November 27, 2015 at 11:38 am | Posted in Shakespeare Challenge, SIA Team, Toronto Happenings | Leave a comment
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Shakespeare in Action is looking for a volunteer Stage Manager to help bring to life A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the 5th annual Shakespeare Challenge fundraiser. The Shakespeare Challenge is a fundraising event that will raise funds for Shakespeare in Action’s educational programming, serving thousands of at-risk youth across Toronto.

The Challenge will feature up to 14 community members coming together to unleash their inner thespian under the direction of Shakespeare in Action’s renowned Artistic Director Michael Kelly. Our Challenge Champions will rehearse and perform an abridged version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In a race against time, these brave souls will rehearse one night a week for eight weeks to prepare and present this memorable production. That’s the Shakespeare Challenge!

IMG_2226 Shakespeare in Action - Shakespeare Challenge - 2015 - Locked Door

The Comedy of Errors, 2015


The Stage Manager will be responsible for:

  • Organizing rehearsal schedules
  • Preparing list of contacts
  • Maintaining weekly contact with participants, informing of them of any changes, updates, etc.
  • Assisting Director with recording blocking and taking other necessary notes with Stage Management Prompt Book
  • Organizing and maintain rehearsal space
  • Liaising with Shakespeare in Action office staff regularly throughout the duration of the rehearsals


Must be available for the following dates and times:

  • 6:30 pm-9:30 pm on January 12, 19, February 2, 9, 23, March 1, 15, 22, 29, 2016
  • The dress rehearsal on April 5, 2016 and final performance on April 6, 2016 (Times TBD)



If you are interested in applying for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to Cover Letters can be addressed to Michael Kelly, Artistic Director.

BOW DOWN! Rookie of the Year coming through!

November 23, 2015 at 11:45 am | Posted in Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop, SIA Team, Toronto Happenings | Leave a comment
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Just kidding! Well, not about the Rookie of the Year thing.

Today when I came into the office, there was a trophy waiting for me lovingly labeled “Rookie of the Year,” which was bestowed upon me for being the first intern to book a workshop! My parents are so proud! I could be gracious and say that this has been the glowing triumph of my time at Shakespeare in Action, yet I cannot.


In the short time I have been an intern for Shakespeare in Action I have enjoyed meeting the creative people who flow through the office the most! Starting with the people who run the show: Kyle and Jenny are the nicest supervisors who are always ready to dish out advice or joke around. As well, the Artistic Director Michael, whom I met today, was so warm and welcoming to this lowly intern that I wanted to be his best friend. Immediately.

Not only are the administrators wonderful, but the artists involved in the organization are equally as amazing! Christopher, Celia, and Marcel who are running the Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop interactive tour came through the office this morning and took time to say hi to the new face in the office (me) before getting straight to work on their rehearsal. (It’s also Marcel’s birthday so Kyle is out getting him a cake, but it’s a surprise so don’t tell!)

It’s obvious that everyone who comes through the office not only cares about this organization, but also one another and the power of art education, which, if I’m honest, better than a trophy.

5 Acting Exercises to Improve Work Performance

November 20, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Posted in Shakespeare Challenge | Leave a comment
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Our annual event The Shakespeare Challenge is coming up, and we are getting excited! Registration has been open for about a month now and will remain open until Dec 18 2015, so time is starting to run out! We think Shakespeare is great, but did you know that performance can actually improve your performance in the office? Here are 5 easy acting exercises based off of the Alexander Technique that you can do daily at work to feel great!

1. Vocal Clarity & Power – Think of your voice as a hood that rises over your head from the nape of your neck, or as rising up from the top of your head. Just this simple shift in thought will open your voice up and give you vocal clarity and power! Keep this in mind and you’ll find it easier to project to the back of the conference room during your next presentation.





2. Breathing – This one is a big one, though it’s not something we usually have to actively think about. Try focusing in on your exhale, letting it extend longer than your inhale. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and then take 8 seconds to exhale. This simple exercise will lengthen and increase the efficiency of your breaths! Having more control over your breath will help you stay calm when stressed, and will make speaking for long periods of time a little easier on your body.

despicable me


3. Posture – The way you carry yourself can affect the way that others perceive and react to you. If you’re constantly hunching your shoulders you physically appear smaller, and may send the message “I don’t deserve to take up as much space as my colleagues.” Try broadening your shoulders and chest, or elongating your neck and spine—you’ll project more confidence, and others will pick up on it.



