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!
Elm Shakespeare Company is incorporated in the state of CT.
Board of Directors meet for the first time.
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
"Shakespeare’s World" - a collaboration with local high schools and Long Wharf Theatre.
ESC’s first summer production in Edgerton Park
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!
Development Director and neighbor Barbara Schaffer joins the Elm Shakespeare family.
Elm "Scholars" is born!
“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
Elm Shakespeare partners with New Haven Communities to offer youth programs for the first time (to be repeated often!)
Back to Back!
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).
Company member, Keely Baisden Knudsen becomes first Education Director, thanks to Obama's American Recovery Act.
Finding Common Ground...
Elm Shakespeare begins longtime partnership with Common Ground High School producing a student production of a Shakespeare play each year!
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
ESC produces ART directed by Sarah Petersen at Kehler Lidell Gallery.
Meet "The Lover"
ESC produces The Lover directed by Alvin Epstein at Kehler Lidell Gallery.
"American Buffalo" is Produced
ESC produces American Buffalo directed by Mark Ziesler at Kehler Lidell Gallery
Change in Leadership
Founders Jim and Margie Andreassi retire after 20 years of leadership, and ESC welcomes new Producing Artistic Director Rebecca Goodheart.
Elm Finds a Home
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
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
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!
ESC welcomes Sarah Bowles as the companies first Full-time Education Programs Manager.
Hear My Soul Speak
ESC works with community organizations to produce the first performance of Hear My Soul Speak.