U.S. Dept. of Defense Gives $1 Million to NEA to Bring Shakespeare Tour to Military Bases

News   U.S. Dept. of Defense Gives $1 Million to NEA to Bring Shakespeare Tour to Military Bases "I think it's safe to say that the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Defense have never before been mentioned in the same sentence," said NEA Chairman Dan Gioia about a new plan that will bring a tour of Shakespearean stagings to military bases across the country.

The deal, in which $1 million was appropriated by the Department of Defense, will bring the program, Shakespeare in American Communities, to millions of American military personnel and their families.

"We're delighted to make cultural history," stated Gioia in a release. "This is the beginning of what I believe will be a successful partnership. Stay tuned! There's more good news to come."

Shakespeare in American Communities is a national tour of professional productions of William Shakespeare's plays. The project is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Sallie Mae Fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and with Arts Midwest.

The program is made up of six theatre companies currently touring with four plays. Among them are The Acting Company (New York, NY) Richard III; Aquila Theatre Company (New York, NY) Othello; Arkansas Repertory Theatre (Little Rock, AR) Romeo and Juliet; Artists Repertory Theatre (Portland, OR) A Midsummer Night's Dream (with actors from the Central Dramatic Company of Vietnam); Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Chicago, IL) Romeo and Juliet; and Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis, MN) Othello.

Alabama Shakespeare Festival's staging of Macbeth will become the seventh to be added, specifically to tour military bases. The NEA and the Pentagon are in the process of selecting bases. For more information, visit the NEA on the web at www.nea.gov.

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