FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 12, 2020
Shakespeare in Detroit partners with Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation for educational program,
Theater receives $150,000 to work with the students at The School at Marygrove through 2023
DETROIT -- Shakespeare in Detroit (SiD) will receive $150,000 over the next three years from the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation to support its educational program, Shakespeare STEAM, for children in grades 3 through 12. The grant will help pay for resources and trained teaching artists.
“We are over the moon about this support from the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, especially during these times of great turmoil in our country,” said SiD Founder and Detroit Public Schools alum, Sam White. “When I think of hope and the future of our world, youth are the center of change and progress, and Shakespeare in Detroit is honored to be able to play our part in empowering and sharing skills that allow them to thrive.”
Shakespeare in Detroit, which pioneered the first-ever Shakespeare in the park experience in Detroit proper, has one nonprofit charter school and two Detroit Public School Community District partners: Boggs School, Clippert Academy and The School at Marygrove. Teaching artists with different specialties teach the following:
Science of lighting a production
Technology of sound design
Engineering of a form or costume
Art of classical performance and
Mathematics of building a set to the youth.
SiD’s pilot for Shakespeare STEAM took place during the 2019-20 academic year, beginning with Boggs, Clippert and the Detroit School of Arts. The company embedded its teaching artists in the three schools and completed the fall semester with a high-quality production of Romeo and Juliet, produced by White.
“We were able to pilot the program this past fall with our younger students and the students at the arts high school who had some prior understanding of the fundamentals of theater,” says White. “But we wanted to bring the Shakespeare in Detroit standard to the DSA students to give them a glimpse at the sort of training that happens in conservatories across the country.”
The nonprofit began its work at the new The School at Marygrove this past January, spending six weeks with the students in person before the curriculum was briefly disrupted by COVID-19. Training resumed in April with online learning, which worked out for the organization as technology is a key factor in the STEAM component.
“We understood and planned to teach the technical aspects of the field to students long before the coronavirus,” continues White. “We provided our The School at Marygrove theater students with free tablets so that they had technology to stay connected with our program, and we are looking forward to utilizing them in the fall in conjunction with the digital learning modules we are currently curating to complement our in-person training.”
About Shakespeare in Detroit
Shakespeare in Detroit began as a grassroots effort called Shakespeare Against Cancer, providing private performances for youth in hospitals in Southeast Michigan. This work evolved into public productions of William Shakespeare’s plays in the city proper, along with site-specific presentations in historical spaces. The nonprofit’s productions have been seen by more than 13,000 people, including 700 students as beneficiaries of the pilot for its educational program, Shakespeare STEAM.