Tags: Acting, drama, gta, Hamlet, language, macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare Alive!, shakespeare in action, TDSB, theatre, Toronto, Tour
Shakespeare in Action has just wrapped up its Shakespeare Alive 2013 tour! This 75-minute interactive presentation travelled to elementary and secondary classrooms, auditoriums, cafeterias, and gyms across the GTA! Their goal was to show students why Shakespeare is still relevant and why his language – his poetry – is so important. Here’s what the teachers had to say about Shakespeare Alive!:
I was so impressed with the actors who came in and ran the workshop. They were exceptional and the kids loved it. I’m extremely happy with the way things went. It was an excellent experience for us.
-Jarrett Flindall, Middle School Teacher
I want to thank your organization for bringing an exciting, hilarious and gripping presentation to John Fraser Secondary School. Our students were energized and engaged throughout, and some even got to improv onstage in front of their drama teacher. We had a range from just-arrived ESL to near graduates take in the performance, and all the feedback I’ve heard from kids and teachers so far has been positive. Each kid came away with different favourite moments. They say they were impressed and enjoyed learning why we still care about Shakespeare.
Thanks for accommodating our needs, and thanks for a great show.
-Stephen Morra, High School Teacher
Yesterday’s performance was outstanding! The three performers were energetic, talented, funny, informative and it was a great pleasure for me to look out at the audience’s faces in the lecture theatre — the really academic students, the not-so-academic students — all were grinning and under the spell cast by your actors. The audience participation elements were very well received.I told your performers after the show that they made my job easier (the kids found a new respect for and interest in Shakespeare), but also harder, because how can we teachers match the fun of what they did?We would be pleased to have them come again in the future.
-Paula Nevins, High School Teacher
Tags: all's well that ends well, Antony and Cleopatra, as you like it, Dark Lady, Elizabeth, From fairest creature, Henry VIII, Loves Labors lost, Marlowe, marriage of true minds, Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare, Sonnet 1, Sonnet 116, Sonnets, The Merchant of Venice, twitter
In honour of our upcoming Sonnets by Kids event – the most adorable Valentine’s idea of all time! – let’s imagine that Shakespeare was trying to preserve every moment of his creative process for the ages.
(NB: The Dark Lady is the name we give to the anonymous woman who inspired many of Shakespeare’s sonnets; Christopher Marlowe was Shakespeare’s only plausible rival among the Elizabethan playwrights, who died too young to reach his full potential. Anne Hathaway (!) was Shakespeare’s wife who lived far from London.)
DarkLady: @WillShakes Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical. (1) #BoredofAvon
WillShakes: @DarkLady I do not know what ’poetical’ is. Is it honest in deed and word? Is it a true thing? (2)
DarkLady: @MarloweFabulous @WillShakes D: What’s here? the portrait of a blinking idiot, Presenting me a schedule! (3)
MarloweFabulous: @DarkLady @WillShakes virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the canon. (4) #getoveryself
WillShakes: @DarkLady Assist me, some extemporal god of rhyme, for I am sure I shall turn sonnet. Devise, wit; write, pen! (5) #WritingUSonnets
DarkLady: I’ll believe as soon This whole earth may be bored. (6)
WillShakes: @DarkLady “From fairest creatures we desire increase, / That thereby beauty’s rose might never…” (7) — melt? break? fry? #wordchoicelesigh
WillShakes: Oh – die! “rose might never die” (should not have been so hard oh well)
WillShakes: (I have heard a sonnet begin so to one’s mistress.) (8) So it’s all about ‘we want more of you!’
DarkLady: If thou say so, villain, Thou kill’st thy mistress. (9) Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting! (10)
WillShakes: @DarkLady “But as the riper should by time decease, / His tender heir might bear his memory.” (11) Better?
WillShakes: My sister wants me to talk about the “marriage of true minds” (12) – guess she missed mine. #hathawayfollies
MarloweFabulous: @WillShakes Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness. (13)
WillShakes: @MarloweFabulous You’re shallow, madam, in great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me which I am aweary of. (14) ;P
DarkLady: @WillShakes If you’re going to write this stop interrupting and explain what you mean, this is pretty abstract >:(
WillShakes: AAAGGHHH BACK TO WORK TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY THIS IS TITUS ALL OVER AGAIN #betterin1590
WillShakes: Where were we again – wait – hang on – ok, here we go, on a roll, just gonna post these as I get ‘em:
WillShakes: @DarkLady ”From fairest creatures we desire increase, / That thereby beauty’s rose might never die”(15) = there should always be more you!
WillShakes: @DarkLady “But as the riper should by time decease, / His tender heir might bear his memory.” (16) = it’s okay, you’ll have cute babies!
WillShakes: @DarkLady “But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes, / Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,” (17) = oh no, you’re too vain to think about kids!
WillShakes: @DarkLady”Making a famine where abundance lies, / Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:” (18) = that means you might leave the world w/o your looks!
