The Acting Company Launches New Initiative with 26 Universities, Colleges and High Schools Around the Country

News   The Acting Company Launches New Initiative with 26 Universities, Colleges and High Schools Around the Country
The Acting Company, which was founded by John Houseman and Margot Harley in 1972, has launched a new initiative designed to forge long-term relationships between itself, universities and communities-at-large.

The Acting Company has selected four consortiums — comprising 26 universities, colleges, public/private high schools and community organizations — to take part in the national performance and education initiative. Each consortium will offer professional development opportunities with playwrights, actors, designers, directors and educators over the next three years.

“This new initiative continues The Acting Company’s 42-year history as America’s leading national-touring repertory theater while adding new emphasis on developing concentrated and sustained relationships with schools and communities,” Earl D. Weiner, the Company’s Board Chairman, said in a statement.

The initial three-year cycle of performance and educational activities will focus on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Marcus Gardley's new play Malcolm X, commissioned by The Acting Company to launch the project.

“Race, religion, power, politics and rhetoric are central to both plays,” stated Margot Harley, co-founder and producer. “Ian Belknap, our Artistic Director, chose this repertory to encourage faculty to examine the causes and repercussions of assassination from historical, political and philosophical perspectives.”

The long-term goal of the initiative, according to press notes, "is to help revitalize the creative relationship between academic programs and the professional theater community." A series of conferences to launch the consortiums will be held in venues around the country. The 26 educational institutions involved in the initiative follow:

West: Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Mesa Community College, Scottsdale Community College, Arizona School for the Arts, Tempe Union School District, Mesa Union School District, Mesa Arts Center.

Mid-West: UMKC Theatre at University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas State University, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Kansas, University of Central Missouri, Kansas City Young Audiences, Shawnee Mission North High School, St. Teresa’s Academy, Rockhurst High School, Olathe East High School.

Mid-Atlantic: Towson University, Essex Community College, Morgan State University, Carver Center for Arts and Technology.

Northeast: State University of New York-Oswego, Hamilton College, Hobart William Smith Colleges, Le Moyne College.

Compare the performing arts programs at all these schools at


The New York-based Acting Company has toured to 48 states and 10 foreign countries earning a Tony for Excellence in Theater, Obies, Audelcos and Los Angeles Critics Circle Awards.

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