You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bard tour: sound, fury

NEA, Arts Midwest to bring Shakespeare to all 50 states

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts says he hopes the upcoming 100-community tour of Shakespearean plays by six theater companies will spur other NEA-funded theatrical tours.

Dana Gioia, NEA’s new topper, said he hopes the program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in U.S. history, “will reinvigorate the longstanding tradition of theatrical touring” by regional troupes.

The pilot initiative to bring Shakespeare to all 50 states begins in September (Variety, April 7-13). Called “Shakespeare in American Communities,” it will be managed by Minneapolis-based Arts Midwest. Professional theater companies including the Guthrie Theater will bring full productions of “Othello,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Richard III” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream” to schools, military bases and other facilities throughout the U.S. NEA will ante roughly half of the expected $3 million cost of the tour.

First lady, Valenti aboard

First lady Laura Bush and MPAA prez Jack Valenti will serve as honorary chairs for the project, which will include a large educational component geared for students. It will offer workshops with actors, condensed versions of Shakespeare plays and recitations of famous soliloquies. It will also include a new Players’ Guild, a group of arts experts and accomplished actors who are lending their support to the project.

Other participating theater companies include the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, New York’s Acting Co., Gotham’s Aquila Theater, the Arkansas Repertory Theater and Artists Repertory Theater of Portland, Ore. Gioia says a seventh company will also be added to the tour to play military bases exclusively.

“Shakespeare is a part of the American culture, and has been since the beginning,” said Gioia. But he noted that most U.S. students have never seen live drama on stage. The NEA chieftain said he intends to initiate projects of similar scale within other arts disciplines.

More Legit

  • Frozen Broadway

    Stagecraft Podcast: Behind the Scenes With Cast, Creators of 'Frozen'

    WASHINGTON — The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts says he hopes the upcoming 100-community tour of Shakespearean plays by six theater companies will spur other NEA-funded theatrical tours. Dana Gioia, NEA’s new topper, said he hopes the program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in U.S. history, “will reinvigorate the longstanding tradition of […]

  • Andrew Garfield Variety Facetime Interview

    Andrew Garfield on Avoiding 'Sickness' of Celebrity Culture

    WASHINGTON — The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts says he hopes the upcoming 100-community tour of Shakespearean plays by six theater companies will spur other NEA-funded theatrical tours. Dana Gioia, NEA’s new topper, said he hopes the program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in U.S. history, “will reinvigorate the longstanding tradition of […]

  • Geoffrey Rush

    Geoffrey Rush Accused of 'Inappropriate Touching,' Court Documents Show

    WASHINGTON — The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts says he hopes the upcoming 100-community tour of Shakespearean plays by six theater companies will spur other NEA-funded theatrical tours. Dana Gioia, NEA’s new topper, said he hopes the program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in U.S. history, “will reinvigorate the longstanding tradition of […]

  • Andrew Garfield Tony Kushner Angels in

    'Angels in America': Inside Broadway's Big Bet, Led by Andrew Garfield With Renewed Relevance

    WASHINGTON — The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts says he hopes the upcoming 100-community tour of Shakespearean plays by six theater companies will spur other NEA-funded theatrical tours. Dana Gioia, NEA’s new topper, said he hopes the program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in U.S. history, “will reinvigorate the longstanding tradition of […]

  • What's Next for 'Natasha, Pierre and

    What's Next for 'Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812'

    WASHINGTON — The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts says he hopes the upcoming 100-community tour of Shakespearean plays by six theater companies will spur other NEA-funded theatrical tours. Dana Gioia, NEA’s new topper, said he hopes the program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in U.S. history, “will reinvigorate the longstanding tradition of […]

  • Berlinale --2018-- Special Touch, Paul Thiltges

    Special Touch Studios, Paul Thiltges Set 'Allah Is Not Obliged'

    WASHINGTON — The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts says he hopes the upcoming 100-community tour of Shakespearean plays by six theater companies will spur other NEA-funded theatrical tours. Dana Gioia, NEA’s new topper, said he hopes the program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in U.S. history, “will reinvigorate the longstanding tradition of […]

  • Chess review

    D.C. Theater Review: 'Chess'

    WASHINGTON — The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts says he hopes the upcoming 100-community tour of Shakespearean plays by six theater companies will spur other NEA-funded theatrical tours. Dana Gioia, NEA’s new topper, said he hopes the program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in U.S. history, “will reinvigorate the longstanding tradition of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content