National Shakespeare Youth Festival

A annual high school competition showcasing the wonderful talents of emerging actors and actresses!

National Shakespeare Youth Festival Update – Elmira

Left to Right: Tanisha Longley, Hayden Cooke, Ashley Bauman, Brett Schinkman, Nathan Jagger, Kristen Kaster, Tyler Hackbart, and Sarah Charron in a group scene from “The Taming of the Shrew”

National Shakespeare Youth Festival Update – E.L. Crossley

By: Melissa Kohli (creating a film response to Hamlet)

Group Members
Melissa Kohli
Carly Mueller
Laura Sawula
Drew Saltarelli
Robbie Molnar
Eric Blanchard
Austin Wassink

After a few adjustments, our film planning has been finalized and will be completed by the end of the week.  It is a modern take on the relationships between Hamlet and his mother, Gertrude, as well as the relationship between Hamlet and his uncle, Claudius. In our film, we expose the depth of Hamlet’s emotional confusion on his life decisions.  Using a motorcycle accident, news reports, and confrontation scenes, we explore Hamlet’s life after his father’s death.  We’re really excited to film and plan to have everything edited over the Easter weekend.

Original King Hamlet: “The Hammer” – Drew Saltarelli
King Claudius: New Boyfriend – Robbie Molnar
Queen Gertrude: Mom – Melissa Kohli
Hamlet: “Hammer Jr.” – Eric Blanchard
News reporter: Austin Wassink
Rest of Biker Gang: Carly Mueller, Laura Sawula

Director: Drew Saltarelli
Editing: Drew Saltarelli/Laura Sawula
Costumes: Carly Mueller
Music: Robbie Molnar/Austin Wassink
Script-Writing: Melissa Kohli

National Shakespeare Youth Festival Update – E.L. Crossley

By: Kelly Nori and Axel Kinnear (designing a set and costumes for Hamlet)

So far, the Shakespeare Festival project has been going very well.  Axel and I are working hard together and using our time effectively.  Recently, we sat down and tried to realistically set goals for finish our project.  We decided that by Monday, April 18 we wanted to have three character drawings done, and we were able to accomplish that goal.  By Friday, April 22 we want to have both of our set drawings done, and by Tuesday, April 26, we want to have everything complete, so that we can focus on our interview during class. We have spent a lot of time considering characters, theme, logistics, etc.; so we are hoping that our project turns out to be very strong.  This week in class we are focusing on the drawing of the set. Today in class we thought up different ideas about our set, and then made some decisions. It has difficult to maintain levels and depth within the set, while also considering the small details of props; in the end, we came up with some unique ideas that were inspired by the line “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”  I think that we are on track to finish, and we are continuing to work well with each other. Our goals are set, and now we must complete them!

National Shakespeare Youth Festival Update – E.L. Crossley

By: Kelly Nori and Axel Kinnear (designing a set and costumes for Hamlet)

So far our Shakespeare Festival Project has been going very well.  At the beginning of the planning process, Axel and I decided that I would do most of the research and organization projects, while Axel would focus more on drawing. During class time, Axel and I have chosen the characters that we want to design costumes for, and discussed their traits and physical appearance; finally, we came up with certain colours and styles we wanted them to wear.

We also discussed the set, and how to achieve levels and depth, but still keeping it cohesive with the looks of our clothing. I have done some research outside of school about the laws related to clothing in the Elizabethan period, and architecture during that time as well. This research has helped Axel and I get much work done during class, because we know the certain rules that must be followed, and we can design based on ‘what is allowed.’

Axel will do some drawings outside of school in the next few days, so that we are sure to keep the project moving at a steady pace. We plan to have the project completed by at least April 21, so that we can edit anything that we are not happy with and prepare ourselves for the interview on the actual day of the Shakespeare festival.

Overall, we have had a great start to the project and we enjoy working on it. It’s fun to consider characters in a new way and think about what they may wear based on who they are as a person. This project has also allowed us to use our creative minds collaboratively to come up with some good ideas related to Hamlet. I am excited to see some of the sketches being formed, and eventually excited to see the stage layout (considering I am much more skilled with stage management). I think that Axel is enjoying the project as well and looks forward to using his knowledge of art to create extraordinary costume designs that will make the characters come to life. We are working well as a team, and seem to get most of our work done outside of class; overall we are on track for the festival on April 27.

National Shakespeare Youth Festival Guidelines: Dance and Movement

How to… Create a Dance and Movement Piece.

  • Number of participants: 2 to 10
  • Time Limit: up to 5 minutes
  • Perform a dance piece or movement sequence interpreting one of Shakespeare’s scenes, themes, characters or monologues.  The Movement and Dance category is designed for interpretations of Shakespeare’s work expressed through dance or physical movement. Text is permitted and any music is permissible. We must acknowledge the original artist of music as part of our program. Ensure that you provide us with the relevant information on the registration form.
  • Minimal sets, props and costumes are allowed (One person must be able to carry them on and off).

For more information and tips, click below! (more…)

National Shakespeare Youth Festival Guidelines: Design

How To… Design Sets and Costumes

Participants: 1 – 3 students

What you’ll need to present:

In-Schools Festival: Renderings for costumes for AT LEAST 5 separate characters; AND ground plans and front-perspective drawings showing your ideas for a set design. You can visit the Virtual Shakespeare Lab for examples of each.

National Festival: In addition to the above, students must provide fabric swatches for costumes, a SECOND drawing for each of the 5 characters, and a basic paper-model of the set design. You will also need to contribute to the Festival blog each week, so make sure you keep your entries up to date!

Keep in mind: When developing your ideas, imagine you are designing costumes and set for a real full-scale production with an endless budget! Students should justify how the design relates to the play and why this design has been chosen.

For more tips and info, click below!


National Shakespeare Youth Festival Guidelines: Group and Duologue Scenes

How To… Create Group and Duologue Scenes

Without actors, Shakespeare’s words would never leave the page!

The guidelines are:

  • 2 actors for a Dualogue; 3-10 for a Group Scene
  • Maximum of 7 minutes for a Dualogue; 15 minutes for a Group Scene

Here are some tips for how to choose and act in scenes for our Youth Festival.


National Shakespeare Youth Festival- Gordon A. Brown’s Hamlet

Finally, we bring you the last of our video clips from the 2010 National Shakespeare Youth Festival: Gordon A. Brown’s very cool interpretation of Hamlet. Starring Vasili Manikas, Ryan Marks, Costa Georgiou and Daniel Sousa, this video is another unique and creative version of a Shakespeare play! Thanks to everyone who participated in last year’s Festival; we are proud of your hard work and so excited that you participated.

For more information on this year’s festival, please see our website. Registration is now open for 2011!

By: Kathleen

National Shakespeare Youth Festival -Erin District High School’s Taming of the Shrew

Erin District High School brings us another great interpretation of the Bard! This time students Vikki Chiu, Lexy Thomas, Natalie Sinclair, Adam Hong, Wyatt Ballantyne and Brett Whyte present a trailer for Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Set to a little song we all know and love, featuring black and white images and some cool camerawork, here it is:

For more information on this year’s festival, please see our website. Registration is now open for 2011!

By: Kathleen

National Shakespeare Youth Festival- Unionville High School’s Macbeth

For today’s video clip we are pleased to present this impressive interpretation of Lady Macbeth. Starring Ellen Reesor of Unionville HS, this video is all about Lady M. The play may have her husband’s name, but we all know that she runs the show. We love the mix of black and white and colour, the beautiful settings and, of course, Ellen’s performance!

For more information on this year’s festival, please see our website. Registration is now open for 2011!

By: Kathleen