Arts Midwest Announces 2013–2014 Shakespeare in American Communities Grants

Grants Mark 11th Year of Support Totaling $11,670,625

June 26, 2013

logo-natl-endowment-for-artsMinneapolis, MN – Arts Midwest today announced $1 million in grants to 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies in 21 states, plus the District of Columbia, to perform Shakespeare for students through Shakespeare in American Communities. The awards mark the eleventh consecutive year of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Each of the participating theater companies will present productions of Shakespeare plays to students from at least 10 schools. Accompanying educational activities include in-school residencies, workshops, or post-performance discussions. Performances will take place between August 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014.

Shakespeare in American Communities introduces middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare. Since the program’s inception in 2003, Shakespeare in American Communities has benefitted more than 2.25 million individuals, including 1.9 million students, with live performances and educational activities.

“Arts Midwest is thrilled to partner once again with the National Endowment for the Arts for Shakespeare in American Communities,” says David Fraher, president & CEO of Arts Midwest. “Now in its 11th year, we continue to support worthy organizations across the country by providing the opportunity to reach young and diverse audiences and increase their appreciation of the incomparable works of Shakespeare.”

Organizations receiving $25,000 grants for the 2013-2014 season include:

  • California Shakespeare Theater (Berkeley, CA) will present student matinees of The Winter’s Tale as part of their Student Discovery program. The educational activities will be multifaceted and include teacher training, classroom workshops, residencies, and other experiences at the theater, including their “32-second Shakespeare” game.
  • Tennessee Shakespeare Company (Germantown, TN) will present student matinees of Romeo and Juliet at the City of Germantown’s Performing Arts Centre. Their educational activities will take place with 9th grade students from the Memphis City and Shelby County Schools who will be visited three times by teaching artists in their classroom.
  • The Acting Company (New York, NY) will tour Hamlet at 30 to 35 communities throughout the United States. They will provide performances of this play and a number of educational activities, including their Learning Through Theater residencies, in partnership with venues and middle and high schools.

Please see the complete list of the 40 theater companies (attached) that have been selected to participate in Shakespeare in American Communities for 2013-2014.

One hundred and one theater companies across the United States have taken part in the NEA’s Shakespeare program since its inception eleven years ago. These companies have presented 66 of Shakespeare’s works through 7,600 performances and over 19,000 educational activities at more than 6,400 schools in 3,100 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To enhance the educational impact of Shakespeare in American Communities, Arts Midwest and the NEA
have developed a comprehensive Shakespeare in American Communities website. In addition, two
educational DVDs, a CD, and a timeline poster. These resources can be ordered free of charge from the
website.

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 25
years. For more information, visit www.artsmidwest.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of
the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence,
creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work
through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic
sector. For more information, visit arts.gov.


2013–2014  Shakespeare in American Communities Selected Theater Companies

A Noise Within (Pasadena, CA)
The Acting Company (New York, NY)
Actors’ Shakespeare Project (Somerville, MA)
African-American Shakespeare Company (San Francisco, CA)
American Players Theatre (Spring Green, WI)
The American Shakespeare Center (Staunton, VA)
Aquila Theatre Company (New York, NY)
Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (Bloomsburg, PA)
California Shakespeare Theater (Berkeley, CA)
Classic Stage Company (New York, NY)
Denver Center Theatre Company (Denver, CO)
Epic Theatre Ensemble (New York, NY)
First Stage (Milwaukee, WI)
Folger Theatre (Washington, DC)
Great Lakes Theater (Cleveland, OH)
Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis, MN)
Hartford Stage Company (Hartford, CT)
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Cold Spring, NY)
Kansas City Repertory Theatre (Kansas City, MO)
Lincoln Center Theater (New York, NY)
The Nashville Shakespeare Festival (Nashville, TN)
National Players, Olney Theatre Center (Olney, MD)
Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR)
Orlando Shakespeare Theater (Orlando, FL)
Park Square Theatre Company (Saint Paul, MN)
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (Center Valley, PA)
PlayMakers Repertory Company (Chapel Hill, NC)
Portland Center Stage (Portland, OR)
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (San Francisco, CA)
Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre (Pawtucket, RI)
Seattle Shakespeare Company (Seattle, WA)
Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA)
Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, DC)
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (Madison, NJ)
Tennessee Shakespeare Company (Germantown, TN)
Theater at Monmouth (Monmouth, ME)
Theater for a New Audience (New York, NY)
Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City, UT)
The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum (Topanga, CA)

News

  • New Permanent Year-Round Home for TSC
  • New Germantown Municipal School District Partnership
  • New Company d and Memphis VA Partnerships
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Our 10th Anniversary Gala

We have Purchased the Former Ballet Memphis Property to Create the State’s First Permanent, Year-Round Home for Professional Shakespeare Performance, Education, and Training in Memphis

pic newhome tsc2017(August 31) -- Tennessee Shakespeare Company today announced it has purchased the former facility and property of Ballet Memphis located at 7950 Trinity Road in Memphis as its first, permanent home. 

