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All in Order at Last

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.429  Friday, 17 October 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Friday, October 17, 2014

Subject:    All in Order at Last

 

Dear Subscribers,

 

Thank you for your patience. Ron and I have worked out all of the problems I have had with mailing Newsletters since the end of July. In addition, I have upgraded my service with Google to commercial status and will be paying so that all of the Newsletters I send out on one day will get delivered that day and delivered more expeditiously than previously.

 

As you can imagine I have many, many submissions to catch up with because I have not been able to mail since the end of September. Rather than sending one enormous Newsletter I have decided to send several smaller ones over the next few days.

 

On the up side, the down time came as I was having another extensive operation on the nerves in my leg, foot, and ankle from which I continue to recover. 

 

By way of explanation, I am sending this out by itself and will begin clearing my inbox mailing Newsletters beginning tomorrow or Sunday. So this message will act as a clarification and a final test to insure all is indeed in order.

 

Thank you again for your patience,

Hardy Cook

Editor of SHAKSPER

 
 
Maps of the 16th and 17th Centuries: A Tribute to the Works and Times of William Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.424  Tuesday, 30 September 2014

 

From:        Sarah Enloe < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Subject:    Maps of the 16th and 17th Centuries: A Tribute to the Works and Times of William Shakespeare

 

News Release

 

Contact: Cathy Bagwell Marsh 

540.885.5588 ext. 26 

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

 

Explore More of Shakespeare’s World at Staunton’s R.R. Smith Center 

Staunton, VA, September 3, 2014 – The American Shakespeare Center, in partnership with Scott Ballin and with funding from Altria Client Services Inc., proudly announces a new exhibit at the Augusta County Historical Society Gallery in the R.R. Smith Center in Staunton. Maps of the 16th and 17th Centuries: A Tribute to the Works and Times of William Shakespeare, on display September 12- November 30, explores the world as Shakespeare would have known it by featuring approximately 40 original maps from the 16th and 17th centuries. 

 

The maps highlight various places where Shakespeare set his plays, including England, Scotland, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, the Near and Middle East, and North Africa, and include works by famous early modern cartographers Mercator, Ortelius, Hondius, Blaeu and Speed. Ranging in size from large wall maps to small pieces that travelers would have carried, these works of art retain their original color and many include detailed illustrations. 

 

Collector Scott Ballin says of the exhibit – 

 

“My idea was to put together something that would appeal to a variety of audiences and a variety of interests and to hopefully stimulate people to think about what the world was like when Shakespeare was writing his plays. This exhibit is about history. It is about art. It is about geography. It is about what was happening in England, Europe, and the rest of the world at the time.” 

 

Amy Wratchford, Managing Director of the ASC, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Scott on this exhibit to not only share his wonderful collection with a wider audience, but also highlight the breadth of geography covered in these plays. Shakespeare’s canon provides a wealth of perspectives and opportunities to explore more.” 

 

On September 12th, the exhibit will kick off with an Opening Night reception at the R.R. Smith Center, catered by Mike Lund Food. 

 

The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, recovers the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education. The ASC’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, is open year-round for productions of classic plays, which have been hailed by The Washington Post as "shamelessly entertaining" and by The Boston Globe as "phenomenal…bursting with energy." Founded in 1988 as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the organization became the American Shakespeare Center in 2005 and can be found online at www.americanshakespearecenter.com

 
 
Ralph Cohen Receives Wanamaker Award

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.423  Tuesday, 30 September 2014

 

From:        Sarah Enloe < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Subject:    Ralph Cohen Receives Wanamaker Award

 

News Release

Contact: Cathy Bagwell Marsh 

540.885.5588 ext. 26 

Cell: 336-402-5698 

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Ralph Cohen becomes first American to receive prestigious Wanamaker Award 

 

London, England (Saturday, June 14 at 5pm): Shakespeare’s Globe has named Ralph Alan Cohen as the recipient of the 2014 Sam Wanamaker Award. Ralph Alan Cohen is co-founder and director of mission at the American Shakespeare Center and was the project director for the re-creation of the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia. The Sam Wanamaker Award is the most prestigious prize granted by Shakespeare’s Globe and is given annually, in the name of the Globe’s founder, to celebrate work which has increased the understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare. Ralph is the first American to receive the award. 

