To create theatre rooted in the genius of Shakespeare,
that provokes the mind and speaks to the soul
Theatre worth talking about
Belief in the transforming power of the spoken word;
Commitment to the productive interplay of past and present dramatic works universal to the human experience, engaging them with love and irreverence;
Creation of theatre that is intelligent, passionate, and uncompromising;
Devotion to a mutually fulfilling relationship between theatre and community;
Dedication to comprehensive education that encourages intellectual, emotional and social development, removing barriers and opening hearts and minds;
All within an environment of respect, empathy, and invention in the pursuit of excellence.
PRESS RELEASE - QUILL THEATRE
Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare announce that the two non-profit theatres formally united under the new name of Quill Theatre on May 16, 2015. As the region’s only theatre dedicated to producing the classics, its vision will be “to create theatre rooted in the genius of Shakespeare, that provokes the mind and speaks to the soul," with a mission to produce “theatre worth talking about.” Quill Theatre will continue to produce four mainstage productions each year and the beloved Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall, in addition to offering the only Shakespearean educational programming for students and adults in the region.
Jacqueline O’Connor, Managing Director for Quill Theatre says, “I am so proud of the hard work and dedication of our board and staff. We have come together to bring the community the very best of Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare — creating a vibrant, bold, forward-thinking theatre company.”
Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare began working toward a union in early 2013, operating together with a shared vision of fully integrating into a single entity within two years. Board President Brendan Williamson says, “Under our new, unified brand, we will remain dedicated to providing the Richmond community with the highest quality theatre and educational outreach.” Artistic Director Dr. Jan Powell adds, “I am energized by the multiple meanings of “quill” — it’s a writing instrument with infinite flexibility, a penetrating sharp, a delicate and ephemeral adornment. As Quill Theatre, we will adventure through the full spectrum of our theatre’s capability, elasticity, and potency.”
Quill Theatre’s 31st season will celebrate the union by offering the utmost variety in our Shakespearean selections — a delightful comedy, a devastating tragedy a wicked bloodbath, and a poignant synthesis of them all — along with a recent Helen Hayes Award winner for Best New Play, an early masterwork by one of America’s finest 20th century theatrical writers, and a tender, haunting story of rural Southern childhood. The full listing of plays can be found below.
Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare announced their new name, revitalized mission and 31st season at this year’s Bootleg Ball.
Encore Theatre! Inc. (Richmond Shakespeare)
Encore! Theatre Inc. was incorporated on August 21, 1985. After being run by the board and volunteers for the first 10 years, Grant Mudge became Artistic Director in August 1996 and Cynde Liffick joined the company as Managing Director in December of the same year, later becoming the company’s Education Director. In 1999 The Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft was created and it still running today. The company changed to DBA - Richmond Shakespeare in 2006. Richmond Shakespeare established a dynamic mainstage season, Shakespeare tours and outstanding educational programming, and was an integral part of the planning process for Richmond CenterStage. The company also has partnered with local NPR affiliate WCVE to produce Bard Bits: Shakespeare-themed video shorts aired as part of “Shakespeare Uncovered." Dr. Jan Powell became Artistic Director in 2013.
Henley Street Theatre
Henley Street Theatre’s was founded in 2006 by Alex Previtera. The company’s name was inspired by his passion for Shakespeare, who was born on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. Jacqueline O’Connor joined the company as a volunteer Managing Director in early 2007 prior to the first season, was officially hired as Managing Director by the Board of Directors in the spring of 2008. James Ricks became Artistic Director in 2011. He established the free “Bootleg Shakespeare," which continues to be one of the most anticipated theatre events each year. Over the next four years under the leadership of James and Jacqueline, Henley Street Theatre quickly rose to become a valued member of the theatre community, winning numerous awards for mainstage productions and providing a variety of educational opportunities for youth.
Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare
In March 2013, the boards of Henley Street Theatre and Encore Theatre! Inc. (Richmond Shakespeare), executed a Memorandum of Understanding toward achieving a full unification by 2015. This year, the companies were nationally recognized as one of forty theatres in the United States to receive a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts — Shakespeare in American Communities grant. With the assistance of generous individuals and community partners, the grant allowed them to bring a free hour-long performance of Romeo and Juliet to all Richmond City middle and high schools, with hands-on workshops, study guides and talkbacks.
Dr. Jan Powell hails from Oregon, where she was the founding Artistic Director of the innovative Tygres Heart Shakespeare Company at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, and received her PhD in Theatre Arts from the University of Oregon. She has also served as the Artistic Director of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, and is a past president of the international Shakespeare Theatre Association. Jan has produced and directed most of the Shakespearean canon, including all of the histories. For Quill Theatre (formerly Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare), her recent work includes The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Holiday Memories, Hamlet (Richmond Theatre Critics Circle award nomination for Best Play and Best Director), Sam and Carol, Equivocation (co-production with Virginia Repertory Theatre; RTCC award for Best Director, nomination for Best Play), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, The Importance of Being Earnest (co-production with Richmond Triangle Players), Othello, an original theatrical adaptation of A Child's Christmas in Wales, King John (RTCC nomination for Best Director), and Macbeth (RTCC award for Best Direction). Other notable direction includes Marat/Sade at Theatre 54 and The Comedy of Errors at Looking Glass Theatre in New York City, The Taming of the Shrew for Kingsmen Shakespeare in Los Angeles, and direction for regional theatres across the country including American Shakespeare Center, Mendocino Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Festival, Stoneham Theatre in Boston, and Nevada Repertory Theatre. She has directed world premieres such as the award-winning Money Shot; Gimpel the Fool starring Metropolitan Opera star Richard Zeller, and direction/co-writing (with Carole J. Dane) Cambio, a new musical set in Cuba, based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
American Buffalo by
October 1-24, 2015
Bootleg Shakespeare –
October 31, 2015
Holiday Memories by
Adapted by Russell
December 3-26, 2015
Stupid F**cking Bird
by Aaron Posner
January 7-30, 2016
King Lear by William
March 31 - April 23,
Twelfth Night by
June 2-26, 2016
The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare
July 7-31, 2016
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