Local News: Main Street Theater Receives $25,000 Grant for Second Year

Posted by: Staffon 2007/4/29 7:00:00 1773 reads Main Street Theater Receives $25,000 NEA Shakespeare Grant for Second Year in a Row

For the second year in a row, Main Street Theater is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the 2007-2008 Shakespeare for a New Generation Program. This year Main Street is 1 of only 35 theaters nationwide – and is the only theater in Texas to be awarded this prestigious grant for 07-08...

“We are very honored,” says Founding Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden. “This is so exciting for us – and most importantly, this renewed grant will allow us to continue to connect with a whole new group of students through the kind of immediate and compelling Shakespeare we have been providing for young audiences for decades.” Each theater company will receive $25,000 for a total NEA investment of $875,000.

Through Main Street’s Youth Theater, Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice will tour middle and high schools in the spring of 2008. “We had such a good experience this season taking The Taming of the Shrew to schools, thanks to the NEA,” Vivienne M. St. John, Youth Theater Producing Director. “So many school budgets have had to eliminate funding for field trips due to safety and the rising cost of gas, so this way we can go to them – and bring Shakespeare with us. The NEA funding has also allowed us to bring the arts to communities that do not have their own local theater companies. For those students this is their first and possibly only exposure to a play. Our Shakespeare productions traditionally retain the beautiful Shakespearean language but are placed in a contemporary setting so that the play can be accessible at the students’ level.”

Adds St. John, “The Merchant of Venice is timelier than ever. It’s very human and addresses issues that are prevalent in students’ lives today – tolerance, diversity, acceptance.”

Each school that books a performance will also receive accompanying educational materials. An added feature this year is a teaching artist will travel to each school after the performance to expand on the themes discussed in Merchant…, such as diversity, anti-semitism, and intolerance.

This tour is available to all Title 1 schools in the state of Texas at no cost (excluding travel expenses). There is a minimal fee for non-Title 1 schools.

Main Street Theater's performance is part of the Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national theater initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with
Arts Midwest.

Click Here to Visit Main Street Theater's Site!

Houston Theater News brought to you by Houston's Theatreport.