 

On accepting the Sam Wanamaker Award, presented to him on stage at Shakespeare’s Globe on Saturday 14 June, Cohen commented: “I hope that Sam would have liked the fact that this year the award named for him goes to an American. In a way, Sam’s quest to build the Globe was an expression of the American desire to be connected to Shakespeare’s plays and in honouring the work we have done in Staunton, Virginia, the Globe honours Sam's own yearning.” 

 

Neil Constable, chief executive, Shakespeare’s Globe, said: “In his TED talk last year Ralph eloquently spoke of audiences ‘held hostage in the dark’ and has long championed Shakespeare productions in which actors and audiences share the same light. We want to shine the light on Ralph and recognize the enormous contribution he has made to the appreciation of Shakespeare performance, teaching, scholarly debate and, not least, for being a major inspiration behind our own candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.” 

 

Sam Wanamaker spent the final 23 years of his life tirelessly campaigning, advancing research into the appearance of the original Globe and planning its reconstruction. The Sam Wanamaker Award was instituted by Shakespeare’s Globe in 1994 to honor work which has a similar quality to Sam’s own pioneering mission. Cohen follows former illustrious recipients of the Award, the first of whom was Dr Rex Gibson, creator and editor of the Cambridge School Shakespeare; Janet Arnold for her pioneering research into Elizabethan clothing; Professor Stanley Wells, Shakespeare scholar and former Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; John Barton, founding member of the Royal Shakespeare Company; and actor and director, Mark Rylance. 

 

Ralph Alan Cohen, who is Gonder Professor of Shakespeare and Performance and founder of the Master of Letters and Fine Arts program at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia, was the Theo Crosby Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2009. He was also a member of the Architectural Research Group, chaired by Globe Education’s Head of Higher Education and Research, Dr Farah Karim-Cooper. His experience of reconstructing Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, the Blackfriars Playhouse, in Virginia was an important contribution in planning for the recently opened Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London. 

 

Cohen has directed 30 productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, including America’s first professional production of Francis Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle. He also directed the first revival of Thomas Middleton’s Your Five Gallants and co-edited the play for Oxford University Press’s Collected Works of Thomas Middleton. 

 

He is the author of ShakesFear and How to Cure It: A Handbook for Teaching Shakespeare. He twice edited special teaching issues of the Shakespeare Quarterly and has published articles on teaching Shakespeare as well as on Shakespeare, Jonson, and Elizabethan staging. He founded the Studies Abroad program at James Madison University, where he won Virginia’s award for outstanding faculty. 

 

He has frequently directed summer institutes on Shakespeare and staging sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2001 he established the Blackfriars Conference, a biennial week-long celebration of early modern drama in performance. 

 

A pivotal point in Ralph’s career was founding the American Shakespeare Center with Jim Warren in 1988. Then named Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the company started by performing in schools and community centers across Virginia under the idea that using Shakespeare’s staging conditions – simple stage, multiple roles, acoustic music, and the lights staying on – would bring back the fun and accessibility of Shakespeare’s work. The idea worked, and using Shakespeare’s staging conditions, particularly universal lighting, created a fun, lively, interactive, experience- one that quickly grew in popularity. By 1999 the company had performed in 47 U.S. States, 5 other countries and one U. S. Territory. 

 

In 2001, the Ralph and Jim found a permanent home for their company in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley by building the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre - the Blackfriars Playhouse. Built from Virginia Oak, the 300-seat Blackfriars Playhouse has been established as one of America's premier Shakespeare destinations, called by Andrew Gurr “one of the most historically important theatres in the world.” Delighting tens of thousands of audience members per year, the American Shakespeare Center has helped transform the town of Staunton into a top national destination (Travel + Leisure, Smithsonian Magazine) and become a global center for the study of Shakespeare in performance. 

