Tom Hanks, Baz Luhrmann praise the Bard

HOLLYWOOD — At the Fox Commissary on Thursday night, Tom Hanks said the Shakespeare Festival/L.A. “lights a spark” for kids who will eventually warm to the Bard.

On this occasion director Baz Luhrmann, producer Mark Gordon and Harvard educator Steve Seidel were honored with the org’s Crystal Quill Award for keeping the Shakespeare education fires burning.

“We’re about making Shakespeare accessible in a visceral way to the broadest community possible,” said the org’s exec director, Ben Donenberg. “Baz’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ revolutionized the way Shakespeare is taught.”

Co-chair Barry Hirsch said what the organization does is “show inner- city students how Shakespeare relates to their own lives.”

Hanks made the award presentation to Luhrmann; Hawk Koch did the honors with Gordon; and Fox co-topper Tom Rothman presented to Seidel.

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