by Robert Bell
The Arkansas Reparatory Theatre was recently awarded the 2012-2013 Shakespeare for a New Generation Grant for its upcoming production of “Henry V,” which opens Sept. 7. It is the only theater in Arkansas to win the
$2,500 $25,000 grant.
Shakespeare for a New Generation is the second phase of the Shakespeare in American Communities initiative, a program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. This is the Rep’s third such grant.
Shakespeare for a New Generation seeks to introduce theater and Shakespeare’s works to middle and high school students. The Rep’s production of “Henry V” in September will reach more than 1,500 students in Arkansas from more than 20 schools.
Education is one of the focuses of The Rep, and the grant will help to enhance the educational experience of “Henry V,” said Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp.
The Rep always offers student matinee performances, but the grant will make it possible for students to engage in educational activities outside of watching the production, he said. Teachers will have access to study guides related to the production, as well as the opportunity to talk to the actors from the play. The grant will help pay for the creation of the educational material available on The Rep’s website, Hupp said.
There are already 13 schools signed up to view the matinee performances of “Henry V,” each of which will participate in discussions with the director and cast, and will be able to access the online materials.