Conasauga Shakespeare Coalition
May 14, 2020
It is with great sadness but fond recollection that we mourn the loss of one of Dalton's finest ladies, Jeanne Burr.
Ms. Jeanne was our company’s principal benefactor and our favorite supporter. When considering a moniker for our company back in 2018, we initially thought to call ourselves Burr's Men just as Shakespeare’s company was The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and later The King’s Men, but Ms. Jeanne would have none of it, preferring as she always did to play nothing more than a supporting role. But what a supporting role it was! Her generosity and love of the arts touched the lives of so many in this community, ours included, and her legacy will be remembered and celebrated by all for years to come.
Shakespeare in Burr Park will return soon, and when it does, the spirit and vivacity of Jeanne Burr will return with it.
“Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
We love you, Ms. Jeanne-
(aka The Conasauga Shakespeare Coalition)
“Here’s a marvelous convenient place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn-brake our tiring-house.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream III, 1
In the summer of 2018, a small but merry band of local Players and Shakespeare enthusiasts that included Lane Davies, Wes Phinney, Chase Parker, and Jeff Burr began discussing the idea of bringing together a group of 15-20 local actors and fellow Bard-lovers to form the basis of a permanent Company that would present annual Shakespearean productions in Burr Performing Arts Park. In addition to the permanent Company, local high school and college students would be invited to participate in designated productions, and some of the major/title roles might be filled by professional actors, giving Company members and participating students a unique opportunity to work alongside and in collaboration with working actors.
The idea became The Conasauga Shakespeare Coalition (CSC), and, with the help of local attorney Chris Brown and CPA Allen Bentley, the CSC was established as a not-for-profit performing arts organization dedicated primarily to the collected works of William Shakespeare. The Coalition received the blessing and endowment of friend and supporter Jeanne Burr with the plan to perform annual productions at Burr Performing Arts Park in partnership with the Creative Arts Guild and in cooperation with the Dalton Little Theatre and Artistic Civic Theatre.
With all of this in place, The Conasauga Shakespeare Coalition opened with its first production Henry V in summer of 2019, with local and professional actors in place and Lane Davies directing. The first rate production team consisted of local filmmaker, Mark Hannah, who created the special effects for the production, Travis Lynch, who built an outstanding set that can be reconfigured for future productions, local professional musician Adam Burnette, who created an original score for Henry V, and David Pasqua, who oversaw the production’s technical requirements. Professional producer/director Chrystal Ayers oversaw the entire production as Stage Manager.
The Conasauga Shakespeare Coalition looks to continue to engage local talent in combination with professional working actors in order to bring to life the works of William Shakespeare for our local communities and fulfill the basic tenets of our mission:
- Presenting sponsored productions of the works of William Shakespeare and other worthy dramatists, which works are open and available to the public;
- Conducting community events, often through partnerships, to generate community participation in the arts;
- Offering arts events for people of all ages to enhance knowledge and encourage creative experimentation;
- Providing arts education opportunities for students of all ages;
- Utilizing the performing and visual arts to enhance the small town environment