At Shakespeare and Company, the back of each printed program carries this mission statement, adopted by founding director George Franklin Wade in 1976:

"Shakespeare & Company is a classical repertory theatre performing at the Outdoor Theatre complex of Century College, West Campus. Members of the community staff the company. Our goal is to provide an environment where families can come and enjoy an informal picnic atmosphere and see performances of Shakespeare and other classical plays. We invite you to stroll around the campus and enjoy the pond and nature preserve. Our presentation is informal; it is an attempt to recreate the feeling of the Elizabethan theatre-its excitement, and vitality! Don't worry about the children; let them run and play on the grass. After all, from their imaginations and exuberance will come tomorrow's actors and poets."