Nationally replicated and locally treasured, the annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare brings over 500 high school students together each year for a nine-week, collaborative, non-competitive, celebratory exploration and production of multiple Shakespeare plays.
The flagship of our Education Program, the annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare is a residency program at 10 high schools in Massachusetts and neighboring New York. Shakespeare & Company directing teams lead students at each school through a language-based exploration of different Shakespeare plays, culminating in full-scale productions at their own schools and then on the main stage at our own Tina Packer Playhouse. When high-energy teenagers are turned loose - through the power of Shakespeare’s language - the thrill is contagious. And the houses are packed.
“This is a rock concert of Shakespeare! Show after show after show the theater is jammed with kids and adults cheering for the performers and the productions.” –WBUR Radio, Boston
The Fall Festival deeply engages students through personally meaningful, educationally rigorous and dramatically compelling experiences of Shakespeare's classical dramas. The Festival is truly a celebration, never a competition. Students from multiple schools work collaboratively, exploring Shakespeare’s words, unpacking the humor and the heartbreak, the intensity and humanity of these unparalleled plays.
The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is made possible with funding from the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, the Cornelia P. Bailey Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Janey Fund, and the Local Cultural Councils—supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency—of Lee, Lenox, New Marlborough, Northern Berkshire, Richmond, Sheffield, Springfield, Stockbridge, and Tyringham; as well as many other individuals and local businesses.
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.