Christy Burgess Receives Indiana's Highest Honor in the Arts

Author: Shakespeare at Notre Dame

Today we're celebrating Ms. Christy!
And we need your help!

Our own Christy Burgess, the director of the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival's Community Company since 2010, today receives a 2023 Governor's Arts Award from the Office of the Governor with the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC). The Governor's Arts Award is Indiana's highest honor for achievement in the arts.

READ MORE: "Two Notre Dame women win awards in their fields, for design and the arts," South Bend Tribune, 3/10/24

Christy Burgess Insta

Christy's work with Shakespeare at Notre Dame, and in particular the Robinson Community Learning Center, has positively impacted the lives of countless children since her arrival in South Bend in 2008. With Shakespeare at Notre Dame, Christy has led ShakeScenes, an annual celebration of Shakespeare for students K through 12, as well as Shakespeare After Hours.

Christy is also the co-founder and Shakespeare Outreach Director for the Robinson Shakespeare Company (RSC), a signature educational program at the RCLC. The Robinson Shakespeare Company has reached thousands of students and hundreds of teachers through drama classes, workshops, and theatrical production. Christy directs the RSC through three performances each year and guides youth participation in the English Speaking Union Shakespeare Monologue Competition.

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Christy attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and received her M.A. in Drama and Theatre Education from the University of Warwick. Before moving to South Bend, Christy worked at the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre as their Education Manager, and had the pleasure of traveling to parts of rural Alaska, where she led Shakespeare workshops with youths and Alaska Native elders. In 2011, Christy was fortunate to be a North American teaching consultant for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2012-13 and currently serves as the Education Committee co-chair for the Shakespeare Theatre Association.

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Kennedi Bridges, left, and Christy Burgess make eye contact during an exercise in a workshop with the Master of Movement at Shakespeare's Globe, Glynn MacDonald. Photo by Barbara Johnston, University of Notre Dame.

In 2016, Christy was the recipient of the D. Susan Wisely Youth Worker of the Year Award by the Indiana Youth Institute. The following year, Christy and the RSC journeyed to London and Stratford-upon-Avon where they were the first company to perform at Shakespeare’s New Place and experienced the workshop of a lifetime onstage at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, an experience exhaustively documented by Notre Dame Magazine in the story “This England.”

Christy was featured in a 2017 “Fighting For” ad which showcased the power and breadth of her teaching programs at the RCLC, and she also appeared in "Much Ado After School," a student documentary which premiered at the 2015 Notre Dame Student Film Festival.

Christy is truly a cornerstone of our local community, and we couldn't be more proud of her achievements!

What's your favorite Ms. Christy memory?

How has Ms. Christy touched your life? Please tag Shakespeare at Notre Dame on Facebook or Instagram and comment, like, or share your photos, videos, and memories via social media. Let’s all come together to celebrate the remarkable legacy of this extraordinary treasure of the Michiana community!