Since 2000, the Killington [VT] Shakespeare Retreat at The Sunburst Lodge has offered a weekend [4 days] of workshops, living and performing in the Green Mountains. In 2010, the Retreat added a performance opportunity for retreaters in conjunction with the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation and the Calvin Coolidge Historic Site in Plymouth Notch, VT at the Union Christian Church. In the space where Coolidge took his oath of office, we perform Bard based material under the umbrella, “Stand Up Shakespeare” at noon on the Saturday preceding Labor Day every year.
In 20 years of Killington Shakespeare Retreat, over 200 individuals have attended, most multiple times, but original founders Kate Konigisor and Patrick McCarthy are the only individuals attending every retreat at Sunburst Lodge plus the Framingham Retreat year following Hurricane Rita when Sunburst Lodge was inaccessible.
Staples of “Retreat” are members performing scenes and monologues for the group in the natural amphitheatre next to a neighbor’s barn, Sonnet Relays, Water Balloon Shakespeare, Saturday Night Variety Show, and the Calvin Coolidge Stand-Up Shakespeare public performance of our Bard-Based Variety Show. Creative Group Projects include “Ballad of”…putting Shakespeare to music, and Shakespeare parodies. Improv, stage combat, mask, on camera, text and voice classes all taught by “Retreat” attendees are also part of the Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday + Labor Day “Retreat”. Communal meals each day are “cheffed” by attendee volunteers with a special banquet on Saturday night preceding the Variety Show. My “Food Czar” status includes helping plan a 7 day menu [staff arrives early for set-up and stays after for clean-up], and I purchase over $1,000 in foodstuffs for meal preparation for the 20 people attending each year.
Attendance is by invitation only due to our 20 bed limit in the lodge, and attendees pay a minimal daily fee for meals plus contribute to a travel pool for transportation to & from Sunburst Lodge.
Shakespeare With Benefits with ptmc, Virginia Thomas, Nick Bombicino PHOTO: Mikayla Lewis