Classical Actors Ensemble

Accessible, transformative, entertaining classical theater

Classical Actors Ensemble is coming to the end of another amazing year.  We've had great successes with our public productions: our spring repertory of Julius Caesar and Macbeth, this summer's free A Midsummer Night's Dream in the parks, and our current fall repertory of Volpone and The Merchant of Venice.  For our educational outreach, we toured Macbeth to eight Minnesota high schools, and we're very proud to have continued our three-week Summer Shakespeare Institute for Teens into its second year last July, which featured conservatory-style classes and culminated in a full student production of The Comedy of Errors.

We want 2017 to be even more successful, but in order to do that, we have to have a space to perform in. For the past three years we have regularly rented the Minneapolis Theatre Garage to produce much of our work.  For nearly as long, its existence has hung in the balance of a slow-moving real estate deal.  Now it looks as though the deal is finally going through; the corner will be sold, leveled, and re-built as condos; and we will be without a home.  There are very few theater spaces left to rent in the Twin Cities—and fewer still that are affordable to us. 

We also want to continue our high school touring program for a second year. To bolster and facilitate the teaching of Shakespeare in Minnesota high schools, we plan to tour a full production of Shakespeare's As You Like It, specifically tailored to educational audiences, to as many high schools as we can afford--at little cost to the schools themselves.  We will also offer post-performance discussions and classroom visits to engage with the students about what they have just seen and explore how the issues and themes in the play translate to modern day life.  We will demonstrate Shakespeare's contemporary relevance and, ideally, spark a genuine interest in the students for literature, Shakespeare, and the arts.  But we need your help to make this possible!

Our goal is to raise at least $5,000 before the end of this year so we can tour to as many schools as possible while providing our artists with a competitive wage. We also need your help to keep our public performances' sliding-scale ticket prices low.  We feel access to the arts must not be limited by finances, especially so for children.  Your contribution is invaluable towards these goals.

Hey night owls and early birds, if you donate between 12:01am and 5:59am this Thursday, you'll be entered to win a pair of tickets to our spring 2017 public production of As You Like It.  We'll draw a random winner from each hour-long block--that's six chances!

Thank you for your generous support!

"This is how Shakespeare was meant to be seen--playful, immediate, approachable, and accessible to all."  – Cherry and Spoon

"Papke’s astute staging [of Doctor Faustus] illuminated Marlowe’s ideas in a highly theatrical way. Rich humor came from a witty approach to the text." – StarTribune

"The show [Chaste Maid] is jam-packed with juicy performances woven together through precise comic pace and timing.  If you’ve never been to a CAE show you may be pleasantly struck by the winning combination of a relaxed atmosphere and an array of first rate actors who really and truly know the classical acting craft and how to make it accessible." – Lavender Magazine

"Go. See them. Classical Actors Ensemble hasn’t just dusted off these old classics.  They’ve reinvented them." – TC Daily Planet

"Our language has changed quite a bit since 1613, but our sense of humor clearly has not." – Aisle Say

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