 

In 2008, Cohen and ASC co-founder Jim Warren earned the Commonwealth Governor’s Arts Award. In 2013, Cohen was awarded the Shakespeare Steward Award by the Folger Shakespeare Library in recognition for outstanding contributions to the innovative teaching of Shakespeare in American classrooms. He earned his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and his doctorate at Duke University and has honorary degrees from St. Lawrence University and Georgetown University.  

 
 
Shakespeare Themed Concert

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.422  Tuesday, 30 September 2014

 

From:        Michelle Assay < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 29, 2014 at 8:42:06 AM EDT

Subject:    Shakespeare Themed Concert

 

I am pleased to announce the upcoming Shakespearean themed concert at Martin Harris Centre of the University of Manchester, UK. The singer Frédéric Albou and pianist/musicologist and Shakespeare scholar Michelle Assay will perform Shakespeare’s words set to music by Soviet/Russian composers including Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Sviridov and Kabalevsky. The concert also features a much-awaited world premier of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s song cycle on Shakespeare’s Sonnets composed in the midst of Stalin regime.

 

Please find the details here:

http://events.manchester.ac.uk/event/event:o70-hxef4qq6-mofk3w/walter-carroll-lunchtime-concert-series-shakespeare-la-russe-voice-and-piano#travelinfo

-- 

Michelle Assay

Université Paris Sorbonne, University of Sheffield

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
BSA Day School: ‘We’ll enter all together’

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.417  Thursday, 25 September 2014

 

From:        BSA < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 25, 2014 at 10:00:45 AM EDT

Subject:    BSA Day School: ‘We’ll enter all together’

 

BSA Day School: ‘We’ll enter all together’: active approaches for drawing students into the world of the play

 

Please find attached an announcement for a Teaching Shakespeare Day School, led by James Stredder, taking place from 9:30am to 5:30am on 8th November at the Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon. The event is free to all members of the BSA, but you must reserve in advance. To book a place, or ask a question, please contact Sarah Olive ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). 

 


An online version of this announcement is available here: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/event/well-enter-all-together-bsa-teaching-shakespeare-day-school-book-now/

Best wishes,

James Harriman-Smith
(Web and Communications Officer)

 

The UK’s largest professional association of teachers, researchers, theatre practitioners, writers and enthusiasts of Shakespeare

 

As part of its educational work, the British Shakespeare Association will be holding a Teaching Shakespeare Day School, led by James Stredder, author of The North Face of Shakespeare: activities for teaching the plays (CUP 2009). The BSA is most grateful to The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for its generous help in promoting the event and for providing the facilities of the  Shakespeare Centre.

 

‘We’ll enter all together’: active  approaches  for drawing students into the world of the play

 

Saturday 8th November 2014    9.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. 

  The Shakespeare Centre,  Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon                    

FREE to BSA members. £5 (includes coffee and tea) for non-members. Booking essential.

 

“You’re starting work on a Shakespeare play. You hope your students will become interested enough to leave your class eager to read on for themselves… Perhaps there will be a better chance of this happening if students, in some way, enter the world of the play together, gaining confidence, as they do so, in hearing, speaking and reading its language, examining its narrative and encountering its characters. “   

 

The day school is for anyone who wishes to develop their use of active methods of teaching Shakespeare, regardless of the age-groups or levels of  ability with which they are working – though for those teaching English GCSE, new Dept. for Education requirements that students should study ‘whole texts in detail’ (including two plays by Shakespeare), may make the day particularly relevant. 

 

The day will consist of a morning session (on language) and an afternoon session (on narrative and character). Each session will begin with activities on a common text, Much Ado About Nothing, followed by work in option groups, exploring teaching approaches further. Participants will  be asked to bring along copies of the plays  on which they wish to work, to these option groups.

 

Those able to stay on in Stratford for the evening, may like to contact the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to book for the 7.15 p.m. performance of Love’s Labour’s Won (commonly known as Much Ado About Nothing). There will also be a farewell  ‘late-night seminar’  following the play.

 

Booking      

To book, email Dr. Sarah Olive, Chair of the BSA Education Committee:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For enquiries, telephone  01904 323 473. 

 

This event is free for current members of the BSA. Please note that the membership year runs September-September, so do remember to renew before the event. 

