Lehigh Valley

Shakespeare theatre leaders from around the world to convene in Center Valley

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The highest concentration of Shakespeare theatre leaders in the world will occur at the home of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival in Center Valley from Jan. 7 -12.

From Chicago and Utah to Spain and Argentina, Shakespeare artists, leaders and educators will arrive in the hamlet of Center Valley for The Shakespeare Theatre Association's 22nd annual meeting. Representatives from 47 companies and eight countries are currently registered.

Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett, who is also chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, will deliver the welcoming address. Corbett has served on the Council for nine years, having first been appointed by Gov. Mark Schweiker in 2002, re-appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell in 2009, and again by her husband, Gov. Tom Corbett in 2011.

The theme of the conference is "What Dreams May Come: Vision into Action."

Artistic directors, education directors, and executive/managing directors will share their visions for the future, discuss their best practices and pressing challenges, and explore, initiate, and invigorate trends in theatres whose primary mission is to produce the works of William Shakespeare.

Topics range from original practices and single-gender Shakespeare to Shakespeare in prison, and plenary sessions feature leading research on cultural policy, artistic and strategic planning, training the next generation of Shakespeare artists, and taking a leading role in marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's passing in 2016.

"The role of Shakespeare in our world continues to inspire and challenge artists and audiences, scholars and Shakespeare theatre leaders," says PSF Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy, "and we are honored to host this conference."

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is hosting the conference on the Center Valley campus of DeSales University.

Since 1992, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival has produced a summer season of Shakespeare plays and other world classics from master dramatists for more than 500,000 patrons from all 50 states. Artists in recent seasons have included Broadway headliners and winners and nominees of the Tony, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Lortel, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards.

For more information, email Lisa.Higgins@pashakespeare.org.

A partial list of presenters includes:

-- Dennis Krausnick, Director of Training – Shakespeare & Company.

-- Terry O'Brien Founding Artistic Director – Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

-- Curt Tofteland, Founder & Producing Director – Shakespeare Behind Bars.

-- Lisa Wolpe Producing Artistic Director – Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company.

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