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Grantee: Spokane Civic Theatre

Project Title: Shakespeare in Schools
Year awarded: 2018, Round 1

Spokane Public Schools’ required curriculum covering the works of Shakespeare is brought to life with the help of the Spokane Civic Theatre. SAGA funding assisted our local theater in reaching a greater number of under-served schools in our district with hands-on workshops as they studies the work and history of Shakespeare. With SAGA funding, the Theatre was able to expand programming into Title One middle and high schools in Spokane.

Since 2011, teachers have turned to the Civic Theatre to supplement curriculum with hands-on theater-based enrichment activities that bring texts to life and increase students’ self-confidence as thinkers and actor. These two- to four-day workshops make the Bard accessible to middle and high schoolers, exploring Shakespeare’s history, romance, tragedy, and wit while engaging their bodies, minds, and emotions.

Mike Shannon, CEO writes, “Shakespeare’s works were meant to be performed and seen in performance, not studied on a page… Many [students] have no prior exposure to the arts, because arts programming and affordable extracurricular options are inaccessible to families without discretionary income to pay for them. Involvement in Shakespeare in Schools changes all that. This program introduces them to the joy, confidence, and sense of connection generated by participation in performing arts.”