What do you get when you give several hundred teenagers passionate text, boundless creative freedom, and dozens of gleaming broadswords? Shakespeare & Company’s 24th annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare! This nationally-celebrated program places Shakespeare & Company Education Artists in 10 local schools, where they lead students on a nine-week exploration of how Shakespeare’s plays relate to their own lives and "hold a mirror up to nature." Built on the transformative power of Shakespeare’s words, the Fall Festival seeks to engage students in vibrant, playful, and poignant theatrical experiences.
For more information on the Fall Festival of Shakespeare and other Education Programs, please contact Associate Director of Education Jenna Ware at (413) 637-1199 ext 172. For all press-related inquires, please contact Associate Director of Communications Greg Hughes at (413) 637-1199 ext. 145.
The Fall Festival culminates with the students performing a Shakespeare play at their own school multiple times and then again as part of a four-day marathon of plays at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse. This year’s marathon of student performances runs November 15 through 18, which is the weekend before Thanksgiving. Tickets are $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for students per performance. A Festival Pass, which includes all ten plays, may also be purchased for $60.00 for adults and $30.00 for students. For tickets please call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit the website at www.Shakespeare.org.
Participating high schools include Chatham High School, Monument Mountain Regional High School, Lenox Memorial High School, Taconic High School, Lee High School, Springfield Central High School, Mt. Greylock Regional High School, Taconic Hills High School, Mt. Everett Regional High School, and North Andover High School. See dates and times for all Tina Packer Playhouse shows at the end of this release.
Led by Director of Education Kevin G. Coleman, Associate Director of Education Jenna Ware, and School Programs Manager Alexandra Lincoln, the Fall Festival is a celebration rather than a competition. Students are encouraged to delve into Shakespeare’s works, unpacking the language and savoring the humor, intensity and transcendent beauty of plays written over 400 years ago. Daily rehearsals focus on students’ personal responses to the text, creating the possibility for a personal connection to language that students previously may have written off as inaccessible. Students also learn stage combat, technical theatre, stage management, publicity techniques, and dance during their Festival experience. Shakespeare & Company’s set, props, technical, and costume departments collaborate with the Education Artists and students to create a unique design for each play.
The Company’s award-winning Education Program is one of the most extensive theatre-in-education programs in the Northeast, and has reached over millions of students since 1978 with innovative performances, workshops, and residencies. In addition to the Fall Festival of Shakespeare, other S&Co. programs include The Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare, Shakespeare in the Courts, Shakespeare & Young Company, Riotous Youth, Shakespeare in our Schools, Workshops for Teachers and Actors, and the National Institute on Teaching Shakespeare, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Guided by Director of Education Kevin G. Coleman and Associate Director of Education Jenna Ware, the Education Program received The Commonwealth Award in 2005, the highest award for excellence in the arts, sciences, and humanities given by the state of Massachusetts. It was also the subject of the two-year study by Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (Project Zero), which recommended national replication. The Education program has been identified by the Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities as a Champion of Change.