 

The BSA is offering free membership to schools for the 2014-15 academic year.   Please apply at:

http://www.britishshakespeare.ws/education/education-members/

 

The cost for non-members of the BSA will be £5  (includes coffee and tea), to be paid on arrival. 

 

PLEASE FORWARD THIS SHEET TO  ANYONE WHOM YOU THINK MIGHT BE INTERESTED. THANK YOU! 

 
 
Difficulties

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.416  Thursday, 25 September 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Thursday, September 25, 2014

Subject:    Difficulties

 

Dear Subscribers:

 

I am still having difficulties getting Newsletters sent in a timely manner.

 

If you wish to stay in touch you may go to the web site: shaksper.net and read latest articles under the Current Postings tab: http://shaksper.net/current-postings

 

Or you may following SHAKSPER on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/shaksper

 

Hardy

 
 
SMFS 2015 Foremother’s Prize

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.406  Thursday, 18 September 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 17, 2014 at 7:58:27 AM EDT

Subject:    SMFS 2015 Foremother’s Prize

 

http://smfsweb.org/smfs-2015-foremothers-prize/

 

SMFS 2015 Foremother’s Prize

By Melissa Ridley Elmes

 

The Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship is now accepting applications for the 2015 Foremother’s Prize for Graduate Students.

 

Funded through the generous gift of royalties from the editors and authors of the Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe (Judith Bennett and Ruth Mazzo Karras, eds.), the grant provides $2,000 for a graduate student to undertake a significant professional development initiative. The winner will be partnered with a senior medieval feminist scholar whose guidance and association can assist her in developing and executing the project.

 

Such projects might include:

  • Travel to a conference relevant to medieval feminist scholarship, for instance, the annual Gender and Medieval Studies Conference in the U.K.
  • Travel to visit archives, research libraries, museums, manuscript collections, or archeological or architectural sites
  • Travel to conduct other forms of on-site research
  • Development of a digital humanities project related to feminist research
  • Organizing of a medieval feminist conference or colloquium
  • Travel to allow sustained work with a mentor

SMFS is especially interested in assisting students whose projects are not otherwise funded. The winner must be willing to write a reflective report describing the outcome of the project that will appear on the SMFS public website.

 

Applicants should provide: a completed application form (to include existing funding sources and advisor signature), a 500-word description of the project including its scope and development, proposed timeline, and a potential budget.

 

Application Deadline: January 1, 2015

 

The winner will be announced by February 15, 2015

 
 
CFP: Early Modern Women and the Book: Ownership, Circulation, and Collecting

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.405  Thursday, 18 September 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 16, 2014 at 10:10:27 AM EDT 

Subject:     CFP: Early Modern Women and the Book: Ownership, Circulation, and Collecting

 

http://renaissance-events.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/call-for-papers-early-modern-women-and.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+TheRenaissanceDiary+%2528The+Renaissance+Diary...%2529

 

CALL FOR PAPERS: Early Modern Women and the Book: Ownership, Circulation, and Collecting

 

Proposals are sought for a panel — “Early Modern Women and the Book: Ownership, Circulation, and Collecting” — to be proposed for the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) in Montreal and Longueuil, Quebec, July 6-11, 2015.

 

We seek proposals for papers that examine early modern British women who owned books, circulated books, or created libraries or book collections between 1500-1700, a period that saw increased literacy and a revolution in book production and circulation. Scholars have reconstructed and assessed the collections and libraries of Renaissance men, including Harvey, Dee, Jonson, Hales, and Drake; women’s book ownership, as a subject of scholarly inquiry, “awaits its historian,” observes David McKitterick (2000) in a study of Elizabeth Puckering’s library. What resources (commonplace books, poetry miscellanies, inventories, etc.) shed light on women’s circulation of books within communities? What are the marks — figurative, material, cultural — of women’s book usage, ownership, and collecting? What can the creation of book collections or libraries tell us about social status, family ties, confessional affiliations, education, economic status, travels? What methodologies illuminate these interrelated topics?

 

By Oct. 1, 2014, please send a file containing a 350 word abstract and a 50-word biographical statement to Leah Knight ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), Micheline White ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), and Elizabeth Sauer ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) for consideration.

