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Announcing the 2022-23 Shakespeare in American Communities Grantees

Four people dancing on a stage cast in a dim purple light; the person in front has a spotlight on them and they're smiling at the camera. Two people in sunglasses dance behind them, and another person dances with their back to the camera.
Production of Macbeth at Red House Arts Center in Syracuse, NY.

Arts Midwest today announced the recipients of $1.17 million in Shakespeare in American Communities grants, with $1 million going to 40 professional theater companies partnering with schools, and $170,000 going to nine organizations working with students in the juvenile justice system.

Celebrating its 20th year in 2023, Shakespeare in American Communities is a theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The program supports high-quality productions and educational activities exploring the work of William Shakespeare in middle schools, high schools, and juvenile justice facilities throughout the United States.

For the first time this year, theater companies were able to choose to either perform a play by Shakespeare or select an adaptation or new play that incorporates Shakespeare’s scenes or monologues. Paired with these performances, each company will host educational activities with students to creatively explore Shakespeare’s work and its context. These performances and educational events will take place between August 1, 2022 and July 31, 2023.

“We are thrilled to announce the latest Shakespeare in American Communities grantees and are excited to see the work that they will be doing over the course of the next year,” says Ellen DeYoungGrant Manager at Arts Midwest. “All across America, young people will be exploring Shakespeare’s work in a modern context and connecting with themes, stories, and characters that are relevant to today.”

“Shakespeare in American Communities provides an important opportunity for students to learn how participation in the arts can help them express themselves and make sense of the world,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D., chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “I hope this experience will lead them to a lifetime of involvement in the arts.”

One hundred and twenty theater companies and organizations across the United States have taken part in Shakespeare in American Communities since the program’s inception in 2003. To date, the program has supported more than 14,500 performances and 54,000 educational activities at more than 11,500 schools and juvenile justice facilities in 4,700 communities in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

Examples of projects supported:

  • Indianapolis Shakespeare Company: Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Marin Shakespeare Company: San Rafael, California

    With their Shakespeare in American Communities Juvenile Justice grant, Marin Shakespeare Company will offer weekly drama therapy workshops for young men at the Alameda Juvenile Hall, a temporary holding facility for minors awaiting court. Teaching artists Dameion Brown and Tony Cyprien, who share the lived experience of incarceration, will support students as they write responses to Shakespeare’s work and tap into their creativity and performance skills.

  • Trinity Repertory Company: Providence, Rhode Island

    With their Shakespeare in American Communities Schools grant, Trinity Rep will produce a new play about Queen Margaret, one of Shakespeare’s most extraordinary women. The adaptation will draw from Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays and Richard III, exploring Margaret’s story as an immigrant woman struggling to find her place in a time of division and upheaval. Middle and high school students will join in post-show talkbacks and workshops to demystify Shakespeare and connect the text to young people’s lives.

  • Utah Shakespeare Festival: Cedar City, Utah

    With their Shakespeare in American Communities Schools grant, the Utah Shakespeare Festival will produce a touring version of Othello that will be performed in gymnasiums, classrooms, prisons, and community venues. Following the performances, the actors will offer workshops on Shakespeare text, stage combat, and improvisation. By the end of the tour, the company anticipates performing for 20,000 students and teaching workshops to approximately 4,200 students.

Explore all of the 2022-2023 Grantees

Below are the theater companies selected to participate in the Shakespeare in American Communities program for 2022- 2023.

Shakespeare in American Communities: Juvenile Justice

Grants to support theater education programs in juvenile justice facilities that illuminate the works of Shakespeare and addresses his work in modern context.

Theater Company/OrganizationCityStateAward
See StoriesAnchorageAK$20,000 
Marin Shakespeare CompanySan RafaelCA$20,000 
Delaware Shakespeare FestivalWilmingtonDE$15,000 
Shakespeare at Notre DameNotre DameIN$20,000 
Kentucky ShakespeareLouisvilleKY$15,000 
Actors’ Shakespeare ProjectCharlestownMA$20,000 
Shakespeare Behind BarsMacatawaMI$20,000 
Youth Arts: UnlockedSwartz CreekMI$20,000 
Tennessee Shakespeare CompanyMemphisTN$20,000 

Shakespeare in American Communities: Schools

Grants to support performances of Shakespeare and related educational activities for students from five or more schools.

Theater Company/OrganizationCityStateAward
African-American Shakespeare CompanySan FranciscoCA$25,000 
Cal ShakesBerkeleyCA$25,000 
Marin Shakespeare CompanySan RafaelCA$25,000 
San Francisco Shakespeare FestivalSan FranciscoCA$25,000 
Santa Cruz ShakespeareSanta CruzCA$25,000 
Will Geer’s Theatricum BotanicumTopangaCA$25,000 
Colorado Shakespeare FestivalBoulderCO$25,000 
Denver Center Theatre CompanyDenverCO$25,000 
Shakespeare Theatre CompanyWashingtonDC$25,000 
Orlando ShakesOrlandoFL$25,000 
Idaho Shakespeare FestivalBoiseID$25,000 
Indy ShakesIndianapolisIN$25,000 
Kentucky ShakespeareLouisvilleKY$25,000 
Actors’ Shakespeare ProjectCharlestownMA$25,000 
Shakespeare & CompanyLenoxMA$25,000 
Olney Theatre Center for the ArtsOlneyMD$25,000 
Round House TheatreBethesdaMD$25,000 
Theater at MonmouthMonmouthME$25,000 
Montana Shakespeare in the ParksBozemanMT$25,000 
PlayMakers Repertory CompanyChapel HillNC$25,000 
The Shakespeare Theatre of New JerseyFlorham ParkNJ$25,000 
Hudson Valley Shakespeare FestivalGarrisonNY$25,000 
Red HouseSyracuseNY$25,000 
The Acting CompanyNew YorkNY$25,000 
Theatre for a New AudienceNew YorkNY$25,000 
Cincinnati Shakespeare CompanyCincinnatiOH$25,000 
Great Lakes TheaterClevelandOH$25,000 
Lantern Theater CompanyPhiladelphiaPA$25,000 
Pennsylvania Shakespeare FestivalCenter ValleyPA$25,000 
Quintessence Theatre GroupPhiladelphiaPA$25,000 
Trinity Repertory CompanyProvidenceRI$25,000 
Nashville Shakespeare FestivalNashvilleTN$25,000 
Tennessee Shakespeare CompanyMemphisTN$25,000 
Alley TheatreHoustonTX$25,000 
Texas Shakespeare FestivalKilgoreTX$25,000 
Utah Shakespeare FestivalCedar CityUT$25,000 
Barter TheatreAbingdonVA$25,000 
Seattle Shakespeare CompanySeattleWA$25,000 
American Players TheatreSpring GreenWI$25,000 
Milwaukee Repertory TheaterMilwaukeeWI$25,000 

Shakespeare in American Communities is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.