Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 298. Wednesday, 13 Nov 1991.
Date: 		Tue, 12 Nov 1991 14:59:00 -0500
From: 		Grace Zarek <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: 	Fall Festival of Shakespeare
There is something extraordinary happening in Berkshire County,
Massachusetts and I think you will find it exciting.  Shakespeare
& Company, an internationally respected theatre company dedicated
to excellence in performance, training and education, is in the
final week of preparing the FALL FESTIVAL OF SHAKESPEARE.  Eight
of the ten high schools in Berkshire Country are currently
rehearsing eight different productions of Shakespeare for
individual presentations at each school and then all productions
are brought together for a four day festival on-stage at Berkshire
Community College in Pittsfield, MA.
     Kevin Coleman of Shakespeare & Company explains not only the
coordination but the energy and value:  "The shows are delightful,
moving, outrageous and harrowing, just as I imagine Shakespeare
would want them.  What's more, they're completely accessible to a
'modern audience'.  There is an 'un-stuffiness' about them that
creates for the kids a profound level of ownership.  Shakespeare
& Company's training methods are perfectly matched with the
'passion of adolescence', and their years of experience working in
schools create some very engaging theatre, respectful to both
playwright and audience, and not the gimmicky 'make Shakespeare
relevant' kind of theatre you might expect.  No phony British
accents, no posturing and declaiming, and the dirty jokes are
     My daughter has been involved with the Festival over the past
three years and the growth she has seen by working with the
directors and Shakespeare & Co. personalities is remarkable. The
students are trained in all aspects of mounting a Shakespeare
production including voice, movement, dance, verse speaking and
stage combat.
     Although SHAKSPER followers are located around the world, I
thought it might be possible that a few of you could consider
attending one or more of these performances.
November 19 (Tuesday)
     6 p.m.         LOVES' LABOR LOST
                    Mt. Everett Regional High School
                    Directed by Chris von Baeyer and Irena Haze
     8 p.m          ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA
                    Simon's Rock College
                    Directed by Karen Beaumont, Gary Mitchell
                      and Regina Blakely
November 20 (Wednesday)
     6 p.m.         HENRY IV, PART I
                    Lee High School
                    directed by Jonathan Croy and Kristin Wold
     8 p.m.         HENRY IV, PART II
                    Monument Mountain Regional High School
                    directed by Tod Randolph, Brett Wood and
                      Daniel Osman
November 21 (Thursday)
     6 p.m.         THE TEMPEST
                    Wahconah Regional High School
                    Directed by Tom Towne and Pam Gold
     8 p.m.         MEASURE FOR MEASURE
                    Mount Greylock Regional High School
                    Directed by Linsay Pontius, Linda White and
                      Ann Podlozny
November 22 (Friday)
     6p.m.          TROILUS AND CRESSIDA
                    Taconic High School
                    Directed by Kevin Cunningham and Jim Nutter
     8 p.m.         ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
                    Directed by Andrew Borthwick-Leslie and
                      Clare Jones
     One last thing before I sign off.  A local foundation which
had pledged support ($10,000) has just notified the Festival
officials the contribution will be delayed until Spring.  As the
students and directors go into these final weeks of rehearsal, the
uncertainty of completing this project has prompted me to spread
the word not only regarding the festival but the last minute
funding problems.  I wanted you to feel the excitement and pride
in this project, and on behalf of the students, parents,
Shakespeare and Co. and all others involved with this festival I
am asking for your help.
     As Kevin Coleman of Shakespeare and Company requested, "Would
you send some support our way through warm thoughts, hot ideas or
cold cash?  This project is more valuable in the lives of these
students than anything they have ever done.  They now love
Shakespeare and feel he belongs to them."
     You can certainly e-mail comments which I will pass along or
questions which I will research and answer.
     Or Kevin Coleman or Leslie Lee at Shakespeare and Company
would be happy to answer your questions and discuss the Festival
with you.
     Shakespeare and Company:  Fall Festival (School Program)
     "The Mount"
     Plunket Street
     Lenox, MA  01240
     Phone (413) 637-1197    FAX (413) 637-4274
      In addition to speaking with people at Shakespeare and
Company you can also attempt to contact Mount Greylock's director
Linda White at (413) 458-5024 but she will be very busy with the
performances over the next several weeks.
     In conclusion, please know that Shakespeare IS alive and well
in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.  If you can attend any of the
performances, you will have a great time!  And you will see a group
of teenagers working as hard as possible but enjoying themselves
also.  I think the man from Stratford-on-Avon would enjoy this too!

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