You've found a small theater group comprised of homeschool families who come together from the far reaches of central Maine. They learn all the aspects of putting a play on the stage. Their director, a Pastor in Winthrop Maine, has has been doing this with children and teens for over 25 years. Through their work, they discover Shakespeare, but they also find interests and talents, and hone abilities and skills they never knew they had!
What does SMASH stand for?
The Southern Maine Association of Shakespearean Homeschoolers
To help students grow intellectually, socially and spiritually while learning about William Shakespeare from a Christian perspective, and to show God’s love and grace through their production of his plays.
What is the purpose of SMASH?
Since it began in 1993, the mission for SMASH has been to show God’s love and grace through the performance of plays by William Shakespeare. Pastor Sam has often said that he would stop doing SMASH if the purpose of sharing the Gospel through SMASH proved ineffective. Involvement in SMASH has helped many homeschooled students grow intellectually, socially and spiritually while learning about Shakespeare from a Christian perspective. Some have taken an English literature course credit for full participation in the academic and theatrical parts.
How are you supported?
We are a not-for-profit organization which recieves no public school, federal or state funding, and relies on the generosity of its participants, alumni and local communities. Cash donations are always accepted. Supplies and items used in the production are also always welcome. Sponsorships are also a valuable part of our support. Tiered donation amounts yield a number of different advertising opportunities in our print materials and on our website and facebook site, as well as free tickets to our shows.
Samuel Richards has been in pastoral ministry since 1976. Following graduation from Mansfield College, Oxford, he served three years at East Sumner Congregational Church, then three years at The United Church of Warner. In 1989, after a six-year hiatus from ministry, he became the senior pastor at East Winthrop Baptist Church. He co-founded and co-hosted Faith Matters In Maine, and served as President of the Christian Education League of Maine. He is currently the President of the Greater Augusta Pastors’ Society, an association of evangelical churches, which cooperate in jail ministry, worship and accountability for ministers. He also teaches Shakespeare to homeschoolers. He and his wife, Lynne, were married in 1975 and have six children.