[MUSIC] Can you talk a little bit about the Touring program with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival? And I believe it started with Twelfth Night- >> Yeah, it did. Yeah, it started in 2011 when Tim and I, we were talking about what educational programs we wanted to tour to schools. And we knew that CSF was staging Twelfth Night in the upcoming season and we wanted to tour a shortened version of that play to sort of get kids thinking about 12th Night. And we were looking at the Gulling of Malvolio and just thinking, well, [LAUGH] this is an example of bullying. >> Yeah. >> And it's cyber bullying too, it's sort of let's plant an anonymous letter. And let's torment this poor guy and he has no idea what's going on. So we decided, well, let's tour Twelfth Night, but let's focus on bullying and try to sort of bring in the conversation about bullying that's currently happening in Colorado schools. And at the time in 2011, we were hearing constantly about articles about students bullied to the point that they were committing suicide and it was so frequent that a term bully-cide had been coined. And we just started thinking, is there a way that we can sort of tap into that conversation because the play seems to do it already. And so we met with the center for the study and prevention of violence and we said we want to tour this play it sort of touches on bullying, can you give us any resources about bullying? And we half expected them to just recommend a book or an article that we would read, and they said, we want to partner with you. So that was the birth of the Shakespeare and Violence Prevention Program. And so that was in 2011. And since that time we've performed for about 100,000 students. And the goal really is to get kids thinking about the patterns of violence and mistreatment in their communities, but using Shakespeare's plays as sort of a safe distance from reality. So there's sort of the safety of metaphor in watching a Shakespeare play as opposed to watching a play about your high school. And yeah, we keep finding that Shakespeare has so much to say about violence and I think this was a really interesting topic for Shakespeare. I think all the plays on some level are about violence. And, on the flip side about peace, the constant quest for people to find peace, which I think Shakespeare posits as the opposite of violence. And, yeah, so we've adapted a whole bunch of plays for this project. We've done The Tempest, looking at prosperous quest for vengeance and ultimately his choice to forgive. Much Ado About Nothing, which was really fun, it was all about gossip and rumors and. >> Sure. >> The public shaming of hero. And what else? >> Knackers? >> Knackers? Yes looking at Macbeth's. Yeah, how you turn off your empathy in order to harm others. >> Taming of the Shrew. >> Taming of the Shrew, yeah, boy, there's- >> That's a pretty obvious one. >> Yep, we're doing Romeo and Juliet right now, as you know, which you are directing. >> Yes. >> But yeah, I think so many of these plays are about what happens to a community. How does the fabric of a society, how has it impacted by violent behavior? And the cool thing is you see a ripple effect. So in Twelfth Night, early in the play, when Feste and and Malvolio are sort of having their little interchange and we hear Malvolio say, why I love you it's such a barren rascals smile, now he's gagged. That line comes back at the very end of the play. And then it keeps- >> Right >> Cycling and cycling >> For all their differences. Malovioli and Feste, they share this desire to have revenge on the other. Yeah, >> Yeah and it doesn't it doesn't end. >> Right. >> I'll be revenge on the whole pack of you. >> Yeah >> And then where does he go next yeah so I think. But the other thing that has been really interesting about this project is recognizing the ways in which Shakespeare's plays are not violent plays. Yet, I think they are plays about violence. Because whenever a violent act occurs, it is always nestled in thought and it's surrounded by a person unpacking what has just happened or confiding in the audience. I'm about to do this horrific thing. >> Yeah. >> What do I do? So it's always couched in the ripple effects of the violence and how it impacts the human mind. So I think Shakespeare was really interested in what is it that makes people tick and why do they keep harming one another and themselves? >> And that's all over Twelfth Night. >> It's everywhere. >> Well, so your touring show is essentially a 30 to 45 minute cutting. And the cutting really it becomes Malvolio's story in a lot of ways. >> Yeah, we lose so much of- >> Yeah. >> Antonio goes away. >> Yeah. >> But it shines a spotlight on the violence that happens in play. >> Yeah, and the thing that's been helpful in applying a violence prevention lens to Shakespeare's plays is that if you think about the three roles that are involved in a violent situation, it's the perpetrator, the target and the bystander. These three roles, that we see that played out in Twelfth Night all the time. >> Right. >> And so we have three actors playing all of the roles in the play, but it's neat to sort of pare it down to these core ideas. So you can really see how that same pattern of the perpetrator is harming the target, the bystander is watching and that target becomes a perpetrator somewhere else. You really see that it plays out over and over. >> And the great thing about using Shakespeare is that the audience, because the audience is so engaged in Shakespeare's plays, the audience becomes complicit. They're bystanders, you know. >> And that was something really important in touring the show as we wanted. We didn't want Malvolio to be this tragic hero. >> We wanted the kids early on to be laughing at him also. >> Right. >> Because then by the end of the play, I'll be revenged on. It's not just the whole pack of you people on stage, but it's all of you people in the audience. >> Yeah because we were laughing too. >> We once performed at this school. I think it was the day that we were filming and Malvolio did the slow take of I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you. I think one kid went yikes. >> [LAUGH] That's good. >> But, yeah, it's this idea that even if you are a witness to violence, you are still saying that violence is okay. If you are not speaking up, and it doesn't mean you have to directly intervene, we partner with Safe to Tell, which is an anonymous tip line. And they always emphasize that it is no less courageous to take action anonymously and report dangerous behavior when you see it happening in your community. >> So, can you talk a little bit about the impact of the program? >> Yeah, so we ask the kids after seeing a performance. Did you enjoy the performance? Would you like us to return to your school? But the most important question we ask is the next time you witnessed this treatment, are you likely to step up? Are you likely to try to help? And it's something like 94% of students say, yeah. >> Yeah, that's awesome. >> I think that's really it's key to remember that we're all born helpers. We're generally good kind people and if you can build connected-ness among kids, young people, old people, everyone. If you feel like you're connected to other people and if you feel like this person that I'm seeing getting hurt, that's actually impacting me. And because it's impacting my community and you recognize that your fate is caught up in the fate of other people, you're less likely to harm other people. But you're also more likely to stand up when you witness them being mistreated. And I think that's why we probably all got into the theater is we recognize how how connected we are to other people and how it's important to be part of a community. >> That's great. Well, the way I've been ending all of these has been with a question why Shakespeare today? I think we've been talking about this one. >> That's an easy one. >> Yeah, [LAUGH] right. But I mean, in many ways, you've already answered that question. But do you have any other thoughts? >> So many, yes. So I think, because people ask me a lot, why don't you tour plays about bullying. Why don't you just not use Shakespeare's plays but write your own play about bullying. >> All right. >> And I think Shakespeare does something really critical, which is Shakespeare's plays are inherently complex. And we have a multitude of different perspectives in a Shakespeare play. And each voice in that play is a valid voice and makes a really good point. And so that the I think there's great power in watching a play in which someone like Malvolio can be finding a letter and realizing, my lady loves me and you can feel his joy. >> Yeah. >> And you can completely identify with him. And then the next moment when the little, pranksters, come on, they're so joyous about having this great prank and you can identify with them. And it's a real complexity of, I can identify with multiple different perspectives and multiple different truths. And that builds empathy and that builds, again, that connected-ness to a lot of different viewpoints. So I think that's the real treasure of a Shakespeare play. Is that sort of mental gymnastics of hopping into the brains of all these different people. >> I totally agree. >> Yeah. >> Thank you. >> Thank you. >> Nice talking to you. >> You too.