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Supporting visionary theater throughout the Midwest

The Young Auditorium at the University of Wisconsin in Wisconsin has a long-standing relationship with Aquila Theatre Company and always excited to present their work. The Auditorium’s vision is to function as an indispensable resource, acting as a perpetual catalyst for inspiration and community. The 400-acre campus is part of a community of a little more than 14,000 people with an undergraduate enrollment over 11,000 students annually. Continue reading

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”

On a rainy and grey morning of November 1, I made my way through the Brookline neighborhood of Boston to experience a student matinee of Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s production of Macbethsupported by Shakespeare in American Communities. I approached the stone church of the United Parish of Brookline and entered into its gothic-inspired architecture. The altar area was transposed into the set for the play. The company performs in found spaces, schools, theaters and neighborhoods. This setting truly suited their production of the Scottish play. Prior to my visit, they had presented a free community performance at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University amongst Fujiko Nakaya’s climate responsive fog sculpture.Continue reading

Shakespeare in American Communities: Two opportunities for 2019-2020

Arts Midwest, on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts, is excited to share not just one opportunity for youths to be impacted by Shakespeare but two. Youths will experience Shakespeare plays in performance on stages and in schools across the county. The Bard’s words will also resound within facilities, schools, and programs within the Juvenile Justice System. These opportunities will reach youths with limited access to the arts due to factors such as historically underrepresented cultural groups, economically disadvantaged, and geographic location.Continue reading

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be”

Shakespeare’s text continues to spread across the country. September is the second month in the 2018-2019 season of Shakespeare in American Communities as theater companies begin to impact the next generation with his words. Here are the plays being produced in September 2018 and experienced by thousands of students.Continue reading

Arts Midwest Announces 2018-2019 Shakespeare in American Communities Grants

Arts Midwest today announced the recipients of $1 million in Shakespeare in American Communities grants to 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies from 27 states and the District of Columbia. Participating theater companies will present plays by William Shakespeare to student audiences along with educational activities including in-school residencies, workshops, and post-performance discussions. Performances will take place between August 1, 2018, and July 31, 2019.Continue reading

Hamlet in the Hudson Valley

In early May, I had the opportunity to see seven young professional actors from Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival bring Hamlet alive on stages at two high schools in the Hudson Valley region of New York: Beacon High School and White Plains High School. Director Devin Brain focused the 90-minute production on story elements most compelling to young audiences. The cast entered carrying a trunk which contained everything for them to perform the play. When the actors were not performing they remained on stage sitting on chairs parallel to one another. Sometimes when an actor was speaking of a character they would point to them on the chair. The story really came alive on the stage for these students.Continue reading

The story comes alive

On a Thursday in early October, I had the opportunity to witness the impact of theater and Shakespeare on students from Circle Pines, Deer River, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Watertown, and Waconia. The vantage point was perfect as I sat in the last row on the main floor of the Wurtele Thrust Stage to experience the Guthrie Theater’s student matinee of Romeo and Juliet. It was a packed house with over 1,000 students in attendance.Continue reading

Shakespeare Inspiring Connection in North Carolina

Fayetteville, NC – Fayetteville is the home of the largest military installation in the world, Fort Bragg, comprised approximately of 50,000 active-duty personnel and 4,000 families. Because of this, a large majority of Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s audiences have been impacted by war at some level, whether as an active military member, military family member, or as a friend, neighbor, or colleague of a military family.Continue reading

Shakespeare in American Communities grants awarded

Arts Midwest today announced $1 million in grants to 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies across 26 states, plus the District of Columbia, to perform the works of William Shakespeare for students through Shakespeare in American Communities. The awards mark the fifteenth consecutive year of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.Continue reading