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Expanding the Bard's Reach with Shakespeare to Go!

This summer marks the 12th season the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival has drawn young people from all over the metro area to their summer camps. This year, through a partnership with Young Audiences and the National Endowment for the Arts, the festival will be broadening its reach even further. As KCUR's Steve Walker reports, Shakespeare to Go! has the capacity to reach communities and audiences that have yet to sample what Shakespeare has to offer. By Steve Walker


Kansas City, Missouri – At a luncheon last summer, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival performed a condensed version of Romeo and Juliet. One of the impressed audience members happened to be Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. According to the festival's artistic director, Sidonie Garrett, Gioia said, "You've got to take this out to the schools. Kids need to see this." That conversation led to Shakespeare to Go!. Four actors play 17 roles in 40 minutes, including scenes from Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Shakespeare to Go! will be presented Thursday at 1:30 pm and 6:30 pm at the Plaza Library and Saturday at 2 pm at the Central Library.

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