Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids- EarlyBard registration deadline is March 20!

March 6, 2015 at 11:53 am | Posted in Educational Programming, Shakespeare Summer Camps, Toronto Happenings | Leave a comment
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As we approach the March Break, many of us will start to plan what our Shakespeare Kids will be doing during the even longer Summer Break! Shakespeare in Action is once again offering a Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids in Toronto, and registration is open!


  • Ages: 7-12
  • Dates: Weekdays, Monday, June 29 – Friday, July 10, 2015. No camp on Canada Day.
  • Location: Shakespeare in Action, 385 Roxton Road, Toronto
  • Focus Play: TBA
  • Work with a professional actor
  • Act, sing, improvise, design sets and costumes
  • Build confidence
  • Make new friends
  • Step into the spotlight!


9:00 – 9:15 – Welcome and warm-up
9:15 – 10:15 – Voice and movement work
10:15 – 10:30 – Break & snack
10:30 – 11:30 – Choral, text, and scene work
11:30 – 12:15 – Lunch
12:15 – 1:45 – Play development and rehearsal
1:45 – 2:00 – Break & snack
2:00 – 4:00 – Set, costume, and prop design
4:00 – Campers head home


$500 per child (plus Eventbrite fees)

Early Bard Deadline: Friday, March 20, 2015 (Enter the promo code “EarlyBard” and save 10%)

Registering Siblings? Use the promo code “EarlyBardFamily.” After March 20, use “FamilyBard.”

For more information, and to register, please visit out Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids page!

Songs for Shakespearience- A fundraiser from our friends at The Shakespearience Group!

March 5, 2015 at 11:47 am | Posted in Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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Our friends at Shakespearience are having their first annual fundraiser, Songs for Shakespearience!


The Shakespearience Group is preparing its summer season, and we’d like to expand! We are hoping to perform again at The Flounder Festival, here in Burlington, as well as at another local venue (TBA) and this time we’d like to go big (and not go home!). We’d like to introduce Youth Programming this summer at a local venue, as well as Masterclasses for 16+, and we’re planning on not only adding a few more adult thespians to our troupe, but creating an all-new entirely youth-cast to our production!

That’s right folks! We’re creating a great big Shakespeare family this summer – and we need your help! Promoting these shows, generating props and costumes, paying for rental spaces and production venues is pricey – and being the young company that we are, we need some extra help from our friends and fans!

We’d like you to join us for …

Songs for Shakespearience : A Fundraiser

Sunday March 8, 2015

2pm – Mocktails and Silent Song Auction
2:30pm – Curtain

Orchards Uptown Clubhouse
2025 Appleby Line,
Burlington, Ont.
L7L 7G8

Suggested Donation $15

What’s Happening?

The Shakespearience Group & Friends will be presenting a Family Friendly Showcase Recital as well as a Silent Song Auction.

What’s a Silent Song Auction you ask?

Well, it’s basically like a regular silent auction only you’ll be bidding on a performer to serenade you (or your loved one) with a song of your choosing (from our songbook) that the performer has never sung before… Which should make for some entertaining performances, and quick thinking! All in the spirit of Original Practices, where Shakespearean actors only received their cue lines and cut parts a day before the show, we’ve cut this timing down to learning a song only an hour before you perform it… Let the improvisation prevail!

The Shakespearience Group will be providing Mocktails, and other non-alcoholic beverages (including specialty coffees) for a small donation. There will be a food/snack table as well, no donation required.

The Shakespearience Group & Friends will be performing 2 full sets of show tunes, classical repertoire, and more with guest performances by:

Miranda MacDonald’s Show Choir
Welsh Tenor Gwyndaff Jones

The Shakespearience Group & Friends Performers include:

Kelly Baker
Skyla Baker
Sara Black
Tristan Alexander Emmanuel
Jeff Fox
Miranda MacDonald
Marlene Matos-Jones
Lauren Shepherd

Hosted by our very own Kyle Villeneuve, Songs for Shakespearience should prove to be a wonderful afternoon for the entire family! Help Shakespearience make a big splash in Burlintgon this Summer!

RSVP to the event here!

Farewell February; Hello March!

March 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Posted in Educational Programming, Fundraisers, Library Club, Shakespeare Summer Camps, Sonnets By Kids | Leave a comment
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February was a short but busy month for us at Shakespeare in Action, as it marked our 5th annual Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day fundraiser!

