American Players Theatre
Founded in 1979, American Players Theatre is a professional summer theater devoted to classical work with an emphasis on Shakespeare. The company’s 1,148-seat outdoor amphitheater, Up the Hill, resides beneath the sky in a setting of extraordinary natural beauty; the company also has a 201-seat indoor theater, Touchstone Theatre, nestled between prairie and woods. From June through October, the company produces eight plays in rotating repertory. Their mission is to explore the extraordinary qualities that have allowed the great plays of the Western canon to endure through the ages, and make them vividly accessible to a large and varied audience. Education is central to American Players Theatre’s mission, and their outreach program enhances appreciation, understanding, and respect for language and classical theater in learners of all ages. They believe that sharing techniques that bring dramatic poetry to life can lead not only to an appreciation of Shakespeare's work, but a greater regard for all poetry and insight into some of the more mysteriously potent ways in which language can work.
As part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, American Players Theatre will offer student matinee performances of Twelfth Night and Richard III. All schools that attend a performance are offered one of the company’s long-standing and highly respected workshops free-of-charge. These workshops occur during the season and enable students to intensify their experience through extended, in-classroom interactions with professional actors and artisans. In addition, their residency program, Potency of Poetry, will be conducted off-season and will use the unique performance skills of the company's teaching artists to infuse students with an enthusiasm and enhanced appreciation for the words, language, and storytelling, ultimately laying the groundwork for a student population better equipped to understand and appreciate complex text such as Shakespeare's.