The announcement was made by Dan McCleary, the company’s founder and Producing Artistic Director; Owen B. Tabor, the company’s Board President for the past six years; and E. Frank Bluestein, the company’s founding Executive Director.

With this acquisition, Tennessee Shakespeare Company is preparing to create the first and only permanent, year-round home for professional Shakespeare performance, education, and training in the state of Tennessee.

TSC purchased the 18,484 square foot facility outright from Ballet Memphis for $1,900,000.  There is no mortgage. 

TSC, now beginning its tenth anniversary season, expects to begin interior renovation this year and be completed in Spring 2018.

The renovation will focus on modifying existing dance studios into a state-of-the-art, professional, flexible theatre for seating up to 200 patrons, as well as a spacious Education Wing.  The public lobby, restrooms, and support areas for the theatre also will be modified.

Centrally located to all of Shelby County just north of Walnut Grove Road, between Germantown Road and the northeast corner of Shelby Farms Park, the unique glass-and-steel facility will house all of TSC’s operations under one roof:  performances, training, education, administrative offices, storage, costume shop, scene shop, and commercial kitchen.  The facility was constructed in 1998, and an addition was built in 2012.  It affords parking for nearly 70 cars.

TSC and Ballet Memphis, longtime arts colleagues whose artistic staffs have collaborated over the years, entered into a Purchase & Sale Agreement in late June.  The sale represents one Memphis not-for-profit arts organization selling to another for re-use of a special purpose building.  TSC’s agent was W. Cary Whitehead III of Boyle Investment Company.

For the last nine years, TSC has created site-specific/environmental Shakespeare and classical productions, both indoors and outside, throughout Shelby County, partnering with long-time friends Dixon Gallery & Gardens, the University of Memphis, St. George’s Church, Shelby Farms Park, Germantown City Hall, Poplar Pike Playhouse, Hutchison School, and Germantown Performing Arts Center.

“This is an important moment in Memphis performing arts,” said Dr. Tabor.  “We have researched more than 50 sites in the last few years, and the former Ballet property is perfect for our needs and for what our audiences say they would like.  The Ballet’s new home in Overton Square is so impressive, and they have been wonderful to work with during this transaction.  We wish them tremendous success.  We appreciate that this special building is the launch pad for exciting futures for two important arts groups in Memphis.

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Announcing a New, Multi-Year Partnership with the Germantown Municipal School District for Cutting-Edge Classical Curriculum for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students

pic germantown partnership1Tennessee Shakespeare Company and the Germantown Municipal School District today announced a unique, multi-year education partnership that will bring immersive, cutting-edge Shakespeare curriculum to life for every student in grades five, seven, and nine.

Starting with this school year, all GMSD fifth and seventh grade students will participate in an introductory, immersive playshop to prepare and excite them for experiencing a full, live performance of TSC’s self-created production of Shakes, Rattle, and Roll.  The show pays tribute to our hometown heritage, creatively linking the signature music of Memphis to the works of Shakespeare that could have inspired them.

All ninth grade students will be treated to TSC’s nationally-acclaimed Romeo and Juliet Project, a four-part interactive residency that concludes with an intimate and riveting live performance of Romeo and Juliet.

The Project, originally launched at Germantown High School seven years ago and now operating in many Shelby County Schools, transforms classrooms into playing spaces to change students' expectations and reception of the material. The residency begins with three sessions that engage the students in playing three different parts of the play.  The positive impact on the students’ grades, compassion level, engagement in continued exploration of classical texts, and their rehearsed ability to walk away from potentially life-threatening situations in their own lives has proven quantifiable and remarkable in the scores of schools in which TSC has taught over the past eight years. 