Sonnet Kids – Dushane, Ivy, Nicholas, Saskia, and Thomas – all began their journeys in different places – our Summer Camp for Kids and the TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club sessions at Brookbanks, Highland Creek, Main Street, and St. Jamestown public libraries.

We spent time together unpacking sonnets 18, 29, 105, and 116 – discovering rhyme scheme, sorting out characters’ thoughts and feelings, and using the hundred-odd words that the kids recognized to decode the half dozen words that they had never seen before. On Valentine’s Day, they were ready to deliver sonnet-grams to unsuspecting recipients in Canada and the US!

Thank you: To all the parents and guardians for their time and encouragement; to CBC Metro Morning for showcasing this program and helping us reach a new audience; to Pizzaville (College and Roxton), Metro (College and Shaw), and our favourite bookstore, Doug Miller Books (now at 650 Bloor Street West!) for adding the gift of great food and reads to our festivities; and to everyone who purchased a sonnet for a loved one, in support of literacy and live theatre!

A warm thank-you to all the supporters of Sonnets by Kids for Valentine's Day!

A warm thank-you to everyone who supported Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day!

Sonnet Buddy, Kyle and Sonnet Kid, Thomas, prepare for one of the first calls!

Sonnet Buddy, Kyle and Sonnet Kid, Thomas, prepare for one of the first calls!

Ivy delivers a sonnet, while Sonnet Buddy, Anna, looks on.

Ivy delivers a sonnet, while Sonnet Buddy, Anna, looks on.

Sonnet Buddy, Asha, lends a hand as Nicholas signs off on a sonnet.

Sonnet Buddy, Asha, lends a hand as Nicholas signs off on a sonnet.

It's time to give Shakespeare a makeover...or shall we say a Shakeover?!  Looks like the Bard is ready for "the winter of our discontent."

It’s time to give Shakespeare a makeover…or shall we say a Shakeover?! Looks like the Bard is ready for “the winter of our discontent.”

Sonnet Kid, Dushane, with Sonnet Buddy, Jenny!

Sonnet Kid, Dushane, with Sonnet Buddy, Jenny!

Sonnet Kid, Saskia, and Sonnet Buddy, Rebecca smile for the camera.

Sonnet Kid, Saskia, and Sonnet Buddy, Rebecca! And, wait, who’s that in the middle?

Our amazing Sonnet Kids! L-R: Saskia, Nicholas, Thomas, Ivy, and Dushane.

Our amazing Sonnet Kids! L-R: Saskia, Nicholas, Thomas, Ivy, and Dushane.

With the Sonnet Buddies! Back Row, L-R: Rebecca, Asha, Kyle, Anna, and Jenny!

With the Sonnet Buddies! Back Row, L-R: Rebecca, Asha, Kyle, Anna, and Jenny!

8-year-old Ivy's translation of Sonnet 116

8-year-old Ivy’s translation of Sonnet 116

Shakespeare at the Movies- The Oscars 2015

February 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies | Leave a comment
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On Sunday night, Hollywood will celebrate and present the 87th Academy Awards. The nominees this year have given some of the best performances of their careers, but today I want to focus on their accomplishments as Shakespearean actors! Find out which of the acting nominees have Shakespeare included in their bodies of work below!

michael-keaton-birdman Michael Keaton (Actor in a Leading Role, Birdman)

Appeared in:

  • Much Ado About Nothing (1993) as Dogberry

eddie-redmayne-the-theory-of-everythingEddie Redmayne (Actor in a Leading Role, The Theory of Everything)

Appeared in:

  • Twelfth Night (2002, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) as Viola
  • Richard III (2011, Donmar Warehouse) as Richard III

 benedict-cumberbatch-the-imitation-gameBenedict Cumberbatch (Actor in a Leading Role, The Imitation Game)

Appeared in:

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2001, Open Air Theatre) as Demetrius
  • Love’s labour’s Lost (2001, Open Air Theatre) as King of Navarre
  • Romeo and Juliet (2002, Open Air Theatre) as Benvolio
  • As You Like It (2002, Open Air Theatre) as Orlando
  • The Hollow Crown- Richard III (2016, TV mini-series) as Richard III
  • The Hollow Crown- Henry VI Park 2 (2016, TV mini-series) as Richard III

marion-cotillard-two-days-one-nightMarion Cotillard (Actress in a Leading Role, Two Days, One Night)

Appearing in:

