April 1, 2020
Dear Fellow Shakespeare Friends:
Firstly, we hope that you and your families are all well and staying safe in this difficult time.
Like many organizations we have had to make some tough decisions as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. We have postponed our touring production of Romeo and Juliet until next year. The new dates are April 12-May 7, 2021. We are hoping we can resume other programming at the beginning of the new school year in September 2020.
During this time of pause we have developed online Shakespeare programming for you and your students, all free of charge, which we hope you will access. I am particularly excited about our Sonnet Competition. The student winner will have their sonnet become part of our Romeo and Juliet production next year. The winners and the runners up will also have their sonnets performed by professional actors, and be featured on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter platforms. You can learn more about the Sonnet Competition here.
If you know us well then you know we have been engaging students in the works of William Shakespeare for the past 22 years. Over that time, we have served nearly 150,000 students. Last year nearly 7,000 students saw a professional production of Hamlet and/or participated in our award-winning artist-in-residency programs, where professional actors work with teachers and students to perform Shakespeare’s works.
Needless to say, by cancelling our production we have lost significant revenue. If you are able, we would appreciate a donation of any amount, which will support our ongoing efforts to bring to life the works of our beloved Shakespeare.
Often in my life working on the plays of Shakespeare, I have found his words a balm to my spirit, and I know a lot of you have too. He guides us with his wisdom in times of joy and tragedy, like the following quote from As You Like It:
“And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything.”