WillShakes: @DarkLady”Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament, And only herald to the gaudy spring,” (19) = honestly lady, you’re life & beauty incarnate!
WillShakes: @DarkLady”Within thine own bud buriest thy content, And tender churl mak’st waste in niggarding:” (20) = so don’t ‘save yourself’ – there’s enough win for everyone!
WillShakes: @DarkLady”Pity the world, or else this glutton be, / To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.” (21) = better have kids or you’ll have wasted PERFECT GENES ;P
DarkLady: @WillShakes …It shall suffice, sir. (22) ;3 So rude, but so funny! It’s you all over, really.
DarkLady: @WillShakes I probably should get on the kids thing, considering my super-secret identity (you know)…usual time?
WillShakes: I need to write more of these; so much easier than a whole play! #moneyfornothing
LizziesaurusRex: @WillShakes And that would set my teeth nothing on edge, Nothing so much as mincing poetry (23) – keep writing plays. Not a request.
WillShakes: @Lizziesaurus Rex My precious queen, forebear. (24) Side project it is. I’ll give it a title later. Maybe ‘The Alpha Sonnet’? Eh, just ‘Sonnet 1′ for now.
(Shakespeare rearranged/interpolated/mangled by David)
(1) Touchstone, As You Like It (III.iii.1517)
(2) Audrey, As You Like It (III.iii.1518-19)
(3) Prince of Aragon, The Merchant of Venice (II.ix.1184-5)
(4) Parolles, All’s Well That Ends Well (I.i.146-8)
(5) Don Adriano, Love’s Labor’s Lost (I.ii.479-81)
(6) Hermia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (III.ii.1085-8)
(7) Sonnet 1
(8) Duke of Orleans, Henry VIII (III.vii.1681)
(9) Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra, (IV.iii.1082-3)
(10) Biron, Love’s Labor’s Lost (IV.iii.1489-90)
(11) Sonnet 1
(12) Sonnet 116
(13) Countess, As You Like It (I.iii.358)
(14) Clown, All’s Well That Ends Well (I.iii.362-3)
(15) Sonnet 1
(16) Sonnet 1
(17) Sonnet 1
(18) Sonnet 1
(19) Sonnet 1
(20) Sonnet 1
(21) Sonnet 1
(22) Francis Feeble, Henry IV Part 2 (III.ii.2021)
(23) Hotspur, Henry IV Part 1 (III.1.1677-9)
(24) Antony, Antony and Cleopatra (I.iii.382)
Tags: Cymbeline, flower, Hamlet, Henry VI, Hermia, macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream, Ophelia, Perdita, primrose, quotes, Shakespeare, Winter's Tale, wordy wednesday
In Hamlet, Laertes, leaving for France, tells his sister Ophelia to guard her heart against Hamlet. Laertes suggests that Hamlet’s affections are “Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, / The perfume and suppliance of a minute; no more.”
I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.
The primrose is a flowering plant of over 400 species, bearing blue, pink, purple, red, white, or yellow blossoms.
Here, Shakespeare’s “primrose path” is the path of ease, indulgence, and pleasure. Ophelia not only listens to Laertes, but also challenges him to heed his own advice. Primroses are perennial though, in this context, they represent fickleness – perhaps “perennial” frivolity?
There are six more references to primroses in Shakespeare’s plays:
So, so: well done, well done:
The violets, cowslips, and the primroses,
Bear to my closet.
Whilst summer lasts and I live here, Fidele,
I’ll sweeten thy sad grave: thou shalt not lack
The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose…
Henry VI, Part II
I would be blind with weeping, sick with groans,
Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs,
And all to have the noble duke alive.
it no further: I had thought to have let in
some of all professions that go the primrose
way to the everlasting bonfire.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
There my Lysander and myself shall meet…
The Winter’s Tale
That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bight Phoebus in his strength…
By Vineeta Moraes and Laboni Islam
Tags: church, Midsummer Night's Dream, night, photo, Photo Friday, puck, Shakespeare
I travelled to Montréal this summer, I visited Notre Dame church and it reminded me my parents wedding and also Midsummer Night’s Dream which is all about a wedding.
Here some words of Puck
Midsummer Night’s Dream (V. i.2220-39)
“Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night
That the graves all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the church-way paths to glide:
And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecate’s team,
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic: not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow’d house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.”
By Christian Albarrán
Tags: etymology, fairy, food, henry IV, Hotspur, Midsummer Night's Dream, quotes, Shakespeare, skim milk, weak, wordy wednesday
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a very popular play this summer! It’s being produced for CanStage’s Dream in High Park, as well as several other companies in and around the GTA. (Including a Brampton production that one of our very own interns is a part of!) So why not a Shakespeare invented word featured first in that very play?
When we’re first introduced to Puck, the king of the Fairies’ henchman, a Fairy describes to us the mischief he causes…
Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call’d Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?
Here we see “skim milk” used for the first time. According to the OED, it is defined as…
“Milk with the cream skimmed off or otherwise removed. Also in fig. context.”
