Home News & Events 2021-2022 Shakespeare in American Communities Grants Announced

2021-2022 Shakespeare in American Communities Grants Announced

Arts Midwest today announced the recipients of $1.17 million in Shakespeare in American Communities grants, with $1 million going to 40 professional theater companies partnering with schools, and $170,000 going to 10 organizations partnering with facilities in the juvenile justice system.

Teaching Artist Symone Williams with students during a classroom session of The Romeo and Juliet Project at Bartlett Freshman Academy in Bartlett, TN in early 2020. Photo by Merit Koch, courtesy of Tennessee Shakespeare Co.


Now in its 19th year, Shakespeare in American Communities is a theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. By providing grants to theater companies that produce Shakespeare’s works, the program supports high-quality productions and educational activities in middle schools, high schools, and juvenile justice facilities throughout the United States. These performances and educational events may take place virtually or in person between August 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022.

“After a year filled with ever-changing circumstances within communities, Shakespeare in American Communities is proud to support theater companies and organizations as they work alongside educators to bring live experiences back to students.” said Christy Dickinson, Senior Program Director at Arts Midwest. “Theater educators and teaching artists across America are planning in-person and creative hybrid approaches that connect young people with William Shakespeare’s plays. This programming helps students develop social and emotional skills important to their success.”

“Through its expressive power, the arts have an enormous capacity to connect people across divides,” said National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Delving into the stories and characters of William Shakespeare is particularly fitting now, as we begin to emerge from the pandemic and reengage more fully with the people and issues in our communities.”


Examples of projects supported:

2021 Shakespeare

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Cincinnati, OH

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival

San Francisco, CA

The Classical Theatre of Harlem

New York, NY

Since the program’s inception in 2003, Shakespeare in American Communities has introduced more than three million middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare. The program has supported more than 13,200 performances and 52,000 related educational activities at more than 11,500 schools and juvenile justice facilities in 4,700 communities in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. One hundred and twenty-seven theater companies and organizations across the United States have taken part in the program, presenting 34 of Shakespeare’s 37 total plays.


Grantee Companies and Organizations for 2021-2022

Below are the theater companies working in schools and the organizations that will work in juvenile justice facilities selected to participate in the program for 2021- 2022.

Theater Company/Organization City State Program
Alabama Shakespeare Company Montgomery AL Juvenile Justice and Schools
A Noise Within Pasadena CA Schools
African-American Shakespeare Company San Francisco CA Schools
Cal Shakes Berkeley CA Schools
Marin Shakespeare Company San Rafael CA Juvenile Justice and Schools
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival San Francisco CA Schools
The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles Los Angeles CA Schools
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum Topanga CA Schools
Colorado Shakespeare Festival Boulder CO Schools
Denver Center Theatre Company Denver CO Schools
Theatreworks Colorado Springs CO Schools
Shakespeare Theatre Company Washington DC Schools
Delaware Shakespeare Wilmington DE Juvenile Justice
Idaho Shakespeare Festival Boise ID Schools
Chicago Shakespeare Theater Chicago IL Schools
Shakespeare at Notre Dame Notre Dame IN Juvenile Justice
Kentucky Shakespeare Louisville KY Juvenile Justice and Schools
Actors’ Shakespeare Project Charlestown MA Juvenile Justice
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Boston MA Schools
Shakespeare & Company Lenox MA Juvenile Justice and Schools
Olney Theatre Center’s National Players Olney MD Schools
Shakespeare Behind Bars Holland MI Juvenile Justice
Youth Arts: Unlocked Swartz Creek MI Juvenile Justice
Park Square Theatre Saint Paul MN Schools
Montana Shakespeare in the Parks Bozeman MT Schools
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Madison NJ Schools
The Acting Company New York NY Schools
Aquila Theatre New York NY Schools
The Classical Theatre of Harlem New York NY Schools
Epic Theatre Ensemble New York NY Schools
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Cold Spring NY Schools
Red Bull Theater New York NY Schools
Red House Syracuse NY Schools
Theatre for a New Audience Brooklyn NY Schools
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Cincinnati OH Schools
Lantern Theater Company Philadelphia PA Schools
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Center Valley PA Schools
Quintessence Theatre Group Philadelphia PA Schools
Tennessee Shakespeare Company Cordova TN Juvenile Justice and Schools
Alley Theatre Houston TX Schools
Shakespeare Dallas Dallas TX Schools
Utah Shakespeare Festival Cedar City UT Schools
Barter Theatre Abingdon VA Schools
Seattle Shakespeare Company Seattle WA Schools
Milwaukee Repertory Theater Milwaukee WI Schools


Shakespeare in American Communities is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.