 

- See more at: http://renaissance-events.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/call-for-papers-early-modern-women-and.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+TheRenaissanceDiary+%2528The+Renaissance+Diary...%2529#sthash.hNW8pFp3.dpuf

 
 
Newberry 2015 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.404  Thursday, 18 September 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 16, 2014 at 10:09:24 AM EDT

Subject:    Newberry 2015 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference  

 

http://www.newberry.org/01222015-2015-multidisciplinary-graduate-student-conference

 

2015 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference

Renaissance Graduate Programs

 

Thursday, January 22, 2015 to Saturday, January 24, 2015

CFP deadline: October 15

 

The Center for Renaissance Studies’ annual graduate student conference, organized and run by advanced doctoral students, has become a premier opportunity for emerging scholars to present papers, participate in discussions, and develop collaborations across the field of medieval, Renaissance, and early modern studies.

 

Participants from a wide variety of disciplines find a supportive and collegial forum for their work, meet future colleagues from other institutions and disciplines, and become familiar with the Newberry Library and its resources.

 

This year’s conference will comprise twenty-four sessions with three twenty-minute papers each, for a total of seventy-two presenters.

 

Each year since 2007, selected papers have been published in a peer-edited online conference proceedings.

 

Call for Papers

 

We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers from master’s or PhD students from any discipline on any medieval, Renaissance, or early modern topic in Europe, the Americas, or the Mediterranean world. We encourage submissions from disciplines as varied as the literature of any language, history, classics, anthropology, art history, music, comparative literature, theater arts, philosophy, political science, religious studies, transatlantic studies, disability studies, and manuscript studies. Because of the conference’s multidisciplinary nature, all papers must be in English.

 

Eligibility: Proposals are accepted only from students at member institutions of the Center for Renaissance Studies consortium. Students who presented a paper at the previous year’s conference are given lower priority, though they are still eligible to submit a proposal.

 

Proposals must be submitted online, by midnight CDT Wednesday, October 15. Complete this online submission form. The organizing committee will meet November 2 to select presenters to invite; we will notify everyone who submits an abstract of their decisions within a week of that meeting.

 

Download a PDF Call for Papers flyer to post and distribute.

Conference organizers

 

Eight advanced graduate students from consortium schools will organize the conference and chair sessions:

  • Caroline Carpenter, English, Claremont Graduate University
  • Max Deardorff, History, University of Notre Dame
  • Patrick McGrath, English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Julia Miglets, History, Northwestern University
  • Sarah Morris, English, Miami University
  • James Seth, English, Oklahoma State University
  • Amanda Taylor, English, University of Minnesota
  • Christine Zappella, Art History, University of Chicago

Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry Library. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines and some may limit eligibility to certain colleges or departments. Be sure to contact your Representative Council member in advance, as early as possible, for details.

 

Cost and registration information: 

Online conference registration will open in December 2014.

 

The early conference registration fee will be $30 for students from consortium member universities and their guests and $40 for those from other institutions. Late registration (after January 10) will be $45 and $55, respectively.

 
 
Apologies

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.403  Thursday, 18 September 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Thursday, September 18, 2014

Subject:    Apologies 

 

Dear Subscribers,

 

There has been a problem with the mailing program since August when SHAKSPER migrated to a new server.

 

I hope that it is fixed. If not, we will still work on it.

 

Hardy

 
 
Important News from Georgia Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.395  Tuesday, 9 September 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 5, 2014 at 8:41:04 AM EDT

Subject:    Important News from Georgia Shakespeare

 

http://us3.campaign-archive2.com/?u=ef1c52fdc50d48a0bef18c253&id=afb2350590

 

Important Announcement

 

We regret to inform the Georgia Shakespeare community that our production of Henry V has been cancelled. We invite you to read the press release below for further details regarding the cancellation of this production, or visit our on our website.

 

Richard Garner, Producing Artistic Director

Jennifer Bauer-Lyons, Managing Director

 

Georgia Shakespeare Cancels Henry V

 

29-Year Atlanta Professional Theatre Evaluates Long-Term Direction

 

September 5, 2014, Atlanta, GA – Due to insufficient financial resources, Georgia Shakespeare announced that it has cancelled its production of Henry V, scheduled to open October 1.

