Babson College And Commonwealth Shakespeare Company End Their Six-Year Partnership
Babson College and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) announced today the discontinuation of their partnership effective January, 2020.
CSC became Babson's Theatre-in-Residence in October, 2013, and since that time has presented award-winning professional theater productions and performances for high school audiences at Babson, and has brought nationally-recognized artists and arts leaders to the campus.
With sponsorship support from Babson College and other community leaders, CSC has also continued to present its Signature Productions of free Shakespeare on the Boston Common, which is currently in its twenty-fourth year and has delighted well over a million audience members from all walks of life.
Steven Maler, Artistic Director of CSC, said, "We have very much enjoyed our association with Babson over the past six years, and value the relationships we have built with the College's faculty, staff, and students." He added, "Education has always been central to our mission, and sharing the power of creativity and the importance of the arts is a core value of CSC."
"Babson thanks CSC for a successful partnership which attracted well-known national artists and productions and extended Babson's historical commitment to the arts," President Stephen Spinelli said. "As we embark on our strategic planning process, Babson remains committed to providing opportunities for students to discover, explore, and enhance their artistic expression as part of the educational experience."
CSC became Babson's Theatre-in-Residence in 2013 at the invitation of then president Kerry Murphy Healey, who believed that a robust arts presence would complement and reinforce Babson's emphasis on creativity and entrepreneurship. Since then, CSC has produced professional productions, readings, and performances for young audiences seen by thousands of Massachusetts students; and CSC has leveraged its relationships and resources to bring arts leaders to campus - from Tony Award winning producers to leaders of flagship arts organizations - to speak with students about their personal journeys in the creative sector.
CSC has received numerous nominations and awards for its theatrical productions during its Babson residency, including Elliot Norton Awards for its productions of Beckett in Brief in 2017 and for director Bryn Boyce for Universe Rushing Apart, an evening of one-act plays by Caryl Churchill in 2018. Maler received the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence in 2016. At Babson, the Company presented the world premiere of Jake Broder's Our American Hamlet and the acclaimed production of MacArthur Award Winner Naomi Wallace's Birdy, in addition to Anthony Rapp's one man show Without You and Samuel Beckett's Happy Days, featuring Brooke Adams and Tony Award winner Tony Shalhoub. CSC also recently gained international attention for its virtual-reality production Hamlet 360: Thy Father's Spirit, created in partnership with Google and WGBH.
Maler said, "We are grateful to the people and institutions that have supported CSC over the years, and who continue to support us - our friends at WGBH, the City of Boston, foundations such as The Klarman Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and our many generous individual donors. We remain passionate about our commitment to artistic excellence and access for all, and look forward to continuing that work in the future. Next year, we celebrate 25 years of service to the Greater Boston community, and I am thrilled to be directing next summer's Free Shakespeare on the Common production - The Tempest."
CSC was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to the idea that Shakespeare belongs to everyone, that the plays speak to important issues of our time, and to the passionate belief that everyone should have access to the arts. The company has presented one production of Shakespeare, free of charge, each year on the Boston Common since 1996; the current year features the comedy/drama Cymbeline. For more information about CSC, visit www.commshakes.org.