The Fall Festival of Shakespeare: Chicago
What is it?
The Fall Festival of Shakespeare: Chicago is a high school residency program based on Shakespeare & Company's acclaimed 22-year program located in western Massachusetts. The Festival is an 8-11 week program during which Two Pence teams with a high school to produce a 90-minute Shakespeare play performed solely by students for peers, family, and the community.
During the festival, teaching artists collaborate with students to rehearse the play, create the set, props, and costumes, and publicize the performances. Participants also take master classes taught by professional designers and choreographers in technical theatre, stage combat, and dance.
On September 24th, Two Pence will kick-off Chicago's first Fall Festival at Senn Arts, a Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Program in the diverse neighborhood of Edgewater.
Now for the even bigger questions!
Who needs it, and what is to be gained by it?
Anybody and everybody! A large portion of Chicago students lack access to hands-on arts programming. Adolescence is an important time to develop confidence, communication skills, and a work ethic for higher education and adulthood. By helping students build a personal connection to Shakespeare's text, Two Pence empowers students to explore their own intellectual and emotional capacity, collaborate with others, and truly step out of their comfort zone.
The Festival is not an extension of an English class, though the experience does provide critical thinking skills that can be applied in the classroom and beyond. Most importantly, the Festival provides a non-competitive and non-judgmental atmosphere in which students may communicate, collaborate, and learn from each other.
What does your donation support?
Throughout the Festival, Shakespeare's language remains the primary educational and production focus. However, Two Pence knows that the transformative power of costumes, props and set pieces provide the students an invaluable sense of pride and professionalism. Your donation will support the purchase and/or rental of materials for the many costumes, props, and sets co-designed by the students and their professional mentors.
Two Pence believes in the Festival's unlimited potential to fortify the creative spirit in Chicago's many public, private, and charter schools for years to come. Your donation this year will also help us introduce principals and educators to the Fall Festival at Senn Arts, aid us in transporting students from other interested schools to a performance, and lay the foundation so that The Fall Festival of Shakespeare: Chicago becomes a permanent and annual celebration of the city's diverse and talented youth.
A special thanks to all the gracious Fall Festival of Shakespeare alums who appeared in our video, Portland Playhouse, and our Shakespeare & Company mentors and friends: Kevin Coleman, Jenna Ware, Dennis Krausnick, Alex Lincoln, Scott Renzoni & Mark Woollett.
An extra special thanks to Mike Gibisser for his amazing video talents.
All filming, editing and sound by Mike Gibisser.
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- (30 days)