Macbeth

“A drum, a drum! [The Scottish play] doth come!”

What’s Ahead in 2014

Happy New Year, everyone! The SIA team is back into the swing of things after the Winter Break, and we’ve got some great projects lined up in the coming months! Here is a taste of what is happening in 2014.

TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club

td-shakespeare-for-kids-library-club

The TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club is our free readers’ theatre program for children ages 7-12, and is located at Toronto Public Library branches across the city! The Winter Session runs on Saturdays from February 1-March 8. Visit a participating branch to register!

The Shakespeare Challenge

O - Shakespeare in Action - Shakespeare Challenge - 2013 - The Island is Full of Noises

The Shakespeare Challenge is back for the third year! This year, our fearless champions will be performing an abridged version of Twelfth Night. On top of that, they will be raising money for Shakespeare in Action’s subsidized ticket program, providing access to theatre for students across Toronto. Tickets for the gala performance and silent auction on February 8 will be on sale soon, so make sure to check back for more information!

Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day

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Looking for a creative way to tell someone you love them this Valentine’s Day? Why not let us do the work! Purchase a Sonnet for your sweetie for only $25, and one of our talented Shakespeare Kids will call your loved one to recite a Shakespeare Sonnet just for them! Make sure to purchase yours today!

Romeo and Juliet

L-R: Kaleb Alexander and Shaina Silver-Baird Photo: Joel Charlebois

Romeo and Juliet returns as part of the Double Tragedy this Spring, along with Macbeth. Already enjoyed by thousands of students across Toronto and the GTA, Romeo and Juliet will run from March 27-April 10. For more information on performance dates and times, or to book your seats, visit the Romeo and Juliet show page!

Macbeth

Double Tragedy: - Macbeth -  T-B: David Shelley and Kaleb Alexander Photo: Joel Charlebois

Macbeth is the second show on board as part of the Double Tragedy this Spring. Like Romeo and Juliet, this show has been enjoyed by thousands of students across Toronto and the GTA, and will run from March 28- April 11. For more information on performance dates and times, or to book your seats, visit the Macbeth show page!

The Shakespeare In Action Blog is Moving!

The time has come, my friends, to move the Shakespeare In Action Blog a bit closer to home.

Sad, I know, but it’s not like we’re leaving the internet for good! You can visit us at our new home:

http://www.shakespeareinaction.org/blog.html

We’ve got loads of new ideas for blog posts coming, including news and information about our upcoming shows, educational programming, and fundraisers! Bookmark our new page and visit us sometime! We are keeping this page up as well, so you will be able to access all of our blog posts of the past!

Away, away! Once more, sweet lords farewell.

It’s Halloween!

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would post an excerpt from a Shakespearean play that seems fit for the occasion.

Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 1

A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.

Enter the three Witches.

1 WITCH.  Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
2 WITCH.  Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
3 WITCH.  Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time!
1 WITCH.  Round about the caldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!
ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH.  Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
3 WITCH.  Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingrediants of our caldron.
ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH.  Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

It’s Almost Halloween… Let’s Celebrate Witches!

Hey everyone! Halloween is only one day away, so I hope you have your costumes ready and scary movies picked! I thought that today would be the perfect day to celebrate some of my favorite characters that have appeared in Shakespeare’s plays.

The Three Witches, (sometimes referred to as the Weird Sisters) are featured in Macbeth. Early on in the play they appear, revealing a prophecy to Macbeth that he would soon be King, and later on, his impending doom. Though these characters do not appear in as many scenes in the play, they have certainly left their mark upon our memories. The witches recite those famous words:

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

We may not have the entire spell memorized, but we definitely know that famous line! Here are some references to the witches that have appeared in modern Popular Culture!

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

2. The musical group The Weird Sisters from the Harry Potter Series

3. Double Double Toil and Trouble starring Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

4. A retelling of Macbeth from the Animaniacs

5. Sabrina the Teenage Witch and her aunts cast a revenge spell inspired by the Weird Sisters

I know that there are loads of other references, but I had to stop myself at 5! Send me a list of your favorites!

Want to see a live version of the Weird Sisters? Make sure to book your tickets for our upcoming production of Macbeth!

It’s Almost Halloween… Let’s Celebrate Ghosts!

Since we are getting so close to Halloween, we thought that today would be an appropriate time to celebrate some of the spookiest characters in Shakespeare’s plays… Ghosts!

Ghosts commonly show up in Shakespeare’s plays to warn characters of their impending doom, seek revenge, or offer a prophecy. They have appeared in several of Shakespeare’s plays, most famously in Hamlet and Macbeth, two of our upcoming main stage productions!

Hamlet’s father comes back to get Hamlet to avenge him for the crime that his uncle has committed.

