Message from RSCA President
The Royal Shakespeare Company is the world's leading classical theater company playing to over half a million people each year at home in Stratford-upon-Avon and around the world. Founded in 1961 by Sir Peter Hall, in its short history it has helped launch the careers of many movie stars and TV actors, not to mention a whole host of directors, designers and playwrights.
This summer the RSC undertook an unprecedented six-week residency at the Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory, in association with the Ohio State University. For the first time American theatregoers were able to see a repertoire of five Shakespeare plays, with one ensemble of 44 actors playing multiple roles, following the ensemble tradition of Shakespeare's own acting troupe. These were the final performances after three years of working together.
And this spirit of partnership and collaboration will continue through our Stand Up for Shakespeare America campaign. This encourages young people to do Shakespeare on their feet, see it live and start their experience of Shakespeare early in their lives. I am proud to be part of this project which through its association with the Ohio State University has seen many American teachers learn from the training that the RSC offers, which will benefit hundreds of school children for years to come.
This year, not only is the RSC celebrating 50 years at the forefront of the theater, but it also has a new home in Stratford-upon-Avon after a $200m redevelopment of its theaters, which saw over 27,000 people from 60 different countries support their appeal. As with the building of the original Swan and Royal Shakespeare Theatres, American generosity played a key part in making this happen, demonstrating Shakespeare's resonance across the world. Shakespeare is America's most widely produced playwright.
From the first explorers who arrived on our shores with volumes of Shakespeare to the speeches of Abraham Lincoln, from great works like Moby Dick to the novels of Mark Twain, his work is threaded through the cultural fabric of America. These pages will tell you a little more about the RSC, its relationship with America and how you can keep in touch, support and Stand Up for Shakespeare.
Ric Wanetik, Executive President, RSC America