In the week after it learned it had received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to promote the teaching of Shakespeare in America’s schools, The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane in New Orleans closes out its season with a student production of The Winter’s Tale set in the American Gilded Age.
The Winter’s Tale will be a production of the Gavin Mahlie All Things Shakespeare program, which offers middle and high school students the opportunity to train in voice, movement, and Shakespearean language. The program ends with a weeklong staging of a Shakespeare play. In an effort to better serve New Orleans students, the program underwent changes to make it more accessible. Auditions were conducted at three locations, and the participation fees have been reduced to $25. This year’s program features 15 students from area schools.
Directed by veteran festival actor Billy Slaughter, this Winter’s Tale will be set against the backdrop of the American Gilded Age, with the Sicilian portion of the play taking place in New York’s Little Sicily while Bohemia will be set in the heyday of Coney Island. The play runs Aug. 1–5 at Tulane University’s Lupin Theater. Tickets are $15.
The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane is one of 42 nonprofit organizations across the country to receive an Arts Midwest/NEA grant for the program “Shakespeare for a New Generation.” The goal is to bring performances of Shakespeare’s works to young audiences. With its $25,000 grant, SFT will provide free tickets and transportation to 100 students from 12 of the local public schools. This is the seventh year the festival has partnered with NEA and Arts Midwest to bring Shakespeare to local students.
Each January, the festival presents it Performances for the Schools program, in which some 500 students from New Orleans schools attend performances of Hamlet in Tulane’s Dixon Hall. The Performances for the Schools program will run Jan. 9–11 and 15–18 at 10 a.m.
August 3, 2012