Shakespeare & Company's Fall Festival Benefit Celebration a Hit
Shakespeare & Company marked the 25th Anniversary of its Fall Festival of Shakespeare this past weekend with an unforgettable Benefit Celebration of heart-stirring performances, workshops, a tribute to Director of Education Kevin G. Coleman, and a reunion of alumni and friends from the past 25 years. Artistic Director Tony Simotes shared the stage with the Honoraray Chair and Master of Ceremonies Massachusetts State Representative William 'Smitty' Pignatelli, welcoming over 200 guests to the Tina Packer Playhouse. The evening's performance was highlighted by a special presentation by Pignatelli to Coleman of a Resolution from the Massachusetts House of Representatives honoring the Festival (see Resolution below). The Benefit Celebration raised close to $60,000 ($11,000 from a silent auction and live auction that included two special packages-see details below). Proceeds from The Fall Festival of Shakespeare 25th Benefit Celebration will support the Company's wide-reaching and nationally-recognized Education Program.
The evening kicked off with a lively cocktail reception and silent auction followed by a live auction on-stage in The Playhouse and a 60-minute performance, directed by Company Artist Jennie Jadow and Associate Director of Education Jenna Ware, that included testimonials from Festival participants read by current Festival directors, speeches by Pignatelli, Simotes and Coleman, a video presentation spanning the past 25 years ofFestival performances and brief scenes from some of Shakespeare's best-loved plays performed by current Festival participants and alumni. Kevin Bartini, a Lee High schoolFestival alumni was also on hand performing a scene from As You Like It (Bartini is now the opening act for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report). The performances were followed by a delicious dinner reception prepared by Michael Roller of Savory Harvest Catering.