Saratoga Shakespeare Company–Our Mission and History
|Saratoga Shakespeare Company, Inc., founded in December 1999, has as its mission the enrichment of the cultural life of the community by producing free, live, professional Shakespeare performances for the residents and visitors of New York’s Capital Region. We are a 501(C) (3) corporation, the only professional theater company based in Saratoga County, and the only company in the Capital Region dedicated to free performances of classic theater.
Our performances take place outdoors, as did the original performances of Shakespeare’s plays, and are held in Saratoga Springs’ Congress Park every July. In 2007 a most generous grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust enabled us to construct a permanent portable stage, the Solomon Stage, which has given us a reliable, dependable playing area that replicates with many of the features of the theaters of Shakespeare’s time.
We have produced one Shakespeare play annually, including Twelfth Night (2000), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2001), The Comedy of Errors (2002), The Taming of the Shrew (2003), Romeo and Juliet (2004), The Tempest (2006), Much Ado About Nothing (2007), As You Like It (2008), Hamlet (2010), and The Merchant of Venice (2011). In 2005, we offered, as a change of pace, The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and in 2009 we took a one-year sabbatical caused by the ecnomic recession, returning in 2010 for our enormously successful Tenth Anniversary Season with Hamlet. For 2012, our twelfth anniversary, we celebrated a year of “twelves” with our twelfth production, a brand-new production of Twelfth Night, set in the multiethnic South Beach neighborhood of Miami and featuring prominent Latino actors in the cast.
As complex and rich as his plays can be, Shakespeare was no highbrow artist, but the greatest popular entertainer of his time. We intend to continue proving that his work can not only enlighten but also entertain people of all ages, from all walks of life, and that they have important truths to communicate four centuries later. Our mission is to continue making history’s greatest playwright part of daily existence in Saratoga County.