Library Club Thank You!

Here at Shakespeare In Action we are wrapping up our 2016 TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club. We have reached hundreds of kids across Toronto with our free readers’ theatre program for kids. Lead by professional actors,  kids from 7-12 explore Shakespeare plays, read aloud and play drama games. Our aim is to promote literacy, build confidence and improve access to arts in our community. Thank you so much to our wonderful actor-educators and the families who got on board and excited about this program. We will see you again in the Fall for the next semester of programming. For now we will leave with with some quotes from a parent who believes and benefited from our program.

“For my two children, it has improved their love of storytelling and seeing live performances. Shakespeare is not something adults needs to fear but embrace and love.”

“This year my child auditioned for her school play and I think she gained the confidence to do so from her experience with the SIA Library Club. She was awarded a significant role and recently experienced the thrill of performing on stage in a 600+ seat theatre. I think the camaraderie of the cast came as a surprise to her and is the biggest reward.” 

“Yes, both of my daughters really enjoyed the experience and in particular, my youngest discovered that speaking in public wasn’t so scary and that acting and learning about Shakespeare is a lot of fun”.




Chris headshot Untitled

May Feature Artist – Christopher Allen

Christopher Allen is one of SIA’s shining stars. Fresh off of our spring tour of Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop. Chris is always full of energy, jokes and smiles when he comes to our office. We are so pleased Chris is our May 2016 Feature Artist! Check out our personal interview with him below.

1.What is your favourite Shakespearean play?

My favourite Shakespearean play hands down has to be Julius Caesar. I love the development of the characters in this play, and although it is based on a true story, I feel Shakespeare really makes it a dynamic and enriched piece, through his poetry. The story takes its audience on a journey through treacherous war, and haunting images of what appears to be an Armageddon in the streets, daunting poltergeists of a man once thought to have the lifeblood of a deity, and so on. It is thrilling throughout, and the complete transformation that some characters, like Brutus and Antony, go through is extremely compelling to read, to witness, and to be a part of.

2.When did you start working with SIA?

I first started working with SIA in late October 2015. I had just finished working with Canadian Stage in their annual production of Shakespeare in High Park, and was contacted by Michael Kelly to join SIA and work through his company to make Shakespeare less intimidating, and more of an alluring and captivating work of art, for the youth.

3. Do you have an adaptation of Shakespeare that you love?

An adaptation of Shakespeare that I love would have to be The Lion King. But, a close second is She’s The Man. The Lion King comes in first because it depicts the timeless tale of Hamlet, in such a relatable and entertaining way for all members of the family, which is what Shakespeare did with his plays.

4. Do you have any dream roles you haven’t had the chance to play?

I have many dream roles I haven’t had the chance to play yet, but if I had to narrow it down to one, I would have to say Macbeth. I think that Macbeth is such an engaging character, and his story is one so astonishing that you can’t help but be compelled by it.

5.What drew you to becoming an actor in the first place?

I have always had a love for entertaining people, but it wasn’t until I got to high school when a drama teacher of mine, Robert Hamilton, convinced me that I had a gift in me that needed to be shared. He’s been a constant inspiration throughout my career.

6. What was your favourite moment working with youth?

I had a lot of great times working with youth through SIA, but my favourite moment hands down would have to be when I went to the Peel Alternative School North to do a Rap Workshop for the students. In all the time I’ve been with SIA, and through all of the workshops I’ve done, there has never been a class of students that have been so engaged and willing to participate than with the students at Peel Alternative School North. I woke up feeling a bit nervous because of how long it had been since I’d taught a Rap workshop, but I was blown away by how excited and engaged the students all were.

7. What are you currently working on?

I am excited to announce that I’ll be joining the Blyth Festival for their production of Mark Crawford’s new play, The Birds and The Bees, as the character Ben. I’m elated to be working with such awesome individuals on such engrossing new Canadian work. I haven’t ever been to the town before or away from home for so long, so I’m really looking forward to this experience.

