(MADISON, NJ) -— The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's acclaimed educational touring company, Shakespeare LIVE!, will launch its fifteenth season in February, traveling to schools and other venues throughout the tri-state state region with 65-minute versions of two of Shakespeare's most popular plays – A Midsummer Night's Dream for grades 3 and up and Julius Caesar for grades 6 and up. Bookings are now being accepted. To inquire about bringing Shakespeare LIVE! to a school or venue, call 973-408-3980 or e-mail jbrink@ShakespeareNJ.org.
Since 1997, Shakespeare LIVE! has presented more than 1,500 performances to 400,000 young people at over 800 schools and other venues throughout New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic region. This energetic troupe of young professional actors performs abridged productions of Shakespeare's plays, engages in post-show discussions with students and family audiences, and conducts interactive theatre workshops. Although the plays are abridged to be performed within a class period, Shakespeare LIVE! prides itself on keeping Shakespeare's text intact.
The company is renowned for its dynamic and visually creative productions, and for its ability to make Shakespeare's plays appealing and accessible to all ages. The program not only enables young people to experience Shakespeare's work as it was meant to be experienced — in performance — but also enables teachers to fulfill specific New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in the areas of Visual and Performing Arts, Language Arts Literacy and Social Studies.
Shakespeare LIVE! is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in Shakespeare for a New Generation, bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to thousands of middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States. This is the eighth year of Shakespeare in American Communities, the largest tour of Shakespeare in American history. Additional funding for Shakespeare LIVE! is provided, in part, by The Turrell Fund, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the Ambrose and Ida Frederickson Foundation, and the Provident Bank Foundation.
The 2011 Shakespeare LIVE! Tour The 2011 Shakespeare LIVE! tour features Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream – a fresh, imaginative take on this perennial favorite. When starry-eyed young lovers and zany would-be actors cross paths with mischief-making fairies in a magical forest, the result is one of the world's most uproarious comedies. A Midsummer Night's Dream is the ideal "first Shakespeare" for elementary grades, and a riotous roller-coaster ride for teens (and teachers). A Midsummer Night's Dream will tour from February 8 through June 10, 2011.
Shakespeare LIVE! presents a brand-new staging of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar – a searing drama about a nation at a political crossroads. Rome's leaders are faced with a choice between loyalty and duty, between patriotism and propaganda – a choice that will have fatal consequences. As retold by Shakespeare, history has never been more exciting! This hour-long adaption is perfect for students in grades 6 and up. William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar will tour from February 8 through June 10, 2011. Reservations are currently being accepted for the spring 2011 Shakespeare Live! tour. To inquire about bringing Shakespeare LIVE! to your school or venue, call 973-408-3980 or e-mail jbrink@ShakespeareNJ.org.
Prior to each performance, teachers receive a comprehensive study guide that contains invaluable tools for enhancing students' appreciation and understanding of Shakespeare, developed especially for this program by Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey educators. The study guide provides important historical information, an introduction to the language, a synopsis of the play and thematic perspectives, as well as classroom exercises, curriculum tie-ins, and topics for discussion. The Shakespeare LIVE! experience also includes a post-performance discussion with the actors, during which students and teachers have the opportunity to ask questions and explore aspects of the play. Shakespeare LIVE! performance fees are $900 for a single performance and $1,700 for two performances on the same day. Travel fees may apply. For reservations and information call 973-408-3980 or e-mail jbrink@ShakespeareNJ.org.
The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey's only professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare's canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.