Combining a gala fundraiser with the kick off of its Project38 Festival of Shakespeare performances by area high school students, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) is hosting Revel and Moonlight at The Transept in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday, April 9.
Project38 is the company's arts education initiative that celebrates Cincinnati Shakespeare's strong working relationship with schools and the company's recent completion of William Shakespeare's 38-play canon. The program will culminate in the Project38 festival at the end of the school year, a multiday celebration in which all the students will gather and share what they've created,with each other, their schools, family, friends, and the community at large.
CSC sent18 actors from the company's resident ensemble to become teaching artists at 38-plus area high schools. The actors were paired with a group of five to 35 students in each school over the nine-month academic year to develop and co-create interpretations of one play from Shakespeare's canon. The projects do not necessarily have to be theater performances. The can be "anything you and your students want it to be," says the program flyer. "Do you have a group of singers? Great! A group of visual artists? Wonderful! What about a home-ec class that wants to make a recipe for Titus' pie? That works too! We want to see as many different and unique approaches to these 38 stories as possible. This way, every year is a completely new, unique, and personalized festival."
Rather than just reading the script and hearing a lecture, students actively create, perform, make, act, write, think, solve problems, map out a plan and learn more about the genius of Shakespeare. CSC cites statistics showing Shakespeare comprehension grades at one school increasing four times and overall academic performance among participants improving by 47 percent.
CSC offers Project38—including the free festival—at no cost to the students, teachers, schools, or the community. The program receives support from individuals, foundations, and corporate partners covering about 60 percent of its direct costs. CSC estimates the cost per student is about $100, and the program has reached more than 1,600 students so far this year.
That's where the Revel and Moonlight gala comes in. Three levels of tickets are available: $250 House of Lancaster Tickets (which gains access to the 6:30 p.m. preview reception along with the program's major sponsors), $50 House of York tickets which includes the main event at 7:30 p.m. Dancing and a meet and greet with PROJECT 38 students and teachers begins at 9 p.m., and at 10:30 p.m. the Late Night Revelers with $25 tickets can join the party, which lasts to 12:30 a.m. (the last two hours of reveling is for 21 and older only). The Transept is at 1205 Elm St.
The Project38 Festival runs April 14–18, with schools assigned to performance blocks on one of those days. The bulk of events will take place at the Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St. On Saturday, April 16, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Touring Company fills a performance block with its presentations of Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet in Washington Park. The CSC Adult Acting Class Students also will be featured in the festival's final performance block.
Participants to the Revel and Moonlight must RSVP by March 28. Tickets are available by clicking here.
The Project38 schedule follows; all presentations are free.
March 23, 2016