Atlanta Shakespeare Company Awarded $25,000 by the NEA to Participate in Shakespeare In American Communities

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The Atlanta Shakespeare Company will participate in Shakespeare in American Communities by performing an abridged version of Julius Caesar at underserved Georgia schools.

The Atlanta Shakespeare Company (ASC) was awarded a $25,000 grant from Arts Midwest on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts that will allow ASC to participate in Shakespeare in American Communities, the NEA’s national project to bring professional Shakespeare performances to communities with little access to professional theatre. As part of Shakespeare in American Communities, six professional actors will bring Caesar: 60, an abridged version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, to underserved schools in Georgia.

2016-2017 will be the second year that ASC has participated in Shakespeare in American Communities. Andrew Houchins, Education and Training Programs Coordinator, highlighted the success of the 2015-2016 tour of R&J: 60, an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet: “Thanks to the 2015-2016 Shakespeare In American Communities grant, we were able to bring Shakespeare performances and workshops to over 7500 students in fifteen communities across Georgia, communities that usually don’t have great access to the arts due to cost and/or geography. In many cases, this was their first experience with live theatre, and that is a privilege and a responsibility that we don’t take lightly. Our hope is to increase that number to 10,000 students in the next few years, and with the overwhelmingly positive feedback and word-of-mouth we have received for this first outing, we are optimistic that we can reach that goal.”

Laura Cole, Director of Education and Training, commented, “The goal of Shakespeare in American Communities aligns perfectly with our mission to introduce students to Shakespeare’s plays and to let students speak Shakespeare’s lines for themselves. Through seeing Caesar: 60 and interacting with text from Julius Caesar in the corresponding playshops, students will have the opportunity to make strides in their academic understanding of Shakespeare and to bolster their self-confidence in speaking in front of their peers.”

About the Atlanta Shakespeare Company at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse:
The Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s Education programs provide opportunities for students, educators, and parents throughout Georgia and the Southeast to experience the power of Shakespeare’s language and dramatic vision through active participation and performance using dynamic, language-based methods. ASC Education serves students from K-12 grades in fifty-four Georgia counties and six southern states with matinees in Atlanta, touring productions, workshops, residencies and other classroom programs as well as offering professional training to emerging artists at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is Atlanta’s only professional Equity theater company producing the works of William Shakespeare and select classic modern plays throughout the year, in an Elizabethan, Globe-inspired playhouse on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. This past year the Atlanta Shakespeare Company reached a total of over 20,000 students and 30,000 adults.

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