Feast Of Crispian is a non-profit organization that brings professional actors
and veterans together to strengthen the emotional resources they need
to overcome trauma and reintegration issues.
About our name, Feast of Crispian
England’s greatest historical warrior King speaks to his commanders before the Battle of Agincourt in Shakespeare’s Henry the V.
This day is called the Feast of Crispian,
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named…
Feast of Crispian is a marker to remember the battle and the warriors. Military veterans may know this speech for its coining of the iconic “Band of Brothers”. Read the full speech in context
How we work
Using basic acting tools and techniques and the powerful words and stories of William Shakespeare, we help these wounded warriors be heard and seen in the expression of their thoughts and feelings. This allows them to more easily hear, see and respect the thoughts and feelings of others, reconnecting them with their own sense of self worth and with their communities. Read more: Why Shakespeare?
The wounds are deep
Our country is currently in a crisis of need for programs that help veterans who are returning from war with wounds that keep them from successfully reconnecting with family, employment and community. Although the understanding of the hidden wounds, such as PTSD, is growing and the stigma of such wounds is decreasing, the need for a variety of programs that help these men and women is enormous. Feast of Crispian is a unique program that reaches these inner wounds in a wide range of ways. Read more : Trauma and PTS
FoC is not therapy
While we acknowledge that many participants find the work therapeutic, we do not promote ourselves as “fixing” anything. We mindfully practice having no agenda of change for our participants, but rather, we create a safe space for them to explore, in the moment, emotional experience and emotional expression. We explicitly encourage them to then work with their therapists on what they might learn about themselves and what to do with that information.
Rekindling the band of brothers
Through specially modified acting techniques, we are able to immediately get our vets up on stage, speaking, moving and making the emotional connections that telling these stories requires. They are once again in a tight unit – a “band of brothers” – where the safety and well-being of the individual is the concern and the duty of the whole group. We use physical and emotional exercises and honest discussion to further strengthen the service member’s ability to connect with others. Experiencing a wide range of emotions is at the heart of a satisfying and happy life. Read more: Our Mission Statement and Core Values
Socialize, work on scenes, learn, discuss. Drop-ins welcome. READ MORE
We train and advise others
FoC has delivered workshops and trainings across the country including:
American Lake VA hospital, Tacoma, WA
International Trauma Conference, Boston, MA
National Shakespeare in the Prisons Conference, Notre Dame University
National Symposium on Responsibility, Morality and the Costs of War, Ohio State University
Trauma and Synchrony workshop with internationally renowned trauma researcher Dr. Bessel van der Kolk at the Garrison Institute of New York
Our First National Veterans Theater Festival had a great run in May 2019
Presented by Feast of Crispian and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Check out the full details of the plays and the presenting actors and/or companies in our Festival section.