The Story of The Acting Company

The roots of The Acting Company lie in an effort to provide an educational experience with Shakespeare for the youth of a small Utah town. That effort has blossomed into a program that has provided its young actors, year after year, with some of the best performance opportunities available in the state.


 

In 1995, in the tiny, rural Utah community of Kanosh, home-school mother and Shakespeare scholar Suzanne Christensen formed The Kanosh Acting Company.  It was an opportunity for her own children and for the children of friends and neighbors to experience being on stage in a play, and, in particular, to have an experience with Shakespeare. “An experience with Shakespeare, and with everything else,” says Christensen. “From Shakespeare, you can go nearly anywhere: history, geography, music, science…anything. It’s all there. Start with a Shakespeare play and go in any direction. There’s almost nothing you can’t learn.” The oldest actors in the company were high-school students. The youngest were only toddlers.

Two decades, a name-change (the company is now simply called "The Acting Company") and dozens of productions later, veterans the program number in the hundreds. Many are now adults, and while not many of them have gone on to become professional stage performers (few in this world do), their perspectives on life and the world are permanently affected—enhanced and enriched—by their experience with the  Bard and his work.  

The Acting Company and its members have performed in venues as humble as neighborhood backyards, and as grand as the Adams Theater in Cedar City, Utah, as a part of that city’s celebrated Utah Shakespeare Festival.  They’ve performed plays and conducted workshops in classrooms, media centers, libraries, museums, and more. All the world, it seems, is a stage.

Click here for a description of what it’s like to be part of a production with The Acting Company.


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