Celebrating with The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ

March 9, 2011

Greek Theatre at the College of St. Elizabeth.

Greek Theatre at the College of St. Elizabeth

We hope you have March 26 saved on your calendars: it’s the 21st annual gala for our longtime grantee Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, who is kicking off their 2011 season and celebrating 10 years of their Outdoor Stage.

In 2002, the Dodge Foundation awarded a $1 million Strategic Partnership Grant to the Shakespeare Theatre to support its core artistic and educational programming as well as an endowment for artistic and educational innovation. Lest you think we make these types of grants frequently, only four other organizations ever received them: the Newark Museum, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Trust for Public Land, and the Nature Conservancy in New Jersey.

With the Foundation’s grant, Shakespeare Theatre partnered with the College of St. Elizabeth to launch the Outdoor Stage at the College’s open-air Greek Theatre, where, each summer, they present a production in this grass-and-stone amphitheatre inspired by the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens. (It’s one of the only theatres of its kind in the United States.) Since launching the Outdoor Stage in 2002, the Shakespeare Theatre has delighted more than 40,000 adults and children with high quality productions including The Taming of the Shrew, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Servant of Two Masters and many others.

In addition to celebrating ten years of Outdoor Stage, Shakespeare Theatre’s gala also kicks off the 2011 season, which features The Misanthrope, Timon of Athens, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Othello, To Kill A Mockingbird, A Christmas Carol, and this year’s Outdoor Stage performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For full gala details, including ticket information, contact the Shakespeare Theatre. If you want a run-down of their amazing silent auction items, see this article in the Asbury Park Press and prepare to drool!

In other arts news, the 2011 federal budget calls for deep cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and the total elimination of the Department of Education’s $40 million Arts in Education program. For more information about the cuts and how they affect New Jerseyans, visit ArtPride.

On Friday, we have a special treat for Poetry fans: as we are about to kick off the 2011 Clearing the Spring, Tending the Fountain poetry immersion sessions for teachers, Poetry Program Director Martin Farawell will be sharing the first in a series of writings about the core principles behind Spring and Fountain on the blog. Stay tuned!

Image courtesy Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey