10-31-2012

Contact: Victoria Ellwood, (614) 292-6299

The Ohio State University and the Royal Shakespeare Company Expand Partnership

New Collaboration To Continue to Enhance Teacher Development and Research and Bring RSC’s new Julius Caesar to New York and Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University and the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) announced today a new, major expansion of their initial three-year collaboration, supporting Ohio State’s aspiration to be a destination for the innovative teaching, research and performance of Shakespeare.

The new agreement will:
*Enhance innovative K-12 teacher training and expand the program’s reach beyond the 4,000 Central Ohio K-12 students and their teachers engaged by Ohio State during the initial three year partnership. This program is inspired by RSC’s Stand Up For Shakespeare manifesto: Start It Early, See it Live and Do it on Your Feet, promoting active teaching methods which are drawn directly from the RSC’s rehearsal room practice.

*Bring more of the RSC’s work to the U.S. and support the continuation of the RSC’s co-productions with some of America’s leading theatre makers and artists.

The announcement was made by Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee and Catherine Mallyon, executive director of the RSC, at the Columbus Metropolitan Club, where members of the RSC ensemble and acting company from Stratford Upon Avon performed a 20-minute edited version of King Lear to celebrate the start of its two-week Ohio State residency of Young People’s Shakespeare performances and associated workshops, at the university’s Drake Performance Center.

In attendance were Abigail and Leslie Wexner, whose generous support was instrumental in creating the original RSC/Ohio State partnership three years ago and are the lead donors for the new collaboration.

“We are at once humbled and overjoyed by the impact the Ohio State-Royal Shakespeare Company collaboration has had on the lives of faculty, students, and thousands of school children,” said Abigail and Leslie Wexner. “The unexpected beauty has been watching this partnership grow even beyond our highest hopes, and it is an honor to be able to formally extend the collaboration through this new presenting partnership.”

The first RSC production to be seen in the U.S. under this new arrangement will arrive this spring, when the company collaborates with Ohio State to present the RSC’s acclaimed production of Julius Caesar. Set in contemporary Africa and directed by the RSC’s new artistic director, Gregory Doran, Julius Caesar will have its U.S. premiere at The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) Harvey Theater, April 10-28, 2013; it will then travel to Columbus, to play May 1-5, at the Southern Theatre. Columbus performances are being presented by Ohio State and the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA).

Julius Caesar first opened in Stratford-upon-Avon, then transferred to London's West End and later toured around the UK, before traveling to Moscow in November this year.

Additional RSC productions and projects to be included in this collaboration are in development and will be announced soon.

“We are thrilled to build upon our unique and entrepreneurial relationship with the acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company,” said E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State. “By bringing these two world class institutions together, we expand the university’s artistic engagement beyond our campus borders, beyond Ohio, beyond the United States.”

“Today we renew our relationship to make the teaching, research and performance of Shakespeare a key priority at Ohio State and to help bring the joy and inspiration of RSC productions to more people across the country.”

Gregory Doran, RSC artistic director, said: “I am delighted that we are announcing today an expansion of our unique relationship with The Ohio State University. I am particularly proud that this collaboration contains a continuing commitment on both sides to support the training of teachers who teach Shakespeare. In addition, the RSC will explore with performers and educators in both the UK and the U.S. how we can play a meaningful role in production, training and research programs such as this. This expanded collaboration will be a model of best practice in these three interconnected areas.”

“I am also delighted that New York and Ohio audiences will have the chance to see some more of our work so soon after our 2011 New York residency and honored the new collaboration will begin with my own production of Julius Caesar.”

“The inspiration for an African setting for Julius Caesar came from Nelson Mandela. He autographed lines from the play in a copy of Shakespeare’s works while on Robben Island. The South African actor, John Kani, described Julius Caesar as ‘Shakespeare’s African play.’ It is fantastic that we can share it with American audiences at BAM and in Ohio in Spring 2013, just as we open Matilda The Musical on Broadway with our producing partners, The Dodgers.”

Catherine Mallyon, RSC executive director, said: “From the very beginning of this evolving partnership, The Ohio State University has demonstrated a bold entrepreneurial spirit and a unique commitment to the teaching, study and performance of Shakespeare. RSC looks forward to sharing artistic talent, intellectual endeavor, research and skills in exciting and collaborative ways that will add meaningful programs and new success to both institutions.”

BAM executive producer, Joseph V. Melillo said: "BAM’s rich and longstanding relationship with the RSC began in 1971 with Peter Brook’s legendary A Midsummer Night's Dream and most recently brought wonderful productions of King Lear and The Seagull to our stages in 2007. We look forward to presenting the U.S. premiere engagement of this visionary production of Julius Caesar, and welcome Gregory Doran and the RSC in their new partnership with The Ohio State University.”

“CAPA is delighted to join forces with Ohio State in presenting the Royal Shakespeare Company’s groundbreaking production of Julius Caesar,” stated CAPA President and CEO Bill Conner. “This is the definitive production of this play for this generation, and we are proud to be a part of such an innovative, quality work.”

The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), a major medical center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.

RSC Education
Through its work with nearly 30,000 students, 1,300 schools and 2,500 teachers each year in the UK and internationally, the RSC aims to make Shakespeare vivid, accessible and enjoyable for students and their teachers. The RSC believes that students get the most out of Shakespeare when they do it on their feet, see it live and start it early, as set out in Stand Up for Shakespeare (http://www.rsc.org.uk/downloads/manifesto.pdf">http://www.rsc.org.uk/downloads/manifesto.pdf), its manifesto for the teaching, learning and performance of Shakespeare’s plays in schools. The RSC has a growing base of research and case studies that explore the impact of its working methods in schools (http://www.rsc.org.uk/education/lpn/research-and-case-studies.aspx)

The RSC and The Ohio State University education collaboration focuses on three specific areas:.
Professional development for teachers. The RSC and the university offer an ongoing programme of professional development for teachers inspired by the RSC’s Stand Up for Shakespeare manifesto. The programme supports the Ohio State University’s ambition to establish itself as a leading institution for the study, teaching and performance of Shakespeare, and to position the university as a special destination – and national model – in the United States for training K-12 teachers in the teaching of Shakespeare, using the active teaching approaches developed by RSC practitioners and drawn from the Company’s rehearsal room practice.

Performance based opportunities for artists and audiences. These opportunities include performances of the RSC’s specially-adapted Young People’s Shakespeare productions, for audiences aged 8 and upwards, along with RSC actors’ and artists’ residencies, at Ohio State.

Research-based analysis of impact and opportunity. Ongoing studies by the university and the RSC which measure the impact of the programs.

The Royal Shakespeare Company in America is presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University The RSC Ensemble is generously supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and The Kovner Foundation.

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
For further information on the Royal Shakespeare Company, please contact:
Liz Thompson, Director of Communications +44 1789 412667 liz.thompson@rsc.org.uk or Philippa Harland, Head of Press, +442078450512 philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk
www.rsc.org.uk
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IMAGES:
Images of Julius Caesar are available from the RSC’s Electronic Press Office Online:
Tel: +44 793 2661 317
Email: info@epo-online.com
Website: www.epo-online.com

Biography: Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director
Gregory took over as the RSC's Artistic Director in September 2012.

He directed Julius Caesar for the World Shakespeare Festival and this season will direct The Orphan of Zhao in the Swan in Stratford upon Avon.

His most recent RSC productions include: David Edgar’s Written on the Heart, Cardenio (Shakespeare’s lost play re-imagined), Morte d'Arthur, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Love's Labour's Lost. Other productions for the Company in the UK and internationally include: Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, All's Well That Ends Well, The Taming of the Shrew (and The Tamer Tamed), Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter's Tale, Othello, Merry Wives The Musical, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, King John, Timon of Athens, All Is True (Henry VIII), Venus and Adonis (in collaboration with The Little Angel Theatre), Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, Oroonoko by Biyi Bandele (after Aphra Behn), The Odyssey adapted by Derek Walcott, Jubilee by Peter Barnes, and The Canterbury Tales in an adaptation by Mike Poulton.

In 2002, Greg led a season of five seldom-performed Jacobean and Elizabethan plays and directed The Island Princess by John Fletcher. Greg and the Company enjoyed a sell out season at The Swan Theatre and a run at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End, and received an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement of the Year. In 2005 he led the Gunpowder season in the Swan, directing Ben Jonson's Sejanus in this season of neglected Jacobean works.

His filmed version of Hamlet (BBC2/Illuminations) was broadcast in the UK on Boxing Day 2009 and in the US on PBS. His other film work includes: Macbeth (Channel 4 / Illuminations) and A Midsummer Night's Dreaming (BBC4 documentary based on research for his own production); and he directed extracts from various Shakespeare plays for Michael Wood's BBC series, 'In Search of Shakespeare'. Illuminations also filmed his World Shakespeare Festival production of Julius Caesar, which was broadcast on BBC4 as part of the BBC's Shakespeare season for the Cultural Olympiad in June 2012.

With the British Library, Greg compiled two highly successful CDs of extracts from live recordings of great performances from Stratford since the late fifties: Essential Shakespeare LIVE! and Essential Shakespeare ENCORE!

His writing credits include Woza Shakespeare! co-authored with Antony Sher about their production of Titus Andronicus in South Africa in 1995, The Shakespeare Almanac in 2009, and Shakespeare's Lost Play: In search of Cardenio in 2011.

Greg began his career with the RSC as an actor in the 1987-88 season, becoming an assistant director in 1989. He was made an associate director in 1996, and became chief associate director in 2006. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and in 2011 was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and in 2011 was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol. In June 2012 he received the Sam Wanamaker Award from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, an annual award that recognises and celebrates work which has increased the understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare.

BAM
Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM’s) mission is to be the home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas. America’s oldest performing arts institution, it is recognized internationally for innovative dance, music, and theater programming—including its renowned Next Wave Festival. BAM also features an acclaimed repertory film program, literary and visual art events, and extensive educational programs. The institution is led by President Karen Brooks Hopkins and Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo.