Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre, the world’s northernmost Shakespeare Company, was a 2012-2013 recipient of the Shakespeare for a New Generation grant, part of the Shakespeare in American Communities program of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.
With the assistance of the Shakespeare for a New Generation grant, a Gwich’in inspired production of King Lear or, Lear Khehkwaii, toured to schools throughout the state during the spring of 2013. The production was abridged to 90 minutes and we offered post-show talkbacks and workshops. In the workshop students discussed the play and engaged in theatrical activities focusing on storytelling, key plot points and the importance of language revitalization. The production was accompanied with study guides that include play analysis, study questions and theatrical exercises for the classroom. Guides were distributed electronically to participating teachers and schools prior to our visit and FST can send a Shakespeare in American Communities toolkit.
FST toured during the month of April and May of 2013 and reached over 2,000 students, many of whom had never seen a play before or been exposed to the Gwich’in language being spoken aloud. Read the Alaska Dispatch Review here.