About the Grant

$22,500 to support King of Shadows (MAP 2005), a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream through the eyes of gay youth, written by playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, partnering with members of San Francisco’s gay youth community and related community-based organizations, and the American Conservatory Theater’s M.F.A. program.

About the Project

California Shakespeare Theater has commissioned playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to develop King of Shadows, a new play that re-imagines Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream through the eyes of marginalized, gay youth in San Francisco. Mr. Aguirre-Sacasa will collaborate with Cal Shakes Associate Artistic Director Sean Daniels to engage teens from gay and homeless youth organizations in a collaborative, community-based research process. They will explore the play’s themes through writing and improvisation workshops, and individual or group interviews. The process will give voice to gay youth through safe opportunities for their creative expression, and by reflecting their stories in the creation of a new work of theater. Spoken Word events featuring writing workshop participants will give these youth an additional forum to share their artistic voices with both peers and adults.

The playwright will also collaborate with third-year students at the American Conservatory Theater’s (A.C.T.) M.F.A. program in San Francisco, where he will workshop the play with the director and a pool of actors over extended periods during two of his three residencies. This experience will enhance the training of aspiring theater artists by allowing them to develop new work in partnership with a talented playwright and with members of a marginalized community, enlarging their perspectives on their artistic and career choices.

The project’s culminating event will be a two-week workshop production with ACT’s students at Cal Shakes in June 2006, directed by Mr. Daniels, with two free performances for participating youth, community partners, and our audiences.

Related Websites

Cal Shakes
Photography by Todd Franson
Photography by Todd Franson

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