Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 15, 2012.


Help Two Pence help Chicago high school students rehearse, design, market, and perform their own Shakespeare production!

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.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
pledged of $5,000 goal
seconds to go

See full bio

  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    14 backers

    For your support, you'll receive a special thanks on 2P's website and Facebook page.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    23 backers

    Along with the above prize, you'll also receive a special 2P thank you card and a production photo of the Fall Festival.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    10 backers

    With the above prizes, you'll also receive a special thanks in the Fall Festival program and two free tickets to a Festival performance.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    6 backers

    You'll receive VIP seating at the Fall Festival, special thanks in the program, a 2P t-shirt, and your very own student designed Fall Festival poster.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Along with the prizes at the $100 level, you'll also receive a thank you video from 2P and the cast of the Fall Festival.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Along with a personalized thank you video, a Fall Festival poster signed by students, two 2P t-shirts, and VIP seats to the Festival, you'll also receive two free tickets to 2P's next production.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)