The RSC and the Ohio State University expand collaboration

31 October 2012

New collaboration will support and extend the RSC's active teaching approaches in the UK and the US and will enable the RSC to bring Julius Caesar to New York and Columbus

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and The Ohio State University (OSU) announced today a new, major expansion of their initial three-year collaboration.

The new collaboration will support the origination of work in the UK by the RSC and will allow the Company to take more work to the US and continue co-productions with some of America's leading theatre makers and artists.

The collaboration also further expands the RSC's innovative active teaching approaches to Shakespeare in secondary education in the UK and the US and will also support OSU's aspiration to be a destination for the innovative teaching, research and performance of Shakespeare.

The first RSC production to be seen in the US under this new arrangement will be next spring, when RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran's acclaimed production of Julius Caesar, set in contemporary Africa, will have its US premiere at BAM's Harvey Theater in Brooklyn, playing 10-28 April 2013. It will then travel to Columbus, Ohio, to play 1-5 May at the Southern Theatre. The Columbus performances are being presented by Ohio State and the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA). The production has just completed its UK tour and will travel to Moscow in November, presented by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and Chekhov International Theatre Festival, with the support of the British Council. Barclays are sponsoring our trip to Moscow as Supporting Partner of the RSC in 2012.

Additional RSC productions and projects to be included in this collaboration are in development and will be announced soon.

The new agreement will also continue the existing education programme between the RSC and The Ohio State University and expand its reach in the US. The programme is inspired by the RSC's Stand Up For Shakespeare manifesto: Start It Early, See it Live and Do it on Your Feet, promoting active teaching methods which are drawn directly from the RSC's rehearsal room practice.

Ohio State supported the RSC's unprecedented, six-week New York residency in summer 2011, presented by Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory. This month, joining again with and performing at Park Avenue Armory, members of the RSC's acting ensemble performed Young People's Shakespeare (YPS) performances of King Lear for under-served New York City students, along with a wide-ranging supporting program of workshops. The YPS production begins a two-week residency at Ohio State today.

American philanthropists Abigail and Leslie Wexner, whose generous support was instrumental in creating the original RSC/OSU partnership three years ago, are providing the lead support for the new collaboration through a major gift to The Ohio State University.

Abigail and Leslie Wexner said: 'We are at once humbled and overjoyed by the impact the Ohio State-Royal Shakespeare Company collaboration has had on the lives of faculty, students, and thousands of school children. The unexpected beauty has been watching this partnership grow even beyond our highest hopes, and it is an honor to be able to formally extend the collaboration through this new presenting partnership.'

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, said: 'I am delighted that we are announcing today an expansion of our unique relationship with The Ohio State University. I am particularly proud that this collaboration contains a continuing commitment on both sides to support the training of teachers who teach Shakespeare. In addition, the RSC will explore with performers and educators in both the UK and the US how we can play a meaningful role in production, training and research programs such as this. This expanded collaboration will be a model of best practice.

'I am also delighted that New York and Ohio audiences will have the chance to see some more of our work so soon after our 2011 New York residency and honored the new collaboration will begin with my own production of Julius Caesar. It is fantastic that we can share it with American audiences at BAM and in Ohio in spring 2013, just as we open Matilda The Musical on Broadway with our producing partners, The Dodgers.'

Catherine Mallyon, RSC Executive Director, said: 'From the very beginning of this evolving partnership, The Ohio State University has demonstrated a bold entrepreneurial spirit and a unique commitment to the teaching, study and performance of Shakespeare. The RSC looks forward to sharing artistic talent, intellectual endeavour, research, and skills in exciting and collaborative ways that will add meaningful programs in the UK and the US and new success to both institutions.'

E. Gordon Gee, President of The Ohio State University said: 'We are thrilled to build upon our unique and entrepreneurial relationship with the acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company. By bringing these two world class institutions together, we expand the university's artistic engagement beyond our campus borders, beyond Ohio, beyond the United States. Today we renew our relationship to make the teaching, research and performance of Shakespeare a key priority at Ohio State and to help bring the joy and inspiration of RSC productions to more people across America.'

BAM Executive Producer, Joseph V. Melillo said: 'BAM's rich and longstanding relationship with the RSC began in 1971 with Peter Brook's legendary A Midsummer Night's Dream and most recently brought wonderful productions of King Lear and The Seagull to our stages in 2007. We look forward to presenting the US premiere engagement of this visionary production of Julius Caesar, and welcome Gregory Doran and the RSC in their new partnership with The Ohio State University.'

'CAPA is delighted to join forces with Ohio State in presenting the Royal Shakespeare Company's groundbreaking production of Julius Caesar,' stated CAPA President and CEO Bill Conner. 'This is the definitive production of this play for this generation, and we are proud to be a part of such an innovative, quality work.'

-ends-

Media enquiries

For further information on the Royal Shakespeare Company, please contact:
Liz Thompson, Director of Communications +44 1789 412667 liz.thompson@rsc.org.uk or
Philippa Harland, Head of Press, +44 207 845 0512 philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk 

For further information on The Ohio State University, please contact:
Victoria Ellwood, PR Director, Office of Arts and Culture on +1 614-292-6299 or ellwood.1@osu.edu

Images:
Images of Julius Caesar are available from the RSC's Electronic Press Office Online:
Tel: +44 793 2661 317 Email: info@epo-online.com  Website: www.epo-online.com


Notes to editors:

The Royal Shakespeare Company in America is presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University.

The RSC Ensemble is generously supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and The Kovner Foundation.

RSC Education
Through its work with nearly 30,000 students, 1,300 schools and 2,000 teachers each year in the UK and internationally, the RSC aims to make Shakespeare vivid, accessible and enjoyable for students and their teachers. The RSC believes that students get the most out of Shakespeare when they do it on their feet, see it live and start it early, as set out in Stand Up for Shakespeare (http://www.rsc.org.uk/downloads/manifesto.pdf), its manifesto for the teaching, learning and performance of Shakespeare's plays in schools. The RSC has a growing base of research and case studies that explore the impact of its working methods in schools (http://www.rsc.org.uk/education/lpn/research-and-case-studies.aspx).

The RSC and The Ohio State University education collaboration focuses on three specific areas:

  • Professional development for teachers. The RSC and the university offer an ongoing programme of professional development for teachers inspired by the RSC's Stand Up for Shakespeare manifesto. The programme supports the Ohio State University's ambition to establish itself as a leading institution for the study, teaching and performance of Shakespeare, and to position the university as a special destination - and national model - in the United States for training K-12 teachers in the teaching of Shakespeare, using the active teaching approaches developed by RSC practitioners and drawn from the company's rehearsal room practice.
  • Performance based opportunities for artists and audiences. These opportunities include performances of the RSC's specially-adapted Young People's Shakespeare productions, for audiences aged 8 and upwards, along with RSC actors' and artists' residencies, at Ohio State.
  • Research-based analysis of impact and opportunity. Ongoing studies by the university and the RSC which measure the impact of the programmes.

Biography: Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director

The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), a major medical center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.

BAM
Brooklyn Academy of Music's (BAM's) mission is to be the home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas. America's oldest performing arts institution, it is recognized internationally for innovative dance, music, and theater programming—including its renowned Next Wave Festival. BAM also features an acclaimed repertory film program, literary and visual art events, and extensive educational programs. The institution is led by President Karen Brooks Hopkins and Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo.

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