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New, Exciting TSC Partnerships with Company d and the Memphis VA, and Expanding Programs with Jail East and Hope Academy

“TSC gives them models to express their feelings, which they probably have never done.  For maybe the first time in their lives, they think about the world around them and their role in the community.”

- Joyce Anderson, Juvenile Manager, Shelby County Sheriff's Office

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Hope Academy residency participants

We are thrilled to announce new partnerships between TSC and Company d and the Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Association.  Also this month (August), we are happily expanding our Shakespeare programs for adjudicated youth at both Jail East and Hope Academy.

TSC is spending August in residence with Company d.  Nationally recognized, Company d is a dance company of young adults with Down syndrome under the artistic direction of choreographer Darlene Winters.  Founded in 2001, Company d is committed to inspire, empower, and teach individuals with Down syndrome who have an inherent aptitude for the performing arts.

TSC Education Manager Carmen-maria Mandley and TSC Education artists guide participants through the tumultuous world of Romeo and Juliet.  Using movement and text, the dancers are immersed in Shakespeare's images and encouraged to discover their personal connection with the characters of the play.

"Company d dancers are having a dynamic experience with TSC this week,” says Winters, Company d founder and Artistic Director.  “The play and its language are being brought to life with interactive methods.  The partnership with Tennessee Shakespeare Company is the first partnership with a theatre company in this region.  I am so excited about this new and unique experience for individuals with Down syndrome, which will enrich artistic growth and expand cultural literacy skills."

Also in August, TSC begins working with veterans at the Memphis VA Medical Association. This program brings together service veterans with theatre practitioners to use the plays of Shakespeare in addressing combat-related traumatic and re-integration issues. The model, created by the Feast of Crispian Project in Milwaukee, WI, was created to strengthen the personal psychological resources available to service veterans - especially those with post-deployment health issues - through the practice and skills of theatre combined with the timeless themes and imagistic language of Shakespeare.

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Tennessee Shakespeare Company
presents its first Mainstage production of madcap
The Comedy of Errors

in partnership with the University of Memphis’
Department of Theatre & Dance
June 8-18

pic comedy of errors0200

Joey Shaw (Antipholus of Syracuse) and Blake Currie (Dromio of Syracuse).

Tennessee Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, presents William Shakespeare’s madcap, joyous The Comedy of Errors on the U of M’s Theatre Mainstage from June 8-18.

Featuring a professional cast of actor-musicians and directed by Shakespeare & Company co-founder Tony Simotes, the production sets Shakespeare’s shortest, wildest play in the exotic and dangerous Greece of 1600.

The story features two sets of identical twins, who, along with their parents, were separated shortly after birth on the high seas.  Now, more than 20 years later, Antipholus (the master) and Dromio (his servant) come to a new land that is hostile to foreigners.  Little do they know, their father, chasing after them, is imprisoned and faces execution at sunset for crossing the border unless he can find someone to pay his bail.  And little do they know, their identical twin brothers live here!  It makes for the funniest, most bizarre day in the country until a final familial revelation changes everyone’s lives forever.

Returning to TSC as the Antipholus twins are Joey Shaw (Romeo; King in All’s Well That Ends Well; Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Colton Swibold (title role in Henry V last year).  Returning as the clowning Dromio servants are Nic Picou and Blake Currie (both from Henry V).

Making her TSC debut as Antipholus’ wife Adrianna is U of M alum Claire Hayner, and returning to play her sister Luciana is Rachel Brun (Juliet; Lady Anne in Richard III; Antonio in Twelfth Night; Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

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Save the Date for Our 10th Anniversary Gala

We are saving a table for YOU to join us for our 10th Anniversary Season Gala!  Mark your calendar now for Saturday, April 7, 2018, when we bring you a celebratory evening of performance and dinner in the beautiful ballroom of the Memphis Hilton.

 pic gala save the date 2018b

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is generously supported by:

Boyle         FedEx         Tennessee Arts Commission

International Paper             University of Memphis  logo-arts-memphis



     First Tenneessee Foundation    

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Individual Season Sponsors:

Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund; Nancy Copp; Ernest, Pat, Martha, and Marian Kelly; Milton T. Schaeffer; The Family of Owen and Margaret Tabor;
Ann and Wellford Tabor.

Season Partners:

Boyle Investment Company, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Hutchison School, Shelby County Schools, St. George’s Church, The University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is a proud member of:
Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence       ArtsMemphis    logo-gacc          Tennesseans for the Arts     Tennessee Theatre Association     Where We Live