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About Shakespeare and Company

Mission, Vision, & Values Statement

Mission Statement

Founded in 1978, Shakespeare & Company aspires to create a theatre of unprecedented excellence rooted in the classical ideals of inquiry, balance and harmony; a company that performs as the Elizabethans did — in love with poetry, physical prowess and the mysteries of the universe. With a core of over 150 artists, the company performs Shakespeare, generating opportunities for collaboration between actors, directors and designers of all races, nationalities and backgrounds. Shakespeare & Company provides original, in-depth, classical training and performance methods. Shakespeare & Company also develops and produces new plays of social and political significance. Shakespeare & Company’s education programs inspire a new generation of students and scholars to discover the resonance of Shakespeare’s truths in the everyday world, demonstrating the influence that classical theatre can have within a community.

Statement of Vision

To create a theatre of unprecedented excellence rooted in the Elizabethan ideals of inquiry, balance, and harmony, performing as the Elizabethans did; in love with poetry, physical prowess, and the mysteries of the universe. To establish a theatre company which, by its commitment to the creative impulse, is a revolutionary force in society, which connects the truths of the past to the challenges and possibilities of today, which finds its source in the performance of Shakespeare’s plays, and reaches the widest possible audience through training and education as well as performance.

A Statement of Values that Unite Us

Under all Shakespeare’s plays are three vital questions:

  • What does it mean to be alive?
  • How should we act?
  • What must I do?

By making the performance and exploration of Shakespeare’s plays the center of our lives, it follows as the night does the day that we must ask ourselves these questions in all our actions. The plays themselves demand that we take ourselves out into the social and political fields, making connections between the arts and humanities, arts and government, arts and business, arts and education, arts and spirituality.

Shakespeare & Company is made up of activities in the following areas:

  • Performance
  • Training
  • Education
  • Management
  • Academia/Research
  • Development/Entrepreneurism
  • Architecture
  • Landscaping
  • Gardening

Shakespeare & Company is generated out of the classical principles present in the experience of performing and producing Shakespeare’s plays. These classical principles are the foundation upon which all programs and activities are built.

By classical, we mean: “the highest truths told in a universally accessible form which have an impact that is healing for the individual and society.”

The ethic and aesthetic of the following commonly-held values and beliefs identify and unify this Company. These values and beliefs help to align us with classical principles:

We believe that the creative impulse is essential to the human soul, and that the Arts are the most realized expression of this impulse.

We believe that the ultimate pursuit and practice of Art creates values that are compassionate and humane.

The symbiosis of performance, training, education, and management creates a clarity and deepening of experience critical to a healthy company and enhances the creative impulse.

We believe that participating in the community where we live both enriches our lives and the quality of our work. We strive to be good neighbors.

We value a society in which peoples of all races and ethnicity live with mutual respect, generosity, interest in, and commitment to the greater good of all. We continually strive to have this value reflected in the makeup of our Company.

While working for an arts organization is a privilege and has its own rewards, we believe that our employees should receive competitive wages and secure benefits.

We believe in a mentoring model that both educates and transmits values, and that this model is essential to the health of this Company as well as society.

We value open and honest communication and strive to implement it on every level, even when it is difficult or unpleasant.

We value the exercise of wit and humor to leaven our interactions with ourselves and others. We believe in playfulness and grace in all our actions.

We value the pursuit of excellence, and work to feel pride and pleasure in all of our endeavors.