LENOX, Mass. – As it plans for a return to in-person performances both indoors and outdoors this summer, Shakespeare & Company is taking time to celebrate National Volunteer Month, with a renewed recruitment campaign for its Volunteer Company.
An extension of National Volunteer Week, created in 1974, National Volunteer Month was founded in the U.S. in 1991 to call attention to the importance of volunteering and honor the contributions volunteers make by donating their time and talents to various causes.
Allyn Burrows, Shakespeare & Company’s Artistic Director, refers to its volunteers as “the lifeblood of the Company.”
“There’s a reason the gardens look the way they do,” he said. “There’s a reason we hear from our patrons how wonderful the ushers are, and there’s a reason our actors feel so welcome here.”
Shakespeare & Company is currently thanking its current volunteers and recruiting new members in tandem with National Volunteer Month, with a renewed list of opportunities and benefits, including vouchers for free tickets to plays and special programs.
“Our volunteers have the unique opportunity to learn about the inner workings of one of the largest Shakespeare festivals in the country right here in the Berkshires, assisting with ushering, show promotion, gift shop sales, maintaining the gardens on campus, tours of the grounds, and Company events,” said Henry Baker, president of the Volunteer Company. “Plus, there are also opportunities to participate in activities outside of performing arts.”
Baker noted Shakespeare & Company’s interpretive garden program centered on the grounds as one such offering, as well as its Oral History and Archive Project team, which works to preserve the Shakespeare & Company story through the creation of a digital archive and online database.
Volunteers also often take the lead offering Company Artist hospitality during the summer months – an opportunity Baker said is enriched by many diverse talents.
“Our volunteers have taken on baking goods such as coffee cakes, muffins, or other treats, occasional hosting for visiting artists or guests, redecorating housing for artists staying on campus, and many other perks that help personalize the Shakespeare & Company experience,” he said, noting that volunteers can also take advantage of community service credits for honors programs, college applications, and resumes.
About Shakespeare & Company
Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 by Tina Packer. Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Company offers performance, education, and actor-training opportunities year-round, and attracts more than 40,000 patrons annually with a core of more than 150 artists.