(CINCINNATI, August 4, 2016) – Xavier Theatre and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company are excited to announce a new collaboration between the two theatres, aimed at presenting all of Shakespeare’s 38 plays in readers’ theatre format over the next five years. The plays will be presented in the Gallagher Student Center Theatre on Xavier’s campus, with eight presentations per year until the entire canon is complete. Xavier students will work with members of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to rehearse and present a new play every four weeks.
“The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has distinguished itself as one of the first five Shakespeare theatres in the country to present all of Shakespeare’s plays,” says Xavier Theatre Director Stephen Skiles. “This new collaboration is an exciting opportunity for our students to not only learn more of Shakespeare’s works, but also to work with some of the most dynamic classical theatre artists in our region. It’s going to be very cool to work with so many of the CSC company, to work and learn from Dr. Niamh O’Leary, and to present these plays to an expanded audience over the next five years. I can’t wait to get started.”
“It is wonderful to see how strong the theatre program at Xavier has become in the last few years,” says Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips. “Anything CSC can do to help with this robust program, and provide greater accessibility to the joy of Shakespeare, is our distinct pleasure!” After completing the canon in 2014, CSC launched a groundbreaking educational initiative called, PROJECT38. In this project, CSC works with 38 local K-12 schools to present each of Shakespeare’s 38 plays through multiple disciplines at a free weeklong festival in the spring each year. Working with university level theater students was a natural next step for CSC as they continue their work with students and Shakespeare’s canon.
In the Xavier collaboration, each play will have four weeks of preparation under the direction of a member of CSC’s resident company. Dr. Niamh O’Leary, Xavier’s resident Shakespearean scholar, will begin the work on each new play by introducing the students to its historical background and significance. The plays will be presented in the original order that they were produced during the 1600’s. HENRY VI PART 2 will open the collaboration, and will be directed by CSC’s Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips. Brian will be returning to Xavier after directing the CSC/XT co-production of Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE. He has also taught as an adjunct instructor. The reading will take place on September 19, 2016 in the Gallagher Student Center Theatre on Xavier’s campus.
Next, on October 17, 2016, HENRY VI PART 3 will be presented in the Gallagher Student Center Studio Theatre under the direction of CSC’s Artistic Associate, Jeremy Dubin. Dubin will be returning to Xavier Theatre after directing Xavier’s production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in 2015.
Rounding out the trilogy will be HENRY VI PART 1, presented on November 14, 2016 in the Gallagher Student Center Studio Theatre and will be directed by CSC’s other Artistic Associate, Sara Clark. Sara will also be returning to Xavier after playing Abigail Williams in the CSC/XT co-production of Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE in October 2014.
The final play of the first semester will be Shakespeare’s villainous play, RICHARD III on December 12, 2016. RICHARD III will be directed by popular CSC company member Miranda McGee. This will be Miranda’s first work with Xavier Theatre.
Tickets for all readings in the series are free and open to the public, and no reservations are necessary. All readings will take place at 7:30pm.
About Xavier University Theater:
Xavier University’s theatre program combines practical experiences and professional collaborations with a rigorous and diverse curriculum. In addition to a strong foundation of theatre courses, the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre offers students the opportunity to focus in multiple areas of theatre. The program prepares students for professional experience outside of Xavier by fostering a practical, cross-cultural and student- oriented curriculum. Launched in 2013, the Department of Theatre is home to 45 majors, and offers a season of productions ranging from contemporary plays and musicals to classics and world premieres.
About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages. Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, CSC produces a dozen mainstage productions each season. The repertoire is made up of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations and contemporary classics. CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of the Theater Communications Group and the Shakespeare Theater Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reached over 50,000 young people and underserved community members last season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions at its home on Race Street. In 2015, CSC was proud to become one of the first five theaters in the United States to “Complete the Canon” by producing all 38 plays by William Shakespeare. In 2017, CSC will be moving to a brand new facility located in OTR. CSC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.