But as is noted at the end of the definition, Shakespeare more often used it metaphorically. First here in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595 or ’96, according to the OED) describing Puck as dividing himself and popping up unexpectedly to fright ladies. (And if you’re familiar with the 1999 film version you might remember that Puck – Stanley Tucci – vanishes and re-appears just like this shortly after this description.)
Shakespeare uses it again in Henry IV, Part I (Act II, Scene iii) with Hotspur. Although here he uses it to talk about York’s betrayal (dividing his loyalties like cream from milk/skim milk).
It’s a clever metaphor, but not one I see slipping back into our vocabulary too easily. Try to use dairy products to describe a friend’s betrayal nowadays and you’re sure to get a funny look.
Tags: A Student Prepares, actors, affordable, Auditorium, Central Commerce Collegiate, Diary of Anne Frank, education, Hamlet, kids, King Lear, mainstage production, Midsummer Night's Dream, professional, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare, Shakespeare Alive!, shakespeare in action, Shakespeare's Shorts, stage, Students, teens, The Merchant of Venica, theatre, Toronto, workshops, youth
We are proud to announce our new 2010-2011 season. Please join us in creating invigorating, challenging, joyful theatre experiences for students!
SIA is Canada’s leading Shakespeare company for young audiences, with over 22 years experience. We return with a new season of work for students of all ages, featuring three timeless classics told with our usual innovative and artistic flair! And some brand new programs to boot!
What makes us different is that we hire professional Equity actors, meaning your students will see the highest quality performances at the most affordable rates in Toronto!
Stay tuned to our website and blog for more information (website to be updated shortly!) or call us to book today. Remember, if you book before June 30, you can buy tickets to our mainstage shows for a LOW $12 per student. That price includes all taxes and we don’t charge a booking fee.
Let us know what you think of the season and we hope to see you soon!
Greetings from Alberta: Checking in with some of our National Shakespeare Youth Festival participants!May 6, 2010 at 9:58 am | Posted in National Shakespeare Youth Festival | Leave a comment
Tags: 2011, Alberta, design, education, homeschool, Midsummer Night's Dream, National Shakespeare Youth Festival, set, set design, Shakespeare, shakespeare in action, Students, teens, youth
As part of our National Shakespeare Youth Festival, we asked students participating at the national level to submit a blog entry giving us an idea of how their creative process is working. Below is an entry from a design team out of Alberta, which we will be sure to follow up with some pictures of their project!
Our names are Josh, Kelsey and Daniel, and we are from Edmonton, AB. The three of us are nerdy homeschooled teens, with a slightly unhealthy obsession with theatre and Shakespeare. We were excited to take on the design project, and chose A Midsummer Night’s Dream as the play to design. We thought A Midsummer Night’s Dream would offer lots of opportunities for creative designs. Our set has changed dramatically and we’ve learned about the rapid evolution that a set plan can go through! We started creating our 1/25 scale model of the set today. It was exciting because after all the drawing, we finally started seeing come to life. The next step in the process is to the finish the set decoration which will include texturing and painting. We are looking forward to seeing how the overall design with evolve in the final stages!
Kelsey Johnson, Josh Travnik, and Daniel Belland (SHiNE homeschool- Design category)
Editor’s Note: I, too, have a slightly unhealthy obsession with Shakespeare and theatre and can’t wait to meet the Alberta contingent and see their fabulous design work!
Tags: behind the scenes, Central Commerce Collegiate, costumes, design, mainstage production, masks, Midsummer Night's Dream, set, Shakespeare, shakespeare in action, stage, theatre, Toronto
Today we open A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Central Commerce Collegiate! We’re very excited to present our first mainstage production in our new home and we’ve invited pretty much everyone we know. In honour of the event, we thought we’d give you a behind the scenes look at what’s been going on to prepare us for the occasion!
First up: the set! Here is what it’s going to look like, more or less:
One room out of our three was dedicated to building the set and backdrop. While touring with my camera, I encountered the above sign on the door. It must have been quite the adventure in that room as everything was coming together! So here’s a look at how the backdrop and trees were made by cutting trunks from canvas and painting them to look like multi-coloured tree trunks.
Now that we have the stage under control, it’s time to clothe those actors! So bust out that sewing machine, we’re making costumes. And masks, many masks!
And that is all we’re going to show you! If you want to see the rest, you’ll have to come see our show…
Tags: Auditorium, Central Commerce Collegiate, kids, mainstage production, Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare, shakespeare in action, stage, Students, teachers, teens, theatre, Toronto, youth
We have launched our main-stage production for 2010, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, playing at the Auditorium at Central Commerce CI in downtown Toronto. Our team of professional artists brings this much-loved classic to life for young audiences. Featuring puppetry, dance, music and mask, our production will have young audiences excited to learn more about Shakespeare and his work!
“Students hung on to every word, laughed at every joke and followed every twist of plot” – The Toronto Star
The show is priced affordably for students ($15) and teacher tickets are free!
For more information, click here.