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Fall Festival Of Shakespeare Celebrates 30 Years
10:58PM / Thursday, November 08, 2018
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Lenox Memorial High School presents 'Much Ado About Nothing' in 2016.

LENOX, Mass. — Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare will bring hundreds of teenagers from 10 different high schools to the Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company. 

Beginning on Nov. 15, the four-day festival marks the culmination of the nine-week program that places Shakespeare & Company Education Artists in 10 high schools across Berkshire and Columbia counties. During the program, students explore creative thinking, teamwork and Shakespeare as they create a 90-minute fully-produced performance to be shared with their neighboring communities. 

The weekend before, Nov. 8-11, the high schools will stage performances of their plays in their own auditoriums for local audiences.

The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is nationally recognized for its innovative teaching, emotional intelligence training, and philosophy of creativity and collaboration that encourages students from a variety of schools to come together and support one another.

"The Fall Festival has had a significant impact on the culture of these 10 high schools and their surrounding communities for multiple generations," said Director of Education Kevin G. Coleman. "The Festival is where students embody Shakespeare's words, rigorously think, deeply feel, wildly imagine and speak – without inhibition – the thoughts and feelings, the joys and heartbreaks of his characters. While the Fall Festival of Shakespeare has become a celebrated tradition for our local communities and for Shakespeare & Company, its influence has been spreading across the country in adaptations from Atlanta, Georgia, to Portland, Oregon."

Led by Coleman, the Shakespeare & Company education artists and technical theater designers and school mentors, the Fall Festival is a celebration, rather than a competition. Students are encouraged to delve into Shakespeare’s works, unpack the language, and savor the humor, intensity, and transcendent beauty of these plays. Daily rehearsals focus on students’ personal responses to the text and connection to the language. Students also have the opportunity to develop skills in stage combat, performance aesthetics, dance, technical theatre, costuming, stage management, marketing, and publicity during their Fall Festival experience.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for students, and passes for the Festival are $80 for adults and $35 for students. The $4 service fee is waived for all Fall Festival tickets and passes. Tickets are now on sale and are available online.

The schedule for in-school performances is as follows:

Chatham, N.Y., High School: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, 7 p.m.

Lee High School: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, 7 p.m.

Lenox High School: Thursday and Friday, Nov. 8 and 9, 7 p.m.

Mount Greylock Regional School: Saturday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 11, 2 p.m., at Williamstown Elementary School

Monument Mountain Regional High School: Thursday and Friday, Nov. 8 and 9, 7 p.m.

Mount Everett Regional High School: Thursday and Friday, Nov. 8 and 9, 7 p.m.

Taconic High School: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, 7 p.m.

Waldorf High School: Thursday and Friday, Nov. 8 and 9, 7 p.m.


The performance schedule at Shakespeare & Company is as follows:

Thursday, Nov. 15

6:15 p.m.: Lenox High School's "Midsummer Night’s Dream," directed by Rory Hammond and David Bertoldi.

8:30 p.m.: Chatham High School's "The Tempest," directed by Lori Evans and Sara Holt


Friday, Nov. 16

6:15 p.m.: Lee High School's "As You Like It," directed by Doug Seldin and Alison Howard

8:30 p.m.: Mount Greylock Regional High School's "Henry V," directed by Tom Jaeger and Noa Egozi


Saturday, Nov. 17

1:15 p.m.: Monument Mountain Regional High School's "Romeo and Juliet," directed by Dana Harrison and Connie Russo

3:30 p.m.: Mount Everett Regional High School's "Much Ado About Nothing," directed by Caitlin Kraft and Madeleine Rose Maggio

6:15 p.m.: Taconic High School's "Hamlet," directed by Dara Silverman and Luke Haskell

8:30 p.m.: Springfield Central High School's "A Winter's Tale," directed by Lezlie Lee and Jake Merriman


Sunday,  Nov. 18

1:15 p.m.: Waldorf High School's "Romeo and Juliet," directed by Annie Considine and Ellie Bartz

3:30 p.m.: Taconic Hills High School's "Much Ado About Nothing," directed by Caroline Calkins and Greg Boover

5 p.m.: "The Reverence" (closing event)

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