Acting

Registration for our Summer Programming is Officially Open!

Great news, everyone! We have officially opened registration for our Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids and Young Company for Teens summer training program. Details can be found below!

 

Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids- July 4- 15, 2016

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 ownShakespeare production for parents, extended family, and friends!

IMG_3068 Shakespeare in Action - Summer Camp - 2015 - Kids - Midsummer Night's Dream - Cast Photo (Silly)

The Cast of our 2015 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

DETAILS

  • Ages: 7-12
  • Dates: Weekdays, Monday, July 4 – Friday, July 15, 2016.
  • 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!

 

COST

  • $550 per child (plus Eventbrite fees)
  • Early Bard Deadline: Friday, April 8, 2016 (Enter the promo code “EarlyBard” and save 10%)
  • Registering Siblings? Use the promo code “EarlyBardFamily.” After April 8, use “FamilyBard.”

Eventbrite - 2016 Shakespeare in Action Summer Camp for Kids!

Recommend a friend to the Shakespeare for Kids Summer Camp and receive $50 off your registration fee when they sign up!*

*Maximum 2 recommendations per camper.

 

For more information, please visit our Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids page!

 

Shakespeare Young Company for Teens summer training program- July 4- 29, 2016

This is a 4-week intensive training program in stage and film performance. Professional actors and directors lead workshops in theatre and film techniques. No drama or performance experience is required. Participants rehearse and perform one of Shakespeare’s more challenging plays. Teens are encouraged to develop their own interpretations of Shakespeare’s works to create and showcase a multi-media performance.

IMG_3387 Shakespeare in Action - Summer Camp - 2015 - Teens - Hamlet - Cast Photo

The cast and directing team of our 2015 production of Hamlet!

DETAILS

  • Ages: 13-17
  • Dates: Weekdays, Monday, July 4 – Friday, July 29, 2016
  • 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!

COST

  • $1000 per camper (plus Eventbrite fees)
  • Early Bard Deadline: Friday, April 8, 2016 (Enter the promo code “EarlyBard” and save 10%)
  • Registering Siblings? Use the promo code “EarlyBardFamily.” After April 8, use “FamilyBard.”

Eventbrite - 2016 Shakespeare Young Company for Teens Summer Training Program

Recommend a friend to the Shakespeare for Kids Summer Camp and receive $50 off your registration fee when they sign up!*

*Maximum 2 recommendations per camper.

 

For more information, please visit our Young Company for Teens page!

 

TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club – Winter Registration Opens December 1st!

td-shakespeare-for-kids-library-club

“…my library / Was dukedom large enough…”
– Prospero, The Tempest, 1.2 –

The TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club is a FREE readers’ theatre program for Bards-to-be, ages 7-12!

Join Shakespeare in Action for storytelling adventures!  Explore worlds of magic, ghosts, silly mix-ups, and swordplay in some of the greatest stories ever told!

Jump into plays like Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tempest, Comedy of Errors, and Henry IV.

Play drama games, read aloud from one to three scripts, build confidence, get a head start on high school, and make friends with other Shakespeare fans!

The TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club is led by professional actors and educators. Register in person at your chosen participating Toronto Public Library branch from the list below:

SATURDAYS, January 30 – March 5, 2016
Registration Opens December 1, 2015

Morning  (10AM – 12PM)

Afternoon  (2PM – 4PM)

Help us spread the word by sharing this post through your social media outlets!

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5 Acting Exercises to Improve Work Performance

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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via GIPHY

Alexander Technique info source: http://www.freeyourneck.com/acting-the-alexander-technique/

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

...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.

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Summer Camp – Day 19 – “Hamlet” (Teen Camp Show!)

The play in pictures – a mix of photos from the morning’s dress rehearsal and the final show:

- Young Co. for Teens -  L-R: 3 Lords, Laertes, Ophelia, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet.  King Claudius:

– Young Co. for Teens –
L-R: 3 Lords, Laertes, Ophelia, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet. King Claudius: “Though yet of Hamlet, our dear brother’s death, the memory be green…”

Horatio tells his good friend, Hamlet, about a Ghost: "A figure like your father, armed at point exactly, appears..."

Horatio tells his good friend, Hamlet, about a Ghost: “A figure like your father, armed at point exactly, appears…”

L-R: Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia.  Polonius blesses his son before his son leaves for France.

L-R: Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia. Polonius blesses his son before his son leaves for France.

L-R: Polonius and his daughter, Ophelia.  Ophelia: [Hamlet] hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me.

L-R: Polonius and his daughter, Ophelia. Ophelia: [Hamlet] hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me.”

L-R: Marcellus, Hamlet, Horatio see the Ghost and jump back. Hamlet:

L-R: Marcellus, Hamlet, Horatio see the Ghost and jump back. Hamlet: “Angels and ministers of grace defend us!”

L-R: Ghost of Hamlet Senior, Horatio, Hamlet, Marcellus - a photo taken from the balcony earlier in the week.

L-R: Ghost of Hamlet Senior, Horatio, Hamlet, Marcellus – a photo taken from the balcony earlier in the week.

The Ghost of Hamlet Senior speaks to Hamlet: "I am thy father's spirit...If thou didst ever thy dear father love, revenge his foul and most unnatural murder."  Hamlet feigns madness to seek out the truth.