 

“We obviously regret that we will be unable to go forward with the show, but given our current financial status and our inability to secure strategic funding for operating capital, we felt that it simply not possible to do so,” said board chair Daniel Norris.  “We regret the inconvenience to our patrons, supporters, and to the artists committed to working on the show.”

 

In consultation with key supporters and the community, the Georgia Shakespeare board and staff will quickly evaluate the theatre company’s long-term direction, providing a recommendation by early October.

 

“We’ve made great progress in recent years in creating a sustainable business model, and have operated in the black four of the last five years,” said Jennifer Bauer-Lyons, Managing Director.  “Each year we have strengthened our balance sheet, but our lack of operating capital has meant that we have remained a fragile organization financially.  It is not enough to fix the business model.  We also have to find a way to fix the balance sheet.”

 

Georgia Shakespeare was founded in 1986 as a summer festival.  Over the years, it developed as one of Atlanta’s most prominent cultural institutions, operating as one of two LORT theatres (along with the Alliance Theatre).   The company focuses on “timeless stories now,” with contemporary interpretations of Shakespeare serving as the core of its programming.

 

In 2011, the company conducted a “Save Georgia Shakespeare” campaign.  That campaign raised more than $550,000 from more than 2,000 donors, which enabled the theatre to continue operating, but did not eliminate its substantial debt.

 

Since that campaign, the company has taken numerous steps to help establish a sustainable business model, including the following key actions:  (1) simplifying the summer schedule by moving away from the rotating repertory schedule rooted in its history as a festival; (2) moving to a hybrid ticketing model for its Shakespeare in the Park program by continuing to offer a number of free tickets but also selling tickets and tables; and (3) engaging with several metro-area universities to establish productive partnerships.

 

In 2014, Georgia Shakespeare sought to emerge from the recession once and for all as a revitalized organization.  In order to do so, the company pursued two key strategies.  First, it reinvested in its artistic programming and its patrons’ experience by expanding and improving the artistic selections for 2014 and utilizing capital grants to completely renovate the picnic grounds outside its home theater, the Conant Performing Arts Center.  Second, the company initiated a fundraising campaign to raise $750,000 in operating capital from strategic funders to eliminate debt and create a working capital reserve.  Given the impacts of the most recent recession, an operating capital infusion is necessary for the organization to improve its balance sheet and create a truly sustainable business model.

 

“When it comes to our artistic programming and the picnic ground renovations, the response from our patrons has been outstanding,” said Richard Garner, Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director.  “Our productions this year have been widely acclaimed, we set attendance records at Shakespeare in the Park, and our patrons have uniformly raved about the Picnic Grounds, which provide for a magical evening at the theatre unlike any other experience available in Atlanta.”

 

This year Georgia Shakespeare had over 5,800 people attend its production of As You Like It at Piedmont Park in just five days, with 1,642 people setting a single show attendance record for Saturday night alone.  During its most recent production of the British comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, the company also attracted its first sell-out of the expansive Conant Theater in many years.

 

“Unfortunately, when it comes to the second pillar of our strategy this year, we have been unable to secure any significant strategic gifts for operating capital to improve the balance sheet and create the working capital reserves necessary for healthy operations,” said Bauer-Lyons.  “We’ve developed strong momentum with our programming and business model,” said Garner, “but the organization needs to take the step of improving its balance sheet and creating appropriate reserves in order to continue producing the art that our patrons expect and deserve.”

 

“During the next few weeks, we will continue our ongoing conversations with all the stakeholders in the community in an attempt to identify a solution to our fundraising needs and determine our on-going viability ” said Norris.  An announcement regarding the long-term direction of Georgia Shakespeare will be made after October 1, 2014. “For patrons who wish to help Georgia Shakespeare, donations will be used to meet existing obligations while we reevaluate the long-term direction of the organization. You can donate by visiting our website at www.gashakespeare.org.”

 

Patrons who have previously purchased tickets to Henry V should check Georgia Shakespeare’s website for further information.

 
 
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