– – – –

      Christopher Allen is a recent graduate of York University’s Acting Conservatory. Recent theatre credits: Claudius/Hamlet in Hamletmachine (York University), Rossiter/Shaw/Conti in The Ecstatic Bible (York University), The Negro Resurrectionist in Venus (York University), Cinna/Flavius in Julius Caesar (Canadian Stage), Balthasar/Courtesan in The Comedy of Errors (Canadian Stage), Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare in Action), Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare in Action), Lee Boyd Malvo in Call me God (York University). Upcoming: Ben in The Birds and the Bees (Blyth Festival). He couldn’t be more thankful for the many opportunities he’s been granted thus far.

Special thanks; Lauren Allen, Harold Allen & Celia Aloma

Summer Camp For Kids!

Kids will learn to act, sing, improvise, construct costumes, and design sets – all while having the time of their lives! The program runs for 2 weeks, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4pm daily. Our team of highly skilled professional actors provide master-class level instruction. Kids perform their very own Shakespeare production for parents, extended family, and friends!

Information and Registration:


Young Company For Teens Summer Camp

Spaces filling up for our ‪#‎YoungCompanyForTeens‬ Summer Camp! Do you or your teen have a passion for theatre? Interested in how a play gets produced and wants to gain skills in film and acting?!

Our theatre intensive provides hands on experience in film, acting and production. Stay tuned for our announcement on which Shakespeare play we will be working on this year! Which play would you love to produce and perform?



JOB POSTING: Summer Camp Assistants

Job Description

Shakespeare in Action, with the support of Service Canada’s Canada Summer Jobs grant, is looking to hire talented, enthusiastic staff for our 2016 Kid’s and Teen Summer Camps.

Dates: June 29th – July 29th
Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm
Salary: $2160 total


The successful candidate will:

  • Be above 19 years of age
  • Be a full-time college or university student in the previous year
  • Be returning to full-time studies in the fall
  • Be able to commit to the full term of employment
  • Have some experience working in leadership roles with youth aged 7-17
  • Have skills and training relevant to the role for which they are applying (see Roles Available below)
  • Be able to provide a Vulnerable Sector Police Reference Check

Additional assets include:

  • A passion for theatre arts and education
  • First Aid training
  • Ability to think on their feet
  • Ability to have fun while working hard

Additional Info:

Roles Available:
Assistant Director: Kid’s Camp

  • Will work with youth aged 7-12
  • Will provide some administrative assistance
  • Will work with the Kid’s Camp Director for the planning and running of rehearsals and other activities

Assistant Director: Teen Camp

  • Will work with youth aged 13-17
  • Will provide some administrative assistance
  • Will work with the Kid’s Camp Director for the planning and running of rehearsals and other activities

Stage Manager

  • Will assist with the rehearsal and performance of both the Kid’s Camp and Teen Camp shows
  • Will provide some administrative assistance

Film & Media Assistant

  • Will have skills in still photography and film
  • Will be able to work with Final Cut Pro
  • May be asked to work with Lightroom, Photoshop, Q-Lab, or Logic
  • Will provide some administrative assistance

Apply Here


Two pairs of tickets are up for grabs today! Get a chance to see Director Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Monday May 16th @ Bloor Hot Doc’s Cinema in Toronto!

The first question will be up around 12:30pm EST today and the final one later this afternoon!

Remember like Shakespeare In Actions Facebook page and comment the correct answer first to win!

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You don’t have to fall victim to Puck’s intoxicating potion to fall deeply in love with this rendition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Director Julie Taymor’s phantasmagorical and widely celebrated stage performance is stunningly brought to screen with nimble and immersive cinematography, creating an enviable hybrid that surpasses the boundaries of both formats. With a cast of bickering fairy royalty, mischievous sprites, passionate young lovers, determined amateur actors and, of course, a man with the head of an ass (er, donkey)—Shakespeare’s hilarious and imaginative comedy takes audiences into a world beyond imagining, and Taymor’s adaptation perfectly captures its comic misunderstandings, dizzy romance and sparkling wordplay. Irresistibly energetic and filled with feats of visual imagination, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will make you laugh, gasp and give a standing ovation.



TRIVIA QUESTION #4 – which play and which character spoke is this famous quote? “Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me “

Without the aid of Google. Like Shakespeare in Actions FB page and be the first person to answer correctly and win a pair of ticket to Toronto’s Bloor Cinema screening of Director Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on May 16th

Shakespeare In Action Facebook Page

Event information