American Players Theatre
Founded in 1979, American Players Theatre is a professional 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 the company’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.
For Shakespeare in American Communities, American Players Theatre will present student matinees of Much Ado About Nothing directed by David Frank and Romeo and Juliet directed by James DeVita. The company will provide related educational activities, including workshops, residencies, and post-show talkbacks. They anticipate reaching 150 schools from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.