Southwest Shakespeare Company

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The Southwest Shakespeare Company is dedicated to classical theatre and educating the public at large about classical theatre. Michele Peters, chief executive administrator of the company, will tell us more.

TED: SOUTHWEST SHAKESPEARE COMPANY IS DEDICATED TO EDUCATING THE PUBLIC ABOUT CLASSICAL THEATER.

TWO MIGHTY EAGLES FELL, FEEDING FROM OUR SOLDIER'S HANDS. THIS MORNING, THEY FLED AWAY AND GONE. IN THIS STEAD, THE RAVENS, CROWS AND KITES FLYING OVER OUR HEADS AND DOWNWARD LOOK.

TED: AND HERE NOW WITH MORE ON THE SOUTHWEST SHAKESPEARE COMPANY IS MARY WAY, PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND PATRICK WALSH, SENIOR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. GOOD TO HAVE YOU JOINING US. MARY WAY OR MARY PETERS?

MARY WAY: MARY WAY.

TED: CONGRATULATIONS.

MARY WAY: THANK YOU.

TED: AS A SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?

MARY WAY: IT'S THE SAME GOAL PBS HAS TO EDUCATE AND ENTERTAIN IN ONE EXCITING DYNAMIC PACKAGE. NOW THAT I HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY DR. AMEN, WATCHING YOUR BRAIN.

TED: CREATING CULTURAL AWARENESS OF CLASSICS. WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

PATRICK WALSH: WE ARE TALKING ABOUT BRINGING LANGUAGE TO CULTURE AND BRINGING CLASSICAL THEATER OR THEATER LANGUAGE TO OUR AUDIENCES.

TED: WHY SHOULD THE ARTS HAVE AN ACTIVE EVERYDAY ROLE?

PATRICK WALSH: IT BRINGS TO US AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS IN A WAY THAT MAYBE ISN'T DONE IN OTHER PLACES, IDEAS ABOUT LIFE AND WHY WE EXIST.

TED: AS FAR AS SHAKESPEARE IS CONCERNED, YOU PUT ON DIFFERENT FORMS, DON'T YOU?

MARY WAY: WE GET ADVENTUROUS. THE PLAY WE HAVE GOING ON NOW IS NOT AT ALL SHAKESPEARE, BUT IT PAINTS THE PERFECT ANSWER TO THE QUESTION YOU ASKED. IT'S A PLAY ABOUT A SCIENTIST IN THE 1950S, THAT DISCOVERED DNA HAS A DOUBLE HELIX TWIST. SHE WAS A SHAKESPEARE FAN. WE THINK PUTTING THE "A" IN THE STEM, SCIENCE ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY AND MATH, IF YOU PUT THE "A" IN THERE IT'S ENHANCES IT.

TED: WE HAVE HEARD S.T.E.A.M. USED BEFORE. IS THAT WHY YOU SHOWED UP WITH A MICROSCOPE?

PATRICK WALSH: IT IS. IT HELPS US DEFINE ROSYLN'S WORK. HER WORK WENT UNTOLD UNTIL RECENTLY. IT'S A NICE COLLISION OF TIME AND SPACE. WE HAVE A GREAT SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN IN THE S.T.E.M. CAREERS. WE THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO BRING THE STORY TO HEIGHT OF HER WORK AND HOW IT WENT UNTOLD FOR MANY YEARS.

MARY WAY: THIS IS THE MONTH OF WOMEN'S HISTORY, MARCH. WE ARE CELEBRATING.

TED: THERE'S THE MICROSCOPE. I GUESS WE'LL CELEBRATE BY WAY OF CLASSIC THEATER. A CULTURALLY AWARE COMMUNITY IS A CARING AND HUMANE COMMUNITY. TALK TO US ABOUT THAT.

MARY WAY: IT'S TRUE. WE DON'T GET TO HAVE UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCE. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE YOU AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE ME BUT WHEN YOU GO TO THE THEATER, YOU STEP FOR AN HOUR OR TWO OR THREE INTO SOMEONE ELSE'S WORLD AND YOU EXPERIENCE THE WORLD THROUGH THEIR EYES.

TED: WHEN YOU GO TO SCHOOL AND YOU SHOW THE THEATER TO KIDS, WHAT IS THE MESSAGE THERE?

PATRICK WALSH: IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM TO SEE LANGUAGE AND ACTION AND METAPHOR IN ACTION, AND ACTORS TELLING STORIES, UNIVERSAL STORIES. THAT'S WHY SHAKESPEARE'S WORK IS RESOUNDINGLY BEEN POPULAR BECAUSE IT CONTINUES TO TELL A STORY. IN THIS PARTICULAR PLAY, PHOTOGRAPH 51 BY ANNA ZIGLER, WE ARE TELLING A STORY THAT RESONATES ACROSS TIME AND SPACE.

TED: AND IT HAS THAT FEEL TO IT.

MARY WAY: IT DOES.

TED: IS THE PLAY RUNNING NOW?

MARY WAY: ONE WEEKEND LEFT OF THIS PLAY BEFORE WE MOVE INTO PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. THURSDAY, FRIDAY, MATINEE SATURDAY AND SATURDAY EVENING WE CLOSE. WE HAVE A SPECIAL TREAT FOR PBS VIEWERS.

TED: YES?

MARY WAY: BECAUSE WE SHARE SO MUCH IN COMMON AND EDUCATION IS OUR GOAL, WE ASK THE BOSS, AND WE GOT A DEEP DISCOUNT FOR YOUR VIEWERS. SWSHAKESPEARE.ORG, USE THE CODE PBS, THEY'LL GET GREATER THAN A 50% DISCOUNT ON THE TICKETS. THIS SHOW, OUR NEXT SHOW AND FINAL SHOW OF THE SEASON.

TED: ALL RIGHT. THANK YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SUCCESS.

Mary Way: president, Board of Directors Southwest Shakespeare Company; Patrick Walsh, senior associate artistic director, Southwest Shakespeare Company

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