About Shantigar

A Peaceful Place

Shantigar, located on a spectacularly beautiful old farm on a mountainside in Western Massachusetts' Pioneer Vally, is a not-for-profit educational foundation dedicated to the practice of arts, meditation ,and healing.

Over 250 years old, the old Davenport farm, that is now Shantigar, has always been known for its hospitality. In 1900 the local post office was in the farmhouse, school teachers lodged there, and Mrs. Davenport hosted pot luck suppers on Sundays.

Shantigar’s founder, Jean-Claude van Itallie, has written over thirty plays. An early LaMama playwright, his off-Broadway hit, America Hurrah, was hailed as the watershed political play of the 60s. As playwright for the Open Theater, he wrote The Serpent. His widely produced translations of Chekhov (Chekhov, the Major Plays) are considered by many theater folk as the most “actable.” He’s taught theater at Yale, Princeton, Harvard (his alma mater), NYU, Amherst, Univ of Colorado, Middlebury, Columbia, and other schools.

In 1977, van Itallie’s Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, retreated for a year to the farm to write his renowned Shambala teachings. Trungpa renamed the farm, "Shantigar," which means "peaceful home." Van Itallie turned Shantigar into a not-for-profit foundation for theater, meditation, and healing.



Shantigar provides beautiful surroundings and quiet, friendly support to an artist-in-residence.  The artist-in-residence, in turn, is invited to share meals with workshop participants and teachers, to offer workshops, and take part in workshops.


Shantigar is founded on the belief that disciplined artistic, meditative, and healing practices parallel and enrich each other. Therefore, we support clinical practices strengthening any of our three bodies – physical, mental, or spiritual – since any one practice can be understood to strengthen the other two bodies as well. 

Shantigar welcomes skilled and gifted body workers, nutritionists, homeopaths, herbologists, accupuncturists, practitioners of preventative and Ayurvedic medicine, transpersonal psychotherapists, and other authentic healers who activate a joyous sense of being well.



Shantigar offers a splendid rural setting within which to create.  It also provides a striking architectural context in which artists may create productions to send out into the world. We welcome proposals from writers, directors, actors, visual artists, musicians, and dancers to develop and collaborate on pieces.



Shantigar's primary workspace is a wide open 1,700 sq. ft. octagon, which can accommodate up to 80 people depending on the event.





 Educational seminars, master-teachers training their students, and special purpose groups

Peaceful hills, woods, good air, elegant simple meeting spaces, fresh organic meals, and comfortable accommodations, encourage concentration, relaxation, and alertness in groups who visit Shantigar to work on a project of their own.


People doing personal retreats will have use of a private kitchen and internet connection in our newly renovated art studio—benevolently looked after by eighteen statues of 500 year old Chinese Bodhisattvas.


(413) 339-4332

63 Davenport Rd, Rowe, MA 01367, USA

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