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Shakespeare Society


Adriana Mnuchin and Nancy Becker founded The Shakespeare Society in 1997 for people who share a passion for Shakespeare and an enduring desire to understand and appreciate the greatest playwright of the English language.

The Shakespeare Society has grown into a nonprofit cultural organization, presenting entertaining and challenging programs that combine stage performances by outstanding actors with illuminating commentary by noted Shakespearean writers, scholars, and directors.

Past participants have included Harold Bloom, F. Murray Abraham, Stephen Greenblatt, Liev Schreiber, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Kathleen Chalfant, Michael Cumpsty, Jefferson Mays, Marcia Gay Harden, Patrick Stewart, Sir Peter Hall, Derek Jacobi, Philip Bosco, Marjorie Garber, Ralph Fiennes, Ron Rosenbaum, Richard Easton, John Guare, and Claire Bloom.


The Shakespeare Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of William Shakespeare's works through performance, commentary, and educational activities.

A fundamental belief of the founders of The Shakespeare Society is that enjoying and understanding Shakespeare begins in the classroom; therefore, a portion of the Society's membership dollars is used to support educational activities in New York City schools.

Fact Sheet

Founders: In 1997, Adriana Mnuchin and Nancy Becker founded The Shakespeare Society with the aim of establishing a non-academic organization that would increase the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of Shakespeare's works.

Board and Advisors: The Shakespeare Society's advisors are comprised of a Board of Directors, Artistic Advisors, and Academic Advisors, all leaders in business, academia, and theater. Learn more …

Membership Benefits: Five events are presented from September to June. Events combine illustrative stage performances or film clips with commentary by noted Shakespearean scholars, directors, and actors. Members also enjoy access to Study Seminars, Speak the Verse, Small Venue Events, and discounts to local productions. Click here to become a member.

Guest Artists and Scholars: Distinguished participants have included Christopher Plummer, Ralph Fiennes, Claire Bloom, Derek Jacobi, Christine Baranski, Rosemary Harris, F. Murray Abraham, Philip Bosco, Zoe Caldwell, Marian Seldes, Kate Burton, Richard Easton, John Simon, and Professors Harold Bloom, Stephen Greenblatt, Marjorie Garber, and Kristin Linklater. Learn more...

Education Programs: The Shakespeare Society's Shakespeare in Schools program provides New York City schools with a number of distinct educational initiatives: Shakespeare In Schools classroom workshops, Teaching Teachers professional development workshops, Shakespeare Insights internship program, and Resource Grants for classrooms. This year will see the creation of The Hunts Point Shakespeare Project, a collaboration between The Shakespeare Society and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children. Learn more...

Study Seminars and Speak the Verse: Study Seminars focus on in-depth discussions of the plays over an 8-week period. Taught by the great Ruth Carpenter. Speak the Verse seminars provide members with the opportunity to learn to speak Shakespeare's verse. Teachers have included Barry Ingham, Roger Rees, Steven Skybell, Joe Plummer, Kristin Linklater, and Kate Forbes. Learn more...

Special Events: Special events have included book parties for Professor Harold Bloom, Professor James Shapiro, Professor Emeritus Gerald Pinciss, Zoe Caldwell, Sheridan Morley, and Francine Segan, as well as an evening of sonnets read by Rosemary Harris and other noted Shakespearean actors. Learn more...

The Shakespeare Society Medal: Awarded in recognition of extraordinary contribution to the appreciation of the Bard, The Shakespeare Medal has been presented to Professor Harold Bloom, Claire Bloom, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Peter Hall, Christopher Plummer, Michael Kahn, and Kenneth Branagh.

Single Ticket Information: Based on availability, a limited number of single tickets may be on sale several weeks prior to each event. Shakespeare Society members receive preferred seating. Call the Box Office at the Kaye Playhouse at 212-772-4448 for single ticket availability. Tickets go on sale one week before the event.

Website design: rtdesign, ©2007-2008 The Shakespeare Society

All photos from 2006 and 2007 Shakespeare Birthday Marathon by Paula Court. Appearing in photos are: Tom Wopat, Elizabeth Marvel, Florenzia Lozano, Kathleen Chalfant, Michael Cumpsty, Marcia Gay harden, Amy Ryan, Michael Cerveris, Kathleen Meisle, Debra Messing, Kevin Isola, David Costabile, Kristine Nielsen, Richard Kind, Avery Brooks, Phillip Bosco, Greg Keller, and Students from the Society's Adopt-A-School Program. Other photos by Ellen Kelson: pictured are Ruth Carpenter and the cast of Shakespeare Works: Winter's Tale; Stephen Spinella and the Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble. Photo of Lynn Redgrave by Annabel Clark.