Gannon University Receives Grant from ArtsErie to Support Summer Shakespeare Project

Posted: November 26, 2013

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be," Polonius famously remarks in Shakespeare's "Hamlet," but while the Bard had an aphorism for any occasion, he had nothing to say about receiving grants. Still, it's not hard to imagine him shouting "Bravo!" at the news that Gannon University received a $3,250 grant from ArtsErie to support the Summer Shakespeare Project

The Project is an annual highlight of the summer cultural calendar at Gannon and includes Shakespeare Summer Nights, which offers free productions of Shakespeare's plays and related works and the shakeXperience:GANNON and GTX (Gannon Theatre Experience) summer theater camps.

Shakespeare Summer Nights was created in 2003 by the Rev. Shawn Clerkin,
associate professor of theatre, communication and fine arts and director of theatre, with a production of "Twelfth Night." Subsequent productions have included "Hamlet," "King Lear," "Macbeth," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Othello," "Return To The Forbidden Planet," "Stand-Up Shakespeare," a revue, and "The Tempest." All productions are free to the public.

ShakeXperience:GANNON is a summer resident educational experience for high school students interested in learning more about Shakespeare in performance through classes in history, text, performance, scenic design, period dance, and a workshop bringing one of the classic plays from the page to the stage. GTX provides an opportunity for high school students to hone modern theater practices in comedic performance and improvisation, vocal performance, dance and playwriting, culminating in a showcase at the end of the week. High school students from the Erie area are eligible to apply for full scholarships to participate in the camps.

"Arts Erie has been a strong supporter of Gannon University and the Schuster Theatre's Summer Shakespeare Programs for many years," Clerkin said. "We thank them for recognizing Gannon's outreach of the arts to the Erie community, especially in the free arts experiences offered through the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the Schuster Gallery, and Shakespeare Summer Nights. Art is something that should be accessible to all people, not just those who can afford admission."

As for gratitude, the Bard's Timon has the last word: "You great benefactors, sprinkle our society with thankfulness."