The Arkansas Repertory Theatre was one of 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies across 26 states selected to perform the works of William Shakespeare for students through the Shakespeare in American Communities grant. Participating theater companies will present productions of Shakespeare plays to students from at least 10 schools. The Rep has received a $25,000 grant to support a week of student matinee performances of Macbeth.
The awards mark the 13th consecutive year of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The Rep will produce Macbeth in September 2015 on its 377-seat main stage performance space on Main Street in downtown Little Rock as the first of its landmark 40th MainStage Season. The theatre will open the production with a week of free student matinees, attended by schools from across Arkansas.
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 benefited more than 2.5 million individuals, including 2.1 million students, with live performances and educational activities.
“Arts Midwest is so proud to once again partner with the National Endowment for the Arts to support the activities of 40 outstanding theater companies that will bring Shakespeare’s plays alive for students across the country,” says Susan Chandler, vice president of Arts Midwest. “Shakespeare in American Communities’ goals of introducing students to the art form of theater and to Shakespeare’s timeless themes of love, ambition, jealousy, courage, and betrayal will be brilliantly executed by these theaters.”
One hundred and two theater companies across the United States have taken part in Shakespeare in American Communities since its inception 13 years ago. These companies have presented 33 Shakespeare plays through 8,600 performances and 29,000 educational activities at more than 7,900 schools in 3,400 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, 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 order to share resources and grantee spotlights.
View the complete list of the 40 theater companies that have been selected to participate in Shakespeare in American Communities for 2015-2016 at http://www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org.