Friday, June 1, 2018

Nebraska Shakespeare was chosen as one of 40 theatres across the nation to participate in “Shakespeare in American Communities”

Omaha, NE (June, 2018) – The 2018 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, produced by Nebraska Shakespeare to travel to schools and communities this fall as a part of the organization’s Shakespeare On Tour program, has been chosen to participate in ‘Shakespeare in American Communities’. Arts Midwest announced on May 31 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. This year marks 16 years of the program which supports female directors, under-served audiences, and innovative youth programming.

Selection for ‘Shakespeare in American Communities’ made it possible for Nebraska Shakespeare to produce The Taming of the Shrew for the inaugural season of Shakespeare On Tour in 2006, and has helped the program to continue to expand. “’Shakespeare in American Communities’ made it possible for our 2017 On Tour production of Romeo and Juliet to expand to six weeks of performances,” says Director of Education, Sarah Carlson-Brown. “This allowed the tour to offer a record number of 42 shows and over 85 educational activities. This production performed for over 60 schools and communities and reached a record number of over 10,000 students in a single season!”

Participating 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. The awards mark the sixteenth consecutive year of ‘Shakespeare in American Communities’, a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Since the program’s inception in 2003, ‘Shakespeare in American Communities’ has introduced 2.9 million middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare through performances and educational activities.

“Arts Midwest is thrilled to continue our long partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts connecting youths with the transformational power of Shakespeare through shared live performance and educational experiences created by America’s finest theater companies,” said Adam Perry, Arts Midwest’s vice president for strategy and programs. “Discovering Shakespeare’s cannon inspires students from all backgrounds across America’s cultural landscape to dream, love, explore and create new futures in epic Shakespearean style. The ‘Shakespeare in American Communities’ grant awards bridge the past to the present where leaders of the next generation are discovering that tomorrow is indeed, promised to all.”

One hundred and eleven theater companies across the United States have taken part in ‘Shakespeare in American Communities’ since 2003. These companies have presented 33 Shakespeare plays through 11,300 performances and 41,500 educational activities at more than 10,000 schools in 4,300 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Each year, thousands of students have an opportunity to experience Shakespeare performances and educational activities through ‘Shakespeare in American Communities’,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest are committed to expanding access to the arts to audiences across the country.”

The following 40 theater companies have been selected to participate in the program for 2018-2019.
  • A Noise Within, Pasadena, CA 
  • The Acting Company, New York, NY 
  • Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Somerville, MA 
  • Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery, AL 
  • Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA 
  • American Players Theatre, Spring Green, WI 
  • American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, VA 
  • Aquila Theatre Company, Katonah, NY 
  • Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA 
  • California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley, CA 
  • Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Baltimore, MD 
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago, IL 
  • Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati, OH 
  • Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Boulder, CO 
  • Dallas Theater Center, Dallas, TX 
  • Folger Theatre, Washington, D.C. 
  • Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland, OH 
  • Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN 
  • Hartford Stage, Hartford, CT 
  • Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Cold Spring, NY 
  • Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise, ID 
  • Kentucky Shakespeare, Louisville, KY 
  • Lantern Theater Company, Philadelphia, PA 
  • Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Bozeman, MT 
  • Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville, TN 
  • Nebraska Shakespeare, Omaha, NE
  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, OR
  • Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Orlando, FL 
  • Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Center Valley, PA 
  • Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA 
  • Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 
  • Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C. 
  • The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Florham Park, NJ 
  • Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Memphis, TN 
  • Theater at Monmouth, Monmouth, ME 
  • Theatre for a New Audience, New York, NY 
  • Trinity Repertory Company, Providence, RI 
  • Utah Shakespeare Festival, Cedar City, UT 
  • Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga, CA 
  • Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT 
The list of companies can be found at http://www.artsmidwest.org/programs/shakespeare/upcoming

About Nebraska Shakespeare On Tour
Nebraska Shakespeare strives to bring Shakespeare to new audiences. Shakespeare On Tour, which encompasses over 90 communities, is a large part of achieving this goal, reaching an average of 33 schools annually and serving over 88,000 students in the past twelve years. Shakespeare On Tour demonstrates Shakespeare's universal human conditions to students. Special focus is given to making the language of Shakespeare clear and understandable. Theatrical techniques in expressiveness, physicality, analysis, rhythm, and theatrical design are incorporated to entertain students and bring continued relevance to Shakespeare's words. Now in its 13th season, Shakespeare On Tour will take A Midsummer Night’s Dream to schools and communities in September and October of 2018. The majority of performances will take place in schools, and the performance can be staged in a variety of settings including gymnasiums, classrooms, community centers, public parks, and intimate community theaters.

About Nebraska Shakespeare
Under the leadership of Executive Director, Mary Ann Bamber; Artistic Director, Vincent Carlson-Brown; and the Board of Directors, Nebraska Shakespeare’s mission is to create entertaining, challenging productions as well as immersive educational experiences that connect our diverse community to Shakespeare's exploration of what it means to be human. On stage, in the classroom and through collaborative partnerships, we create, engage, and inspire. Now in its 32nd year, Nebraska Shakespeare serves 40,000 individuals annually through performances and educational forums. For more information, visit nebraskashakespeare.com

About Arts Midwest
Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years. For more information, visit artsmidwest.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit arts.gov.



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