4. Ease of Movement – Actors are rarely standing still, so being able to move freely is important, especially during a performance, but you can take this mentality with you to the office too. Take 5-10 minutes out of your workday to stretch and move your body! Roll your neck and shoulders, bend forward and try to touch your nose to your knees, or stretch out those wrists and forearms! These exercises are easy to do at your desk and will help loosen up any stiff muscles.



5. Feeling Grounded – This means putting both feet on the ground, trying feel each toe connecting with the floor, and bending your knees slightly. You’ll find your balance, posture, and breathing will improve with this power-stance, and your coworkers will perceive you as more confident.



Alexander Technique info source:

TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club – Extend your young Bard’s learning with these click-and-print resources!

November 15, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Educational Programming, Library Club | Leave a comment
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...and act a little out.

Are your young Bards participating in the Fall session of the TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club?  Or have they participated in the past?

If so, we have some free click-and-print activities for them to try at home and extend their learning!

Click here, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the green “Download Now” button.

Registration for the Winter session opens December 1st!  For more information click here.

shakespeare-in-action-logo     td-bank-logo

Step out of the office and into the spotlight- Take the Shakespeare Challenge!

November 6, 2015 at 10:21 am | Posted in Fundraisers, Shakespeare Challenge, Toronto Happenings | Leave a comment
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Have an inner flair for the dramatic? Ever wanted to perform Shakespeare on stage? Here’s your opportunity! We are calling on all professionals with the desire to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth!

The Shakespeare Challenge is an annual fundraiser, where community members from all walks of life (no acting experience required) come together to rehearse an abridged version of a Shakespeare play to raise funds for Shakespeare in Action’s educational programming!

Two past Shakespeare Challenge champions share their experience participating in the fundraiser, and why you should get involved!

Visit for more info!

Shakespeare at the Movies- Spectre

November 4, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies, Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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Spectre is the 24th film in the James Bond series, and is being released this Friday. The film series has been around for 53 years, and many could argue that it is one of the most popular British cultural exports (Along with Shakespeare, of course!) Let’s take a look at the Spectre cast, and see how many have Shakespeare on their resumes!


Daniel Craig (James Bond)

Appeared in:

  • Macbeth (Royal National Theatre, 1993)
  • Pericles (Royal National Theatre, 1994)
  • Othello (New York Theatre Workshop, 2016) as Iago

07/07/2011 PA File Photo of Ralph Fiennes. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider. Picture credit should read: Ian West/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider.

Ralph Fiennes (M)

Appeared in:

  • Antony and Cleopatra (British National Theatre, 1987)
  • King Lear (British National Theatre, 1987)
  • Hamlet (British National Theatre, 1987)
  • Macbeth (British National Theatre, 1987)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1988) as Claudio
  • Henry VI (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1988) as Henry VI
  • Richard II (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1988) as Henry VI
  • King John (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1988) as Lewis the Dauphin
  • Cymbeline (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • The Tempest (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • The Winter’s Tale (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1990) as Berowne
  • King Lear (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1990) as Edmond
  • Troilus and Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1990) as Troilus
  • Hamlet (Almeida Theatre, 1995) as Hamlet
  • Richard II (Almeida Theatre, 2000) as Richard II
  • Coriolanus (Almeida Theatre, 2000) as Coriolanus
  • Measure for Measure (British National Theatre, 2002)
  • Julius Caesar (International Tour, 2005) as Marc Anthony
  • Coriolanus (2011) as Coriolanus


Ben Whishaw (Q)

Appeared in:

  • The Hollow Crown- Richard II (TV mini series, 2012) as King Richard
  • Hamlet (Old Vic Theatre, 2004) as Hamlet


Andrew Scott (C)

Appeared in:

  • The Hollow Crown- Henry VI Part 2 (TV mini series, 2016) as King Louis XI of France

London Evening Standard Theatre Awards held at the Savoy - Arrivals Featuring: Rory Kinnear Where: London, United Kingdom When: 17 Nov 2013 Credit: Duval/

Rory Kinnear (Tanner)

Appeared in:

  • The Tempest (Theatre Royal, 2002) as Caliban
  • Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2003) as Caius Lucius
  • The Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2003) as Tranio
  • Hamlet (Old Vic Theatre, 2004) as Laertes
  • Hamlet (National Theatre, 2010) as Hamlet
  • The Hollow Crown- Richard II (TV mini series, 2012) as Bolingbroke
  • Othello (National Theatre, 2013) as Iago

Featured Intern- Meet Gillian!

