History & Mission
Saratoga Shakespeare Company is a non-profit corporation founded in December 1999, largely through the efforts of William Finlay and Michaela Reilly Wilson. The mission of The Saratoga Shakespeare Company is to enrich the summer cultural life for the residents and visitors of New York’s Capital Region through the presentation of free, accessible, professional Shakespeare productions. Our first production, Twelfth Night, was presented in 2000 in Saratoga’s historic Congress Park.
Our core of actors and stage managers are members of Actors’ Equity Association, America’s oldest professional theatrical union. We are also able to engage some of the areas best-known non-Equity actors. Each summer we have engaged students from a number of different colleges and high schools as interns in the company. Depending on their areas of interest, these interns perform in our productions and serve as production personnel. These students are able to earn academic credit through Skidmore College and can earn points towards membership in Actors’ Equity as they prepare for their professional lives.
The Saratoga Shakespeare Company was founded in response to the need for live professional productions of the works of William Shakespeare in the Capital Region. The founders and board members have included area professionals with expertise in theatre, higher education, media, business and banking. The funding of the company is through business sponsorship, grant writing, patronage and donations. We are members of The Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, The Shakespeare Theatre Association, and the Adirondack Region Theatre Association. Each year we participate with other area professional theatres in the Adirondack Region Theatres Auditions.
Saratoga’s Congress Park is an ideal venue for our work each summer. It is accessible, centrally located in the heart of Saratoga Springs, and it contains a wonderful site for outdoor theatre. Our stage was made possible through a grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Trust. Over the years, the City of Saratoga Springs and the City’s Public Works Department have given strong support to our project.
We actively seek ways in which we can broaden our outreach into the community by establishing contacts with representatives of disabled and senior citizens, providing educational and training programs, offering library programs, etc. Each year our work is made possible through the efforts of many community volunteers and generous pro bono work by area professionals.
We are a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation, and all donations are entirely tax-deductible.