If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not.
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damnèd incest.
But howsoever thou pursuest this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge
To prick and sting her.

Banquo comes back to haunt Macbeth during a banquet, torturing him about his recent decision to murder.

(seeing the GHOST) Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee.
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold.
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with!

Ghosts are also featured in Julius Caesar, Cymbeline and in Richard III. What are some other ghosts from history, plays, movies, or television that you can think of? Leave a comment and let me know! Personally, I will also have a soft spot in my heart for this classic:

 

Enjoy your day!

Bookings open September 3rd!

Be the Early-Bard and save!

For main-stage shows, tours, and workshops,
call 416-703-4881 for more information or to book.

- Hamlet's 100 Worries - November 25-29, 2013 Kaleb Alexander Photo: SIA

Main Stage:
– Hamlet’s 100 Worries –
Shakespeare meets shadow puppetry
November 25 – 29, 2013
Kaleb Alexander
Photo: SIA

 

Double Tragedy: - Romeo & Juliet -  March 31 - April 11, 2014 L-R: Kaleb Alexander and Shaina Silver-Baird Photo: Joel Charlebois

Main Stage:
– Double Tragedy: Romeo & Juliet –
March 31 – April 11, 2014
L-R: Kaleb Alexander and Shaina Silver-Baird
Photo: Joel Charlebois

 

Double Tragedy: - Macbeth -  March 31 - April 11, 2014 T-B: David Shelley and Kaleb Alexander Photo: Joel Charlebois

Main Stage:
– Double Tragedy: Macbeth –
March 31 – April 11, 2014
T-B: David Shelley and Kaleb Alexander
Photo: Joel Charlebois

 

On Tour: - Shakespeare Alive -  November 4 - 15. 2013 and April 28 - May 9, 2014 L-R: Kaleb Alexander, Shaina Silver-Baird, and Marcel Stewart Photo: SIA

On Tour:
– Shakespeare Alive –
November 4 – 15, 2013 & April 28 – May 9, 2014
Click here to read reviews!
L-R: Kaleb Alexander, Shaina Silver-Baird, and Marcel Stewart
Photo: SIA

 

In the Classroom: - Workshops & Residencies -  September - July Photo: SIA

In the Classroom:
– Workshops & Residencies –
September – July
Click here to see us on the TDSB site!
Photo: SIA

Twisted Lit Books – Shakespeare Meets YA

Twisted Lit Books Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

Twisted Lit Books
Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

Guest Post by “Twisted Lit” authors Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

 
People often ask us why we decided to base our new “Twisted Lit” series of YA books off the works of William Shakespeare. Well, as total Shakespeare geeks (and if you’re reading this, we’re guessing you are, too), it was a no-brainer. Since long before we started writing together, we’ve been fans of unique Shakespeare stagings, from MacHomer — Rick Miller’s ingenious one-man mash-up of Macbeth and The Simpsons, to the L.A.-based Troubies’ productions, which combine the playwright with 20th-century pop music. (A recent favorite: A Midsummer Saturday Night’s Fever Dream.)

In addition to being suckers for quirky and offbeat interpretations of the Bard’s works, we’re equally inspired by the timelessness of what he wrote. His thrilling plots and universal themes are perfectly suited to the sort of page-turning, culturally-relevant stories we want to convey. And, when you consider that so many of Shakespeare’s most famous characters are young adults grappling with dysfunctional families and falling in love (uh, Romeo & Juliet, anyone?) — you could almost say he was one of the original “YA” authors!

Here’s the skinny on the first two novels in our series:
 

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TEMPESTUOUS: In this updated spin on The Tempest, former “it girl” Miranda has been banished from the popular crowd and forced to work at the dreaded mall food court. When a snowstorm strands her and her high school cohorts overnight in the mall, she uses the opportunity to take sweet revenge on her ex-boyfriend and a trio of former bffs.

 

exposurecoverEXPOSURE: Our modern interpretation of Macbeth takes place over the course of one year in an Alaskan high school. Heroine Skye has a gigantic crush on Craig, the boy who would be Prom King. But when his ambitions (and his social-climbing, sociopathic girlfriend) get the best of him, tragedy and hidden truths spiral dangerously out of control.

 

From the sad-but-true files: A recent study out of England found that nearly a third of all schoolchildren under the age of 13 hadn’t heard of the UK’s most celebrated writer. (The stats for adults weren’t much better.) While our books are meant to entertain, pure and simple, we certainly wouldn’t mind if they turned more teens on to the original plays that inspired them. Just check out our Twisted Lit promo. video below and you’ll understand why we believe you’re never too young to take on Shakespeare!
 

 

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Kim (right) and Amy (left)

Twisted Lit Books

Twisted Lit on Facebook

@kaskew and @amyhelmes