Provide high-quality Shakespearean and classic theatre productions, actively contribute to the Fairbanks Arts Community, deepen appreciation and expand and diversify the audience for Shakespearean and classic theatre in Interior Alaska, particularly among young people, encourage and support young people in performing Shakespeare, and build the capacity of Alaskans to perform Shakespeare and classic theatre.
Starting with a performance alongside the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska in 1992, the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre has grown into a year-round producing and international-touring theatre company. Since 1992 that desire has grown beyond outdoor performances each summer to include outreach to Boys’ and Girls’ clubs, assisted-living residences, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, youth detention centers, and countless in-school performances for students and teachers throughout Alaska. The cornerstone of FST’s strong education and outreach program is the Bard-a-thon: a 24-hour-a-day, weeklong reading of the complete works of Shakespeare. Since 2000, this free event has drawn hundreds of people together during a cold, Alaskan winter to give voice to Shakespeare’s words with friends, local officials, school groups and actors from all over the world. We believe in cultivating a love for the arts at an early age, and we are doing everything in our power to make the words of Shakespeare accessible to our youth.
Critics have described FST performances as ‘remarkable,’ ‘theatrical ingenuity,’ ‘masterful’ and ‘fun.’ In July of 2003 FST returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland with Hamlet. Originally performed by the company in the summer of 2002, Hamlet featured the company’s core members working in true ensemble fashion. Together the cast and crew dramatized an innovative, powerful, ritualistic telling of one of the world’s most well-known tragedies. “The Shakespeare Bulletin” named our production one of the ‘unexpected delights’ and ‘Shakespearian successes’ of the world’s largest performing arts festival.
We are excited to share our work with others and thank our community for their steadfast support of this truly unique company.