Sunday, June 15, 2008

Join RTR in Supporting Sunsets with Shakespeare!

The Peace Education Center of Greater Lansing, of which I'm the co-chair, received a request for community support from the Lansing theater group, Sunsets with Shakespeare, from Todd A. Heywood and Lindsay Palinsky. Their message, which has gone out to the PEC listserve, appears below. The PEC fully supports Sunsets with Shakespeare and appreciates their work and contribution to the community.

Personally, I plan to send a chunk of my federal stimulus check to Sunsets. I hope you can join me in supporting Todd, Lindsay, and Sunsets with Shakespeare by sending any donations you can.
-- Rico Thomas Rico
P.S. See photos of last fall's Rachel Corrie production here.

Todd A. Heywood & Lindsay Palinsky

Dear friends in the peace and justice movement,

Greetings from your friends at Sunsets With Shakespeare! After a long break, we are back with a new production. You might recall our co-production of "My Name Is Rachel Corrie," which we did as a fundraiser for the Peace Education Center. If you saw that production, you had a chance to see first hand how theatre can change minds, warm hearts, and shed light on issues of concern to us all. If you did not see the production, you most certainly saw the rave reviews we received following the production.

And like the Middle East crisis, America is facing a crisis of violence. We at Sunsets With Shakespeare are preparing to produce Shakespeare's beloved "Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet," and we intend on addressing the issues of violence in America head on with this production. You will see a community torn asunder and literally on edge from the violence wrought between two households.A violence which breaks all social conventions of the times and threatens the very survival of all the citizens of Verona. You will see a plague of violence that sweeps up and destroys generations of human beings, because no one can sit at the table and talk. The play is a morality tale as important today as it was in Shakespeare's time.

The production features some of the brightest new young talent to hit the Lansing stage in years, and we are proud of the opportunity to share their talent with you and the community. We will be doing the show in Hunter Park, to help integrate our company with the community and neighborhood on Lansing's East Side. We even have an all-star line up for our production team. John S. Lennox,who recently received his Ph.D. in the history of stage combat and his company the Art of Combat, will be joining us along with Roberta Otten-Mason, a dance and theatre movement instructor at Lansing Community College, who will choreograph the masque where Romeo and Juliet meet and seal their love with a first kiss.

What's most stunning about this, is we will do this for the community for free. We ask only that people donate a small amount in a bucket pass during intermission. But that means the money to pay for this Renaissance era production has to come from somewhere. And that is where we need your help!

We need to raise approximately $6,000 to build our set, purchase swords, and provide costumes for our cast.

So today, Lindsay and I are announcing a new fundraising goal. We have very special Donor category called "The Lord Chamberlain's Inner Circle." The Lord Chamberlain's Men was the name of the first company Shakespeare worked with; and it later became the King's Men.

To join this Inner Circle, we need 100 people to step up and donate $100 or more by June 30, 2008. That is an ambitious goal, but we think you support live theatre which challenges, and opens minds to discussions about the plague of violence preying on America. Think about it, your $100 donation will help give a high school or early college age student not only the opportunity to be on stage, but a chance to work with some of the best theatre professionals in the greater Lansing community! That donation will also give these youth an opportunity to learn about community involvement, connection, and giving back.

All you have to do is sit down today and write a check to The Warren Foundation, and mail it to Todd Heywood, 645 South Fairview, Lansing, MI 48912.Your donation could be tax deductible, but you need to discuss that with your tax specialist. The Warren Foundation is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization,which means there is a high likelihood that your donation will be a tax break come January!

Your $100 donation will literally be setting a new stage in the life of community, showing everyone that we can talk and resolve our conflicts without resorting to violence. But it's up to you. Lindsay and I promise you will seethe best and brightest of Lansing's up and coming talent, in a beautiful period production -- but we can only do this if you step up and join "The Lord Chamberlain's Inner Circle."


Todd A. Heywood
Artistic Director
Sunsets with Shakespeare

Lindsay Palinsky
Sunsets with Shakespeare

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