For 36 years, Nebraska Shakespeare has been able to do our work because of the financial generosity of our family and friends. Because of that sustaining generosity, we have been able to offer world-class professional theater for FREE to more than 800,000 patrons and bring professional Shakespeare to schools and communities throughout Nebraska and Western Iowa. None of our achievements would ever have happened without YOU!

Today, we need you even more than before! The financial challenges of the past couple of years have been existential. Add that to the fact that we managed to get our 2021 Fall Educational Tour up and out to the State of Nebraska (COVID precautions added more than $80,000 of costs to the budget!) and we relaunched Shakespeare On The Green after more than 2 years of absence (a $430,000 expenditure). We knew this year was going to be a significant heavy-lift, both due to limitations of staffing, volunteers, and financial resources, but we also knew that if we decided NOT to relaunch these programs our only other option would be to go out of business. (You can be in business if you're not doing anything.)

For the very first time in our 36-year history, we have payables on our financial reports. While our cash flow is anything BUT cash "flow", we also know there is a light at the end of the tunnel; YOU! We know we can get through these exceptionally challenging times because of our friends and family! We need!

We are asking you to host a FRIENDS OF SHAKESPEARE GATHERING, between October 3-8, 2022. (As a Gathering Host, we hope you will join us on Sunday, October 9 for a celebration party!). These FRIENDS OF SHAKESPEARE events used to be hugely popular, often raising tens of thousands of dollars. Like many things, over time, this event was set aside. In light of the fact that so many of our friends and family told us they wanted this event to return, we have brought this back when we need your help the!!

All you need to do is create an event, invited friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, etc. and either create a "ticket fee" or ask for donation! Your event, held where ever you want to hold it, at whatever time you want to hold it...this is FRIENDS OF SHAKESPEARE gathering is entirely and wholly up to you! 3 friends? 10 friends? 100 friends? Raised $50? $100? $10,000? What matters is that you hold a gathering and, when your funds are combined with others gatherings, this becomes a significant fundraiser for Nebraska Shakespeare...and we could use the!

for more information please visit our website.

On Saturday, September 10, 2022, we started the journey of reimaging what the festival component of SHAKESPEARE ON THE GREEN could be for years to come!

Gathering some of our donors at our offices, we spent three hours exploring the broad outlines of what a festival might look, smell, and feel like from when you arrive to when you leave! So many great ideas and moments of inspiration were shared! One thing stood out: the festival itself needs to be a signature event of SHAKESPEARE ON THE GREEN, not simply an addendum to the production.

As we move forward over these next few months and do the hard and difficult work of reimagining and redesigning our signature programs – SHAKESPEARE ON THE GREEN, CAMP SHAKESPEARE, and FALL EDUCATIONAL TOUR – so that they align with our vision, mission, and values, we do so in partnership with our family and friends! Also, we do this to “dare greatly” in being transformational so that our future impact becomes visible, achievable, and lasting.

The truth is simple; change is what is required for all living things; it is how we grow and become, it is how we adapt to what we learn and it is never easy. Change can be incremental ( a little bit at a time) or it can be bold, intentional, and focused. (dare to make significant changes that move you forward). Our bold, transformational 10-year vision requires us to be intentional and focused, leading from the future, and learning from the past.

As we use the balance of 2022 to reimagine our signature programs and create a frame of understanding for the next three years, we will continue to engage our family, friends, and community throughout the process. Nebraska Shakespeare is not about a few staff, it is about Nebraska and what we can do collectively!

Since 2023 will be the first year of our 10-year vision plan, we would like to share with you some of the "behind the scenes" work we will be doing in order to give you the very best of Nebraska Shakespeare.

- Look for several special events that focus on building and celebrating community including;

- FIRE & ICE Signature Cocktail Season Launch Party

- the long-awaited return of our CIRCLE O' KENT Celebration

- the state-wide artistic program, THE ART OF SHAKESPEARE Gallery show

- and the inaugural season of THE BARD’S SOFA; A SHAKESPEARIAN CHAUTAUQUA. (Details to be announced late fall 2022)

We will take apart and rebuild our signature programs with the goal of realigning our work with our Values and Mission, to maximize impact and advance our Vision. That work includes;

- CAMP SHAKESPEARE with a curriculum for learning that empowers young people to find their voices for personal expression while creating community, expressing their creativity, and learning skills that they can carry forward all based on State and National Educational Standards, taught by educators and inspired by working artists.

- SHAKESPEARE ON THE GREEN. Expect a “festival” that centers on Great Art and Nebraska while creating an engaging and world-class customer experience! We will create expanded offerings from the stage in order to build community, increase participation and give you more of what you love about our signature summer program. We will convene a community gathering in September to "Imagine" what this festival CAN BE in the coming years!

- FALL EDUCATIONAL TOUR. Our Fall Educational Tour combines Great Art with rich educational experiences and community engagement opportunities to create a powerful vehicle for personal exploration, community discovery, and unique educational opportunities. With a tight focus on increasing the educational value of this program by connecting State and National Educational Standards to a great production, we will build out our Study Guides and Workshop offerings. We will create guides for self-directed learning and will engage educators from throughout the State of Nebraska in the redesign and planning of this program. e will bring together educator

In order to achieve these redesigned programs and meet our participation targets, we will be building capacity by;

- Hiring an Education Director, Marketing Director, and Executive Assistant

- Increase fundraising through expanded Corporate Philanthropy, Donor Acquisition, and increased Grant/Foundation support.

- Create a Monthly Giving Program for individuals

- Re-establishing our Community Board

- Rebuilding our Volunteer Program

- Deeply engaging with educators from throughout the State of Nebraska

- Revitalizing our Board of Directors through Diversity and Inclusion

- Create robust metrics for program evaluation