October 30, 2015 at 11:38 am | Posted in SIA Team | Leave a comment
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My name is Gillian and I am joining the Shakespeare in Action team! sia-gillian

I’m a Toronto based Arts Educator and Administrator with a passion for all things theatre! I studied performance in High School and University, but only recently discovered my interest in the technical, production, education, and administrative sides of theatre. I’m so excited to get to work with and learn from an organization like Shakespeare in Action, which aspires to enhance education through the arts. 

When I’m not teaching or working, I am either listening to science podcasts, googling Uzo Aduba, or playing with my dog:

Jake 🐕. 

CONTEST- Win Tickets to a Toronto Screening of Romeo and Juliet!

October 23, 2015 at 11:58 am | Posted in Friends of SIA, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare at the Movies, Toronto Happenings | Leave a comment
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Time for another contest! We are giving away 3 sets of passes to a Toronto screening of The Royal Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet on Saturday, October 31, 2015, courtesy of our friends at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema! Check below for details on how to enter!


The Royal Ballet: ROMEO AND JULIET

Event details: Kenneth MacMillan’s poignant setting of Sergey Prokofiev’s classic score draws out the emotional and psychological intensity of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers.Romeo and Juliet contains three passionate pas de deux: the lovers’ first meeting, the famous balcony scene and the devastating final tragedy. Juliet is one of the most coveted of all ballerina roles, and as MacMillan’s ballet enters its 50th year it resonates as deeply with audiences today as when it was first seen half a century ago.

Performed live at the Royal Opera House. Includes two 10-minute intermissions.

SAT, OCT 313:00 PM



To win, all you have to do is send an e-mail to, and include your name, contact information, and your favourite quote from the play!

Contest is open to all residents of Ontario, and will close at 11:59PM on Wednesday, October 28, 2015. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by phone or e-mail.

Featured Intern- Meet Amy!

October 23, 2015 at 11:27 am | Posted in SIA Team | Leave a comment
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Hi everyone! My name is Amy Hunter and I’m thrilled to be working with Shakespeare in Action as one of their Administrative Interns.


My theatre background is in musical theatre, which I studied extensively at the Etobicoke School for the Arts here in Toronto. I’ve been on the performing side of theatre nearly my whole life, but I’m looking forward to getting to experience the behind-the-scenes workings for an arts organization as part of an awesome administration team. I completed a B.A. at Wilfrid Laurier University in Psychology in 2012, and am currently enrolled at Ryerson in their Arts and Entertainment Administration course series. I spend most of my free time at shows supporting local artists and musicians, exploring bike trails throughout the city, and taste-testing different coffees from around the world.

Featured Intern- Meet Natalie!

October 22, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Posted in SIA Team | Leave a comment
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Hello everyone!

My name is Natalie and I’m so happy to be joining Shakespeare in Action as an Administrative Intern. With my passions for education and outreach, theatre, and Shakespeare, it’s hard to imagine a position more perfectly suited for me- I’m truly thrilled to be here!


Here I am rowing past the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre!

I grew up in Mississauga, and have loved all things cultural (books, museums, movies, history, art, dance, theatre…) for as long as I can remember. After completing my B.A. in English Literature at the University of Waterloo, I headed off to the Netherlands last year to pursue an M.A. in arts and cultural administration.

As a part of my M.A. study, I was lucky enough to intern in the outreach and education department at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K.. This experience completely affirmed my love of Shakespeare, my belief in the benefit of creative education and outreach programming, and my desire to work in this field. So, of course, I am thrilled to learn from and contribute to Shakespeare in Action’s amazing work!

In non-Shakespeare news, I had a blast this fall working at TIFF, and am now serving as the administrator for the Ontario Pops Orchestra. When I’m not enjoying and getting involved with as much culture as possible, I also love travel, chocolate, and hanging out with my golden retriever.

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