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Shakespeare & Company Announces New Riotous Youth Scholarship

(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company is pleased to announce a new Riotous Youth scholarship in memory of Chris Swaffar. Riotous Youth is an imaginative and playful summer theatre program for students age 7-18, introducing students to the language, story, characters, and ideas in Shakespeare’s plays. The Christopher Swaffar Memorial Scholarship provides full tuition for one child. Students can be recommended for the Scholarship by a teacher, guidance counselor, or similar advisor.

"I'm honored to offer this scholarship to the youth of the Berkshires in loving memory of my beloved friend, Chris," said Catherine Rich. "I can't think of a better way for his beautiful spirit and boundless creativity to live on and continue to spread joy."

During each two-week session, students explore one of Shakespeare’s plays through games, activities, and rehearsals. The students create a performance piece based on their explorations, which they share with family, friends, and Company members on the final day of the session in an outdoor performance on the Rose Footprint. All Riotous Youth sessions incorporate voice, movement, acting, and theatre games, which enable these young actors to explore the plays intellectually, physically, and emotionally.

"Chris grew up in the Berkshires and discovered his passion for the arts through the public school system," Rich continued. "Theater, especially, uncovered his gift to make people laugh. It was a gift he cultivated through college and beyond. It feels fitting to give back to the community where Chris first found inspiration and encouragement to explore his talents."

The Education Program at Shakespeare & Company is one of the most extensive theatre-in-education programs in the Northeast, and has reached over a million students since 1978 with innovative performances, workshops, and residencies. Guided by Education Director Kevin G. Coleman, Associate Director Jenna Ware, and Company artists, teachers and directors, the Education Program continues to develop and fine-tune programs for elementary, middle, and high school students and teachers across the country.

For more information go to www.shakespeare.org/education/riotous-youth. To register, or to recommend a student for the Christopher Swaffar Memorial Scholarship, please contact the Education Program, at (413) 637-1199 ext. 172 or education@shakespeare.org. Registration for Riotous Youth is ongoing, but subject to space availability.

About Christopher Swaffar

Chris was a loving father, a faithful friend, and a talented designer. He was a brilliant light in the life of all who knew him. He could bring laughter to any occasion and his creativity knew no bounds. The world was Chris' stage and he played his parts of True & Loyal Friend and Minister of Laughter & Joy with a full and passionate heart.

"A good heart is the sun and the moon; or, rather, the sun, and not the moon; for it shines bright and never changes, but keeps his course truly." - William Shakespeare, Henry V

About Shakespeare & Company

Located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the country. Founded in 1978, the organization attracts over 30,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to Shakespeare & Company’s internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and nationally renowned and an award-winning Education Program. More information is available at www.shakespeare.org.

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Shakespeare & Company is a professional live theatre company in the heart of the Berkshires, presenting a vibrant summer performance season featuring the works of Shakespeare in repertory with classic and contemporary plays. The Company offers one of the most extensive actor training programs by a regional theatre in the country, and is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program.

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