Shakesperience Productions is a 22-year-old company which brings life to shows such as Hamlet, the Jungle Book, and Romeo and Juliet. They create interactive theater to perform at schools and at other venues across the state.
So, why is Shakespeare such a big deal? Why would a company dedicate its mission to spreading the words of an author who died over 400 years ago?
Richard Vogt, the touring manager for Shakesperience, believes in the power of Shakespeare. He states, “I think Shakespeare has impacted just life in general. He created over 700 words that we still use today. Just his themes and everything that’s within his work is relatable today.”
Christine Shugrue, an English teacher with a passion for Shakespeare, remarks on his legacy stating, “There’s an element of respect that western civilization has for his literate, and everybody just seems to have a tremendous respect for the name Shakespeare so his stories cover all of those moments where we’d make decisions or give into our natural instincts. I think that’s what he offers, a chance to reflect.”
And that’s exactly what Shakesperience does. They bring all of Shakespeare’s stories to life and encourage young people to embrace their own voices.
Claudia Gage, the Education Manager for Shakesperience, knows the importance of their work. She remarks, “Our goals and missions are all about raising voices and I think what we do in particular here at Shakespearience is great because we are really ensemble-driven, we focus on collaboration. And then when we go into schools and do our shows, we often include a lot of audience participation and that is awesome to see young people come together and create these amazing short plays and art projects and art designs and all that.”
Theatre is not just a bunch of drama. It teaches students communication skills, creative problem solving and adaptability in a fun and engaging way. And what’s better than a classic Shakespearean play?