. More importantly, S&Co has influenced many generations of youth through their schools programs and through teacher training. Through the many teachers they have trained -- either in weekend session or month- long intensives -- they have rendered Shakespeare's plays more accessible to secondary and elementary school students. They have made a difference in our world.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have taken my 13 year old to several terrific shows . We live about 45 minutes northeast of Boston so the ride is pretty long, but it has been a ride well worth it every time !!! I look foward to returning as does my daughter..she has even expressed an interest in attending a camp or some other educational experience that may be offered in the future. I highly recommend the Shakespeare and Company,Inc to everyone I speak to !!! Warm regards N.L. Haginicolas

Review from Guidestar

Sade N.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love Shake and Co. They have helped me shape wonderfully to the actress that I am. I have also met numerous collaborators and dear friends for life. The quality of the productions is grade A. Wonderful weekend getaway in the summer and winter!

Review from Guidestar

Sarah S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have done multiple workshops with Shakespeare & Company and they have all benefitted me as a teacher, an actor and a human being. I think it is their extraordinary humane approach to Shakespeare and the art of sharing his words that sets them apart as trainers and mentors. I don't think my acting or my teaching would be what they are today if I hadn't been opened up as a human being by Shakes & Co. It is their focus on an artist's humanity that encourages a deeper ability to connect to an audience and to give them a richer experience of Shakespeare - and any writer - because actors trained by Shakes & Co reveal more on stage.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I teach acting in Boston, and was fortunate to participate in a weekend workshop with Shakespeare & Co. a number of years ago. My experience with them was truly inspirational. It gave me a new love and passion for the words of Shakespeare. Despite having previously earned an MFA in theatre, I never realized the honesty and soul to Shakespeare's work, until I encountered the folks at Shakespeare & Co.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a student at Lee Middle & High School, currently in my senior year, and i have had the pleasure of working with Shake & Co for three years now. I can honestly say that the Fall Festival of Shakespeare is the most fun i have ever had the pleasure of being a part of!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I took a monthlong intensive workshop more than 20 years ago and am still amazed at how the lessons learned there continue to inform my acting work. And I worked on the Shakespeare in the Schools team, directing for the first five years of the Fall Festival. I am so pleased to see so many students still engaged and excited about being part of the program.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a Senior Citizen who found Shakespeare & Co. a few years ago and found John Douglas Thompson's a real gem in the field. His portrayal of Othello made me Cry. So driving 400 miles from So. Jersey is a trip I'll take anytime I can see him perform. Kudos to Shakespeare & Co. for training and providing excellent theater, second only to Broadway Shows. Myra C.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company has been a huge part of my life since I moved to the area a few years ago. Every play that they touch, turns to gold. I have had the pleasure of acting in a few plays with S & Co. from a professional and a student level. They are truly a gem in the acting world.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and I are from Washington state and started attending Shakespeare & Company summer productions in Massachusetts two years ago while in Massachusetts visiting an elderly relative. She fell in love with Shakespeare at 8 years old and I credit the intimacy, immediacy (and affordability) of the Shakespeare & Co venues. We've seen something in every theater on the site the past two summers and are planning our next trip east around the upcoming season. Even though my daughter doesn't understand all the words, our proximity to the actors and their ability to make Shakespeare's intentions so well understood have meant that she has vastly enjoyed the plays. We have seen other Shakespeare productions since in Seattle and I have been to many, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, but we both rank the Lenox company as the best! The relatively low ticket prices, free demonstrations, and free short productions, make them particularly accessible for families and others who otherwise could not afford to enjoy such performances as often. My daughter raved so much about the free show "More Words, More Play" last year that we returned with to see it again with two other families (including 4 more kids under 12). I can't say enough good about the venue, the actors, the productions or the experience - I just wish we didn't have to travel 3000+ miles to enjoy it every summer!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

i love Shakespeare, it is absolutely amazing. no where else will you find a more devoted group of people that help and train teenagers the language of Shakespeare and have the ability to work with them and create a play with i.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shakespeare & Co. is an amazing organization, especially in the field of education/teacher preparation. In 2001, I participated in a month-long seminar sponsoted by the National Endowment for the Humanties. Twenty-five teachers, froma cross the country, learned the most effective ways to teach Shakespeare through performance, as well as what it's like to act Shakespeare. It was an incredible, transformative experience and changed the way I did certain things in the classroom. Because of the seminar, for years I have participated in the NYC Student Shakespeare Festival with students from Grade 2-7. I have used everything I learned in my classroom, and much of the knowledge cuts across the curriculum.

I also participated in many workshops given by the Training Department, including Making a Personal Connection to the Text, Dropping In, and Text Analysis.

Their productions are clear and emotionally accessible.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was pure chance that I attended a weekend workshop and WOW what a difference a weekend can make. I discovered that my voice could rumble my rib cage and that performing Shakespeare is ...well...FUN. Dennis is truly a Master teacher.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Shakespeare and Company are successful in pursuit of (at least) two important goals. They produce and present excellent regional theater including wonderful productions of several Shakespeare plays each year. Perhaps more importantly, they are working to produce a new generation of actors and theater lovers. This work includes training for actors and the "fall festival" program where members of the resident company work with local high schools to cast and produce a Shakespeare play that is performed in the high school and then brought to the theater in Lenox, MA for a 2-3 day festival where each high school cast performs their work and shares in the love of the work and of theater. For the teens who participate the experience can be transforming, and generates a life long interest in the plays, the language and in theater generally. I have seen few regional theater companies who directly serve such a broad range of ages and audiences, and do so with outstanding results.

Review from Guidestar