A BRIEF HISTORY OF GRASSROOTS SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

2009

  • Inspired by the American Shakespeare Center, and by UVU’s Kate McPherson and Chris Clark, Mark Oram and Alex Ungerman co-found the Grassroots Shakespeare Company in the spring of 2009.
  • The first collaboratively staged production, Much Ado About Nothing, begins Grassroots’ yearly tradition of a free outdoor summer tour.
  • The first community workshop, Hamlet, gives Grassroots fans a chance to try out our unique style of collaborative staging.

2010

  • Our second full production, Romeo & Juliet, tours across Utah.
  • Workshops continue to spread the Grassroots style throughout the Wasatch Front.
  • GSC co-founder Mark Oram begins producing Grassroots-style shows in the UK, with Romeo & Juliet and All’s Well That Ends Well.

2011

  • Grassroots receives GEL grant with assistance from Utah Valley University. Touring stage is constructed and a storage/hauling trailer is purchased by the company.
  • The GSC officially becomes a non-profit organization.
  • Two summer productions tour through Utah: As You Like It, along with GSC’s first all male production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  A remount of Romeo & Juliet is added for a summer finale performance.
  • Grassroots Shakespeare · London is co-founded by Mark Oram and Siobhán Daly, with its first production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, being performed at Hyde Park and Victoria Embankment Gardens.
  • Play-in-a-day workshops with open enrollment for the community are performed: Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III.
  • First Halloween production performed with groundlings in the audience: Macbeth.
  • First winter production performed at the Masonic Temple: The Merry Wives of Windsor.  Merry Wives becomes the first Grassroots production to perform at a high school assembly.

2012

  • A successful Kickstarter campaign makes it possible for GSC to own a moving truck.
  • GSC education retreat with Oxford scholar Tiffany Stern in Capitol Reef, Utah.
  • Summer touring company performs Twelfth Night and Hamlet.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream is remounted for the summer tour finale.
  • Grassroots Alabama is created by GSC co-founder Alex Ungerman, performing a free summer tour of Much Ado About Nothing.
  • GSC hosts a play-in-a-day workshop at the Utah Valley Renaissance Faire: The Tempest.
  • First late summer production performs at GSC’s first wedding booking: The Comedy of Errors.
  • Richard III is produced as the Halloween production with a ‘splatter zone’ yard, fake blood galore, and a spooky Hamlet remount.
  • The Tempest performs at the Masonic Temple for GSC’s Holiday production.

2013

  • GSC’s first educational regional touring company. All male cast. The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Summer touring company performs Henry IV Part One, and to celebrate the fifth summer season, Much Ado About Nothing.  The Taming of the Shrew is remounted for the summer tour finale.
  • Late summer production of Henry IV Part Two produced.
  • First non-Shakespearean play produced by GSC: Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus.