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The Guthrie Theater Announces 21st Annual SHAKESPEARE CLASSIC

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The Guthrie Theater Announces 21st Annual SHAKESPEARE CLASSIC

The Guthrie Theater (Joseph Haj, artistic director) announced it will host the 21st Shakespeare Classic on Sunday, March 15 at 1 p.m., providing young people, with the recommended age range of 10 to 17, and their loved ones an opportunity to experience Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare's music-filled comedy with equal parts mayhem and revelry.

Established in 1999, this popular event is tailored specifically for young audiences and offers $10 tickets to all patrons, a custom program with backstage details and a meet-and-greet opportunity with actors after the performance. Every order must have at least one but no more than two adults for every young person. Tickets are available in person at the Box Office or by calling 612.377.2224 or 1.877.44.STAGE (toll-free). Tickets for this performance are not available online.

When a shipwrecked Viola washes up on Illyria's shores without her twin brother, she must adapt to her strange new surroundings on her own. For safety, she disguises herself as a man and quickly finds favor and employment with the lovesick Orsino, who pines for Olivia's devotion. After a series of mishaps and plenty of mayhem, their love triangle becomes so entangled it brings all of Illyria along for the ride. When at last the truth is revealed, the Bard's starry-eyed tale proves that the revelry of love is something worth fighting for.

At a 1953 production of Richard III directed by the Guthrie's namesake, Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Sheila Livingston and her soon-to-be husband Ken attended an evening of Shakespeare at Canada's Stratford Festival - Livingston's first encounter with the stage that set her course toward a life in the theater.

Livingston found her way to the Guthrie, where she started as a volunteer and eventually became an employee who served the theater for decades. Throughout her tenure, she worked in a variety of roles, including director of artistic relations and director of education. In 1998, former artistic director Joe Dowling established the Kenneth and Sheila Livingston Education Fund in her honor, which has grown significantly over the years due to the ongoing support of countless donors who share Livingston's passion for creating educational opportunities for young people.

The Livingstons earmarked the funds to introduce more students to more theater experiences, and the Shakespeare Classic was born, premiering with a production of Julius Caesar on March 28, 1999. Livingston's husband Ken, a theater enthusiast who never missed a Guthrie opening night, passed away the following year. Together with the Guthrie, Livingston and her three daughters vowed to carry the Shakespeare Classic onward in his memory.

In Livingston's own words: "I am convinced that by exposing children to the pleasures of live theater they will discover a world of wonder and imagination that can only be experienced through this vibrant living art form."

The Shakespeare Classic is made possible by generous contributions to the Kenneth and Sheila Livingston Education Fund. This production of Twelfth Night is sponsored by U.S. Bank.

The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. The Guthrie is one of 40 professional theater companies across the nation selected to perform a Shakespeare play with a professional team of actors for middle and high schools and conduct related educational activities for students.



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