  • Macbeth (2015) as Lady Macbeth

 eddie-redmayne-the-theory-of-everythingFelicity Jones (Actress in a Leading Role, The Theory of Everything)

Appeared in:

  • The Tempest (2010) as Miranda


Ethan Hawke (Actor in a Supporting Role, Boyhood)

Appeared in:

  • Hamlet (2000) as Hamlet
  • Henry IV (2004, Lincoln Center Theater) as Hotspur
  • The Winter’s Tale (2009 Stage Production)
  • Macbeth (2013, Lincoln Center Theater) as Macbeth

meryl-streep-into-the-woodsMeryl Streep (Actress in a Supporting Role, Into the Woods)

Appeared in:

  • The Taming of the Shrew (1978, Shakespeare in the Park) as Katherine
  • Romeo and Juliet (2012, Shakespeare in the Park Staged Reading) as Juliet

neil-patrick-harris-romeo*BONUS- Neil Patrick Harris (The host this year!)

Appeared in:

  • Romeo and Juliet (1998, Old Globe Theatre) as Romeo

Did I miss someone? Which of these roles is your favorite? Who do you think will walk away a winner on Sunday? Leave a comment and let us know!

Top 5 “Romantic” (Meaning Crazy) Moments from William Shakespeare

February 13, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Shakespeare's Plays | Leave a comment
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William Shakespeare has been lauded with creating the most beautiful romantic moments of all time. Yet, as much as William loves marriage and romance, it seems most of his depictions of romance are also his depictions of total insanity. Here for this Valentine’s Day, here are Shakespeare’s most “romantic” moments; and by ‘romantic’, I mean delusional and very twisted.

5) Twelfth Night, Malvolio Dresses Crazy For Love (Act 3, Scene 4)
While Shakespeare may have fooled us into thinking it is the romance between Viola and Cesario that is the height of the play, it is clearly Malvolio who shows us the proper levels of passion for Valentine’s Day. When Maria sends him a letter pretending to be Olivia, Malvolio will do anything to impress her, including reading strange quotations from said letter and humiliating himself with a ridiculous outfit, crossed garters and yellow stockings. Love literally makes you crazy, and Malvolio is proof.

4) Macbeth, Lady MacBeth Councils her Husband Post-Murder (Act 2, Scene 2)

When you’ve got some stresses going on there’s no one better to help calm you down than your one and only. One of the possibly biggest stresses could come from your plan to murder the King in order to take over the throne, and thank god Macbeth has Lady Macbeth to help calm him down after this task. Essentially, Lady Macbeth just points out all the things he did wrong, and how she would’ve done this a lot better (and I don’t doubt that), but at the end, when he is feeling that guilt as he looks at his bloody hands, Lady Macbeth cleans them off for him. That’s probably the sweetest moment between the two… all in the middle of an insane murder plot.

3) Hamlet, Hamlet Calls Ophelia Many Things (Act 3, Scene 1)

Hamlet in general just seems like such a charmer; there’s nothing like existentialism to make a man seem attractive. Even more attractive is when, having done absolutely nothing wrong, you get called awful names. I think this is called “playing hard to get”. Ophelia runs into Hamlet and is not just insulted by Hamlet, but is insulted among all womankind. Not cool, Hamlet. And when Ophelia ends up throwing herself in a river, Hamlet acts all sad and that he loved her all along? Stop playing those games, Hamlet. To be or not to be a jerk, that is the question.

2) Othello, Othello and Desdemona’s Last Moment Together (Act 5, Scene 2)

Nothing like death to bring loved ones together, especially in Shakespeare. Does it count if death is being brought on by your loved one? By Shakespeare’s standards, essentially it’s the best you can do! And in the most romantic locations of all, one’s own marriage bed. Othello kisses his wife before attempting to smother her, and this death scene is ridden with romantic newlywed imagery. Thanks Shakespeare, that’s not creepy at all.

1) Romeo and Juliet, Balcony Scene (Act 2, Scene 1)
Well, what did you expect would be #1? This scene is the most talked about famous romance scene in Shakespeare, and it is pretty romantic to have your secret lover come to you in the middle of the night to profess his love to you… right? Some would say that’s trespassing, but we love that kind of stuff. Romeo and Juliet, however, are probably the most unstable of all of Shakespeare’s couples. First of all, they are 14, and probably going through many hormonal changes that would probably affect their decision making. Only knowing each other three days in the total time of the play, they end up dying for each other pretty much by accident. They literally could’ve waited an hour to see if the other were really dead and then made a rational decision on what to do next, but no, impromptu sacrifice is what Shakespeare encourages. Thanks Shakespeare for presenting the ultimate romance as ultimate insanity.

