For over two decades, Elm Shakespeare Company has made art in the Greater New Haven community.

With a focus on education and anchored by our free summer show in Edgerton Park, the company has grown from a small group of like-minded theatre practitioners interested in bringing Shakespeare to all ages and peoples to a renowned New Haven institution serving over half a million people since 1995. It’s been a journey to remember…

A theater company is born!

MAY 1995

Elm Shakespeare Company is incorporated in the state of CT.

Board of Directors meet for the first time.

JUNE 1995

In these early years, the Board met in people’s homes… and the company worked out of Jim and Margie’s home next to Edgerton Park!

Our First Production

Fall 1995

"Shakespeare’s World" - a collaboration with local high schools and Long Wharf Theatre.

ESC’s first summer production in Edgerton Park

Summer 1996

The Tempest, directed by James Andreassi. Summer performance in the park, free to everyone continue for the next 22 years (and we’re still going!). Jamie Burnett, lighting and tech master extraordinaire joins the team.

Barbara Schaffer Arrives!

Summer 1997

Development Director and neighbor Barbara Schaffer joins the Elm Shakespeare family.

Elm "Scholars" is born!

Summer 1998

“Elm Scholars” High School Intern Company is born! High School students from across New Haven work alongside and learn from the professionals both on and off stage.

Partnership with New Haven communities

Spring 2006

Elm Shakespeare partners with New Haven Communities to offer youth programs for the first time (to be repeated often!)

Back to Back!

Summer 2006-09

Elm Shakespeare offers a rotating repertory of two plays for four years including Robin Hood/Much Ado About Nothing (2006), Three Muskateers/As You Like It (2007), Hamlet/The Matchmaker (2008), and Holiday/The Imaginary Invalid (2009).

Growing Education

Spring 2008

Company member, Keely Baisden Knudsen becomes first Education Director, thanks to Obama's American Recovery Act.

Finding Common Ground...

Fall 2008

Elm Shakespeare begins longtime partnership with Common Ground High School producing a student production of a Shakespeare play each year!

Yale Partnership

Spring 2008

ESC partners with Yale Museum of British Art and High School in the Community for a project that combines youth, Shakespeare and fine art.

"Art" is Produced

April 2009

ESC produces ART directed by Sarah Petersen at Kehler Lidell Gallery.

Meet "The Lover"

Winter 2008

ESC produces The Lover directed by Alvin Epstein at Kehler Lidell Gallery.

"American Buffalo" is Produced

May 2012

ESC produces American Buffalo directed by Mark Ziesler at Kehler Lidell Gallery

Change in Leadership

Fall 2015

Founders Jim and Margie Andreassi retire after 20 years of leadership, and ESC welcomes new Producing Artistic Director Rebecca Goodheart.

Elm Finds a Home

March 2016

Elm Shakespeare Company becomes the professional theater in residence at Southern CT State University, starting a new chapter in a 20 year partnership.

"Players Camp" launches

Summer 2016

Building on over a decade of successful summer programming for kids, Elm’s Players Camp comes to three locations throughout New Haven.

"Teen Troupe" is born

Spring 2017

ESC’s TEEN TROUPE is born, giving talented teens from throughout the extended New Haven community a chance to perform a Shakespeare play in the Drama Lab and Southern CT State University.

Welcome Sarah Bowles!

Spring 2017

ESC welcomes Sarah Bowles as the companies first Full-time Education Programs Manager.

Hear My Soul Speak

Fall 2018

ESC works with community organizations to produce the first performance of Hear My Soul Speak.