On Friday 7th February 2014, Stratford upon Avon District will come together to celebrate the best achievements in business and the community for the third annual Pride of Stratford Awards. In the presence of the 'who's who' of Stratford upon Avon, they will be awarding prestigious swan awards to the best businesses, individuals and organisations round here.
The Shakespeare Institute will be well represented - two organisations closely associated with the Institute have been selected as finalists in two separate categories.
No awards ceremony in Shakespeare’s birthplace would be complete without recognising the rich and diverse arts scene that exists throughout the town. Judges were looking for organisations that engage with the local community, support local talent and contribute to the culture of the area. The Shakespeare Institute Players are one of three finalists for this award. The Shakespeare Institute Players have been entertaining Stratford for decades, and celebrated their 60th birthday in 2013, with a revival of their first recorded production A Yorkshire Tragedy. At 60, the company predates the formal establishment of the RSC, which didn’t take place until 1961! The Players have a long tradition of supporting local actors, directors and crew members both within and beyond the Institute’s student community, and are proud to be part of Stratford’s thriving theatre scene.
This special award recognises the work of an individual or organisation that makes an outstanding contribution to life in Stratford upon Avon. Judges were looking for an ambassador to the town whose contribution to our local area improves life for residents and visitors, and whose commitment is outstanding. The Trust was founded by members of the Shakespeare Institute in memory of Dr Elizabeth Ann Ketterer (1979-2011), who tragically passed away in early 2011 as a result of complications derived from a diabetic seizure. After her untimely death, a group of friends decided to honour Lizz’s life by promoting that which she loved most: the performance and study of William Shakespeare’s plays. Now in its third year, the Trust raises money through a variety of community events in order to fund a promising young alumnus or alumna of the Shakespeare at Winedale programme of the University of Texas - Lizz’s home state - the chance to follow in her footsteps and attend the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Summer School, held at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, and get to meet new friends, join in the activities at the Institute, and see all the Shakespeare shows at the RSC theatres. The Trust continues to honour Lizz’s memory by celebrating the importance of Stratford-upon-Avon as a centre for learning.