Shakespeare at Notre Dame strives to be a catalyst for positive change through a targeted, inclusive approach to the study and performance of Shakespeare and the theatre arts.
The social justice mission of the University of Notre Dame calls on us to “create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.” Shakespeare at Notre Dame takes this commitment to heart and develops innovative programming that reflects the vibrancy of our community in all that we do. It’s what gives our company such a unique identity both locally and internationally.
And as the premier Shakespearean research facility between the coasts, we are perfectly positioned to drive substantial, lasting social change through our emergent approaches to Shakespeare in performance.
It’s not easy work. Far from it. We commit over 7,000 hours toward it every year. Bringing a fresh approach to Shakespeare requires thinking differently about how we serve our community – and how we serve ourselves. We strive for a wide-open, diverse, and inclusive experience for everyone.
And by everyone, we mean everyone. Kindergarteners in marginalized communities. Teenagers in juvenile justice programs. College students with autism. Imprisoned adults transitioning back into society. If you don’t serve everyone, you serve no one.
The goals of our engagement programming are simple, yet expansive:
- Engage all communities in a conversation about the relevance of Shakespeare.
- Create opportunities for students to take part in Shakespearean productions.
- Promote literacy, artistic creation, diversity, and respect.
- Prioritize populations at a cultural or financial disadvantage.
- Foster mentorship opportunities for participants of all age levels.
- Listen to our community partners and develop programs that serve their goals.
- Confront unjust systems and ideologies that marginalize individuals and communities and help to dismantle them.
- Advocate on a local and national level for the rights of disenfranchised and oppressed peoples.
- Reinvent existing theatrical models to be reflective of the diversity of identities and affinities in the modern world.
- Ensure that the social justice mission of the University of Notre Dame guides every facet of our work.
Our local partners include:
- Westville Correctional Facility
- DePaul Academy
- The LOGAN Center
- Hannah & Friends
- South Bend Community School Corporation
- Robinson Community Learning Center (Robinson Shakespeare Company and ShakeSeniors)
- St. Joseph County Library
- Upward Bound/TRiO
- The Stanley Clark School
- Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation
- Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters
- Mendoza College of Business
- The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
- Local civic organizations and reading clubs
- Hundreds of students and theatre professionals.