Don’t follow suit on your Valentine’s Day everyone.

By Yamini Coen

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – A 9-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #105

February 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Sonnets By Kids | 1 Comment
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Let not my love be call’d idolatry,

Nor my beloved as an idol show,

Since all alike my songs and praises be

To one, of one, still such, and ever so.

Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,

Still constant in a wondrous excellence;

Therefore my verse to constancy confined,

One thing expressing, leaves out difference.

‘Fair, kind and true’ is all my argument,

‘Fair, kind, and true’ varying to other words;

And in this change is my invention spent,

Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.

‘Fair, kind, and true,’ have often lived alone,

Which three till now never kept seat in one.



My love for you isn’t worship,

and I won’t be urged to put you on display.

All my songs and praises

are for one person, you and they are all one.

My love will be here today and tomorrow…

You are constant, and so am I.

If I change, I become less constant. That is not my goal.

You can’t find fair, kind and true all in one person,

but you are that person with all three qualities.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – A 9-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #29

February 9, 2015 at 10:45 am | Posted in Sonnets By Kids | Leave a comment
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When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries

And look upon myself and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,

Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.



I am a poor person being watched.

Alone, I cry out my feelings

and heaven doesn’t hear me.

When I look at myself, I look away.

I wish for hope, a better face, more friends,

talent, and power.

But when I hate myself,

I happily think about you and my feelings change,

just like a lark singing in the morning.

For the love you bring,

I wouldn’t change places with a king.


Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – A 10-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #116

February 8, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Sonnets By Kids | 2 Comments
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Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error, and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.



Never give up on someone you love.

Love is a lighthouse that guides a boat.

Love never dies; it keeps on trucking.

If you think I’m wrong, prove it!

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – An 8-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #18

February 7, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Sonnets By Kids | Leave a comment
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valentines-day-heartsSONNET 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often in his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor loose possession of that fair thou ow’st;

Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.



You are beautiful and calm,

but your life is too short.

You change.

Everybody changes.

[But] your beauty won’t go away.

Death shall not find you,

because I’m writing this poem.

As long as people live,

this poem gives life to you.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

The Shakespeare Grammy Awards 2015

February 6, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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In honor of the 57th Annual Grammy Awards this weekend, we thought it would be fun to celebrate some of the great popular songs and albums that have been inspired by The Bard! Let’s have our own Shakespeare Grammy Awards!

Since phonographs (the device that the Grammy trophy design is based on) were not invented for another few hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, let’s name the award after a popular instrument from Shakespeare’s day…

The Golden Lute (or Luteys, for short), will honor songs across different genres that were influenced by Shakespeare’s plays, themes, and characters! here are the winners for 2015!


Cherish- Madonna

This song references Shakespeare with the lyrics “Romeo and Juliet, they never felt this way I bet,” and it is just too catchy to not love!


Hey There Ophelia- MC Lars (Featuring Gabe Saporta And Brett Anderson)

A rap retelling of Hamlet, with a focus on Ophelia. (Shakespeare and hip hop combined, what a great concept!)


Titus Andronicus Forever- Titus Andronicus

This song is deserving simply because they named the song AND their band after a Shakespeare play! The Bard’s influence is always with the band!


Love Story- Taylor Swift

We can only hope that the couple in this song does not meet the same demise as the original Romeo and Juliet!


Double Trouble- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

It is no secret that most of the SIA team loves everything to do with Harry Potter, but you must admit, one of the most famous spells of all time does fit perfectly with a movie about a school of magic!


The King Must Die- Elton John

“The King Must Die” is about a person falling out of power, and we all know that Shakespeare’s plays are full of characters that face similar situations, and for that reason, takes the top song award!


As You Like It- Barenaked Ladies

The Barenaked Ladies recorded an entire album inspired by As You Like It for the Stratford Festival 2005 season, which is a double Canadian win in our books!

That’s it for the 2015 Luteys. Congratulations to all of the winners! We shall end the show with one of Shakespeare’s most famous (and true) quotes about music:

If music be the food of love, play on.

Do you agree with the winners? What are some of your favorite Shakespeare inspired songs? Leave a comment and let us know!

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