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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: April ::
Gioia's NEA "Shakespeare in American Communities"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0942  Monday, 26 April 2004

From:           Nicholas Moschovakis <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Apr 2004 09:48:32 -0400
Subject:        Gioia's NEA "Shakespeare in American Communities"

The below just in from Associated Press... More fodder for folks
interested in the Shakespeare Function.

(Anyone know which play is being performed at the military bases? Is it
*Henry V,* a handy edition of which was issued to military personnel
recently? Or, perhaps, *Titus*?)

- Nick Moschovakis

---
Published Friday
April 23, 2004

NEA Plans to Bring Shakespeare to Students
By MICHAEL KUCHWARA
AP Drama Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - From Florida to Alaska, high school students will see
Shakespeare on professional stages in their own communities during the
next school year.

The second phase of an ambitious National Endowment for the Arts program
was to be announced Friday in Washington, D.C. Twenty-two theater
companies will participate in the $1 million ''Shakespeare for a New
Generation,'' according to Dana Gioia, NEA chairman.

''We want to make sure that students in high school have the experience
of great theater,'' Gioia said by telephone from Washington. ''You c
an't just experience Shakespeare on the page.''

''Shakespeare for a New Generation'' is part two of the NEA's program
''Shakespeare in American Communities,'' which has had six professional
theater companies touring more than 100 cities in all 50 states. This
summer, a seventh troupe will tour 16 military bases.

Each of the 22 companies in the second phase will receive matching
grants, ranging from $10,000 to $30,000, to help with their
presentations during the 2004-2005 school year, Gioia said.

Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Conn., for example, will bring in
students next March with help from the NEA grant to see ''The Comedy of
Errors.'' This season, under its own auspices, the theater brought in
some 2,700 students to see ''King Lear'' starring Avery Brooks, and it
hopes to bring in more than that for ''The Comedy of Errors.''

''One of the great virtues of Shakespeare is that he is perhaps the most
generous playwright who ever wrote,'' said James Bundy, artistic
director of Yale Rep. ''So there is a something in every Shakespeare
play for people of all ages to hang onto.''

In addition, many English teachers will be planning their curriculum
around what is being done in the local theaters, Gioia said, adding that
the Arts Endowment will be providing educational materials to help those
classrooms.

At San Diego Repertory Theatre in California, students will see a
production of ''King Lear'' next spring, says Sam Woodhouse, the Rep's
producing and artistic director.

''There is a whole in-school and at-the-theater component,'' Woodhouse
said. ''We will be spending a substantial amount of time in five to 10
different schools.''

Woodhouse said professional actors will not only work with students,
helping them perform monologues from ''King Lear'' for their peers, but
that the students would also meet the production's designers and
artistic collaborators in the theater before seeing the play.

On the Net:
www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org

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