Who We Are
Shakespeare at Winedale is a historic educational and performance program of UT’s College of Liberal Arts. Since 1970, students and audiences have explored Shakespeare’s works in a barn in the Texas countryside in this celebrated English Department program. Students at Winedale learn about Shakespeare and themselves as they work collaboratively to stage some of the richest works of human culture. Shakespeare’s plays investigate profound questions of justice, government, love, family, and identity, questions still very relevant to students and audiences today. With a year-round slate of activities including university courses and outreach to school-age students, Shakespeare at Winedale helps bring literature to life for people all over Texas.
What We're Fundraising For
The 40 for Forty initiative will raise endowment funds to support Shakespeare at Winedale in perpetuity. While we have some endowment support thanks to our generous patrons, we still need to raise money for our program each year. The goal of this fund-raiser is to build the endowment so that the program has its budget in place to cover our annual operations. These costs include student accommodations at the Winedale Historical Center, as well as the supplies and materials that go into creating Shakespeare’s plays onstage, from fabric for costumes to paper for play-texts, from swords and armor to Gatorade and insect repellent. Generations of UT students have had life-changing encounters with Shakespeare through the Winedale program. Many of our audience members have been coming to Winedale every summer for decades, to experience Shakespeare’s plays in this unique style and setting. Your support will help us overcome the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, and introduce new communities of students and audience members to Shakespeare through performance. For more than fifty years, Shakespeare at Winedale has served as a model for experiential learning. As we build for the program’s future, we hope to carry Shakespeare at Winedale’s mission of creativity and discovery to future generations of students and audiences.
Your gift will help students experience the infinite variety of Shakespeare’s works in a profound and often life-changing way. Shakespeare at Winedale is an educational program, not an arts organization or professional theatre. All of the elements of the program are intended to promote an understanding and appreciation of the works of Shakespeare, and of their extraordinarily complex and penetrating vision of human life. Students in the undergraduate courses develop, test and transcend their sense of self through their exploration of Shakespearean characters in the Winedale Theatre Barn. Students in our Outreach and Camp programs gain in self-confidence, linguistic ability, and appreciation for the arts. Audiences come to Winedale to share, not the polished product of a professional Shakespeare festival, but the excitement of risk-taking and discovery. What the Winedale approach to Shakespeare brings—to the university classroom, the Barn at Winedale, or the schools of central Texas—is the conviction that anyone can live life more fully through a personal encounter with Shakespeare’s art.