Milwaukee Repertory Theater Welcomes Feast of Crispian Shakespeare with Vets as New Resident Theater Company
Feast of Crispian pairs professional actors with military veterans to create powerful Shakespeare productions
June 20, 2018- [Milwaukee] –Milwaukee Repertory Theater continues its commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as promoting up-and-coming arts organizations by welcoming Feast of Crispian [FoC] as the new Resident Theater Company for the 2018/19 Season. Feast of Crispian pairs professional actors with military veterans to create powerful Shakespeare productions that teach and strengthen emotional resources needed by veterans to overcome traumatic and reintegration issues. Through the Resident Theater program, Milwaukee Rep is able to provide a performance venue as well as production, marketing and administrative support in order to assist Feast of Crispian during a critical growth moment. Feast of Crispian’s initial performance at The Rep will be spring of 2019 as part of the first National Veterans Theatre Festival, co-hosted by FoC and The Rep. More information on the festival will be announced later this summer.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Feast of Crispian, who we worked with during our production of Grounded in 2017,” stated Artistic Director Mark Clements. “Their work with veterans is extremely powerful, and creates awareness to the struggles and trauma that many vets suffer returning from service. We look forward to joining forces, as we believe programming is a first step in addressing community needs to maximize our collective opportunities.”
“Feast of Crispian could not be more excited by the opportunities that working with a top tier professional theater like Milwaukee Rep offers us,” stated FoC co-founder Nancy Smith-Watson. “We are eager to learn from every area of The Rep’s operations to grow our organization and bring our mission of theater for veteran well-being and civilian understanding to a wider audience.”
For more information about Milwaukee Rep’s Resident Theater Company program, please visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com
About Feast of Crispian
Feast of Crispian [FoC] is a non-profit organization which uses basic acting tools and the powerful words and stories of William Shakespeare as the core of its work with veterans. FoC helps these wounded warriors to be heard and seen in the expression of their thoughts and feelings. This allows them to more easily hear, see and respect the thoughts and feelings of others, reconnecting them with their own sense of self-worth and with their communities.
Over the last five and a half years, Feast of Crispian has served 100-150 veterans annually through three-day acting intensives delivered primarily in conjunction with the Zablocki VA hospital. They have also mounted three theatrical productions of both Shakespeare’s plays and original work devised from the stories of service members. FoC has delivered workshops and trainings across the country including the International Trauma Conference in Boston, MA, the National Shakespeare in the Prisons Conference at Notre Dame University, the National Symposium on Responsibility, Morality and the Costs of War at Ohio State University, and a Trauma and Synchrony workshop with internationally renowned trauma researcher Dr. Bessel van der Kolk at the Garrison Institute of New York. They have just returned from Seattle where they began training practitioners to assist in delivering their Shakespeare intensives at the American Lake VA hospital in Tacoma Washington in 2019. Feast of Crispian is the 2018 winner of the Footlights Outstanding Community Outreach Award. www.feastofcrispian.org
About Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Milwaukee Rep is the largest performing arts organization in Wisconsin in terms of audiences served and one of the largest professional theaters in the country. Each year, The Rep welcomes up to 275,000 people at nearly 700 performances of 15 productions ranging from compelling dramas, powerful classics, new plays and full-scale musicals in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. Now in its 65th Season, The Rep has gained a national reputation as an incubator of new work, an agent of community change and a forward-thinking provider of vital arts education programs. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Repertory Theater ignites positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of its community by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee’s rich diversity.