Rep Receives Grant to Force Local Kids to Watch Shakespeare

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has just received a $25,000 grant to participate in the National Endowment of the Arts' Shakespeare for a New Generation program, plus an additional $10,000 from Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The Rep will use the money to teach the young folks of this city about the twin glories that are Shakespeare and live theater, starting with Macbeth.

Well, there are probably worse ways to introduce kids to Shakespeare than that cheerful little tale of witches, ghosts, murder and madness. Especially kids who are already serving time.

The Rep will do four matinee performances for middle- and high school audiences and organize groups to travel to 25 schools for educational presentations about the play. The grants will also fund a teaching residency program at two high schools and an artist residency program in conjunction with Prison Performing Arts.

"The Rep is honored to be part of the Shakespeare for a New Generation grant program from the National Endowment for the Arts. We are thrilled that we can share our production of Macbeth with more audiences because of receiving this special funding," Steve Woolf, Artistic Director of The Rep, said in a press release.

(How much more fun would it have been if he had taken a page from Chicago and attempted to talk like Shakespeare?)

And if Macbeth doesn't go over well with audiences, the Rep can always switch over to King Lear. That's the one with the immortal lines, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is/To have a thankless child!"

Spoiler: This is how Macbeth ends, courtesy of Roman Polanski.

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