Statement of Purpose

HVSF Statement of Purpose

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to producing the plays of Shakespeare with an economy of style that focuses energy and resources on script, actors and audience.

We communicate the stories with energy, clarity and invention and we distill rather than embellish the language and action.  We challenge ourselves and our audiences to take a fresh look at what is essential in Shakespeare’s plays.

HVSF Artistic Vision

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is a living work of art that has grown out of, and is sustained by, the energetic and generous contributions of hundreds of people.

I believe that HVSF should celebrate and bring to life what is most universal in Shakespeare, and what is most relevant to our audience. Our work should neither preserve nor embellish, but rather discover and reveal, re-invent and re-invigorate Shakespeare's plays by exploring a broad range of material, both by Shakespeare and by other authors, and presenting it with the simplicity and exhilaration which characterize HVSF.  I want our productions to provoke, stimulate and delight in the hope that, as our audience heads home after a show, they will feel as though they are floating three feet off the ground, thrilled and amazed, and talking excitedly with each other about what they've just seen and what it means to them.

To make sure our work continues to be fresh and compelling, we will evolve and deepen our spontaneous, spare, freewheeling and distinctly American playing style, and test it in front of audiences both in our current environment as well as in other venues and during other seasons.  To that end, we will establish an HVSF acting company. We will train these actors to the highest possible standards of excellence, and make HVSF a home for their work. We hope that they in turn will generously mentor their skills to other theatre artists and to audiences of generations to come. This commitment to excellence, generosity and mentorship should extend beyond our acting company to every aspect of HVSF.

We will remain committed to educating and developing the broadest possible audience, bringing our work especially to people who never believed they could comprehend or enjoy Shakespeare.  I hope that our audience will understand deeply that at HVSF, the real moment of creation occurs, not in the isolation of the rehearsal studio, but when the actors engage with the audience in the blast furnace of live performance.

TPO October 2010