Last Tuesday the Mayor's office proclaimed November 24th Epic Theatre Ensemble Day. The Mayor met with the Epic Theatre Ensemble Founding Executive Directors Ron Russell, Melissa Friedman and Zak Berkman, Founding Producer James Wallert and Shakespeare Remix Participant Shana Brown at the Chelsea High School to make his proclamation that states:
"Founded in 2001 by Melissa Friedman, Zak Berkman, Teri Lamm, Ron Russell, and James Wallert, the epic theatre ensemble has become an integral member of our city's thriving arts community. Its dedication to using drama and performance as a means to inspire with it resounding success: the company has won Obie, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics, and Otto awards over the course of its past eight seasons. The Epic Theatre Ensemble also understands the benefits of arts education as well as anyone in New York City, and its outreach programs provide vital services to many deserving young people throughout the five boroughs
"Today, members of the Epic Theatre Ensemble and the arts and education communities are gathering at Chelsea High School to celebrate the extraordinary success of the company's Shakespeare remix program, which has been recognized with a 2009 "coming up taller award" by President Obama's committee on the arts and humanities. The program, conducted in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education and Department of Cultural Affairs, inspires city teens to study and analyze Shakespeare's work in preparation for performing their own unique versions. Through the program, students gain a new understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare and many are inspired to continue their involvement in the arts with High School and beyond.
"Through its extraordinary dedication to nurturing our city's young virtuosos, the Epic Theatre Ensemble helps this administration provide public school students with a high quality arts education. We are grateful for their efforts to help our young. People learn, grow, and achieve their dreams. And for all they've already achieved, we know that the leaders at the epic theatre ensemble-along with the talented young people they support-will continue to help the arts thrive in our city for many years to come. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I commend those associated with this organization and its programs, and join everyone in attendance in congratulating them upon receiving this well-deserved recognition.
"Now therefore, I, Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 in the city of New York as Epic Theatre Ensemble Day."
For more information on Epic Theatre Ensemble, visit epictheatreensemble.org.