The Ghost of Hamlet Senior speaks to Hamlet: “I am thy father’s spirit…If thou didst ever thy dear father love, revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” Hamlet feigns madness to seek out the truth.

L-R: Polonius and Ophelia, who describes her frightful encounter with Hamlet.

L-R: Polonius and Ophelia, who describes her frightful encounter with Hamlet.

L-R: Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude.  The King and Queen ask the two to find the cause of Hamlet's madness.

L-R: Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude. The King and Queen ask the two to find the cause of Hamlet’s madness.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Polonius, King Claudius.  Polonius reads Hamlet's love letter, , believing love to be the cause of Hamlet's madness.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Polonius, King Claudius. Polonius reads Hamlet’s love letter, believing love to be the cause of Hamlet’s madness.

Hamlet "reads." Note the orientation of the book.

Hamlet “reads.” Note the orientation of the book.

L-R: Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern.  Hamlet knows his friends are reporting to the King:

L-R: Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern. Hamlet knows his friends are reporting to the King: “I am but mad north-north-west…I know a hawk from a hand-saw.”

The Players arrive.  Hamlet will have them act "The Murder of Gonzago," a story that mirrors the murder of Hamlet Senior.  He wants to see King Claudius' reaction - to "catch his conscience."

The Players arrive. Hamlet will have them act “The Murder of Gonzago,” a story that mirrors the murder of Hamlet Senior. He wants to see King Claudius’ reaction – to “catch his conscience.”

Hamlet:

Hamlet: “To be, or not to be, that is the question…”

Ophelia is shaken; Hamlet suspects that her father, Polonius, is spying:

Ophelia is shaken; Hamlet suspects that her father, Polonius, is spying: “Let the doors be shut upon him…”

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Horatio. Hamlet:

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Horatio. Hamlet: “There is a play to-night before the king…Observe mine uncle…”

L-R: Guildenstern and Rosencrantz watch "The Murder of Gonzago" - Hamlet's "mouse-trap."  The play within the play was filmed and shown on screen.

L-R: Guildenstern and Rosencrantz watch “The Murder of Gonzago” – Hamlet’s “mouse-trap.” The play within the play was filmed and shown on screen.

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz. Hamlet: "Do you think I am easier to be play'd on than a pipe?"

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz. Hamlet: “Do you think I am easier to be play’d on than a pipe?”

L-R: King Claudius and Hamlet.  Hamlet:

L-R: King Claudius and Hamlet. Hamlet: “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying…”

Queen Gertrude tells King Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius (his death scene was on film).

Queen Gertrude tells King Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius (his death scene was on film).

Ophelia unravels after her father's death, descends into madness and sings: "He is dead and gone, lady..."

Ophelia unravels after her father’s death, descends into madness and sings: “He is dead and gone, lady…”

L-R: Laertes, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius.  Laertes:

L-R: Laertes, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius. Laertes: “Where is my father?…How came he dead?”

Ophelia:

Ophelia: “And in his grave rain’d many a tear…”

Laertes:

Laertes: “Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!”

King Claudius and Laertes plot revenge against Halmet. The King will set up a duel, through which Laertes can kill Hamlet. King Claudius: "Revenge should have no bounds."

King Claudius and Laertes plot revenge against Halmet. The King will set up a duel, through which Laertes can kill Hamlet. King Claudius: “Revenge should have no bounds.”

Ophelia has drowned.  Laertes:

Ophelia has drowned. Laertes: “I have a speech of fire, but this folly douts it.”

L-R: Clown and Hamlet.  Hamlet:

L-R: Clown and Hamlet. Hamlet: “Whose grave’s this, sirrah?”

Hamlet:

Hamlet: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio…”

Laertes and Hamlet grapple in Ophelia's grave, as other rush to intervene.

Laertes and Hamlet grapple in Ophelia’s grave, as other rush to intervene.

L-R: Attendants, Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Attendant, Horatio.  Hamlet:

L-R: Attendants, Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Attendant, Horatio. Hamlet: “I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum.”

L-R: Hamlet and Osric, who presents the wager.

L-R: Hamlet and Osric, who presents the wager.

L-R: Laertes, King Claudius, Hamlet.

L-R: Laertes, King Claudius, Hamlet.

L-R: Laertes and Osric. Laertes chooses a

L-R: Laertes and Osric. Laertes chooses a “sword unbated” anointed “with contagion.”

Osric presents the foils to Hamlet, as King Claudius stands by.

Osric presents the foils to Hamlet, as King Claudius stands by.

King Claudius announces the wager.

King Claudius announces the wager.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Osric, Hamlet, Lord, Horatio.  Queen Gertrude offers Hamlet a drink which, unbeknownst to her, is poisoned.  Hamlet refuses...and Gertrude drinks it.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Osric, Hamlet, Lord, Horatio. Queen Gertrude offers Hamlet a drink which, unbeknownst to her, is poisoned. Hamlet refuses…and Gertrude drinks it.

Osric:

Osric: “Nothing, neither way.”

Centre: Osric tends to the wounded Laertes. Right: Queen Gertrude collapses in Hamlet's arms.  Hamlet, too, is near death.  Queen Gertrude: "The drink, the drink! I am poison'd."

Centre: Osric tends to the wounded Laertes. Right: Queen Gertrude collapses in Hamlet’s arms. Hamlet, too, is near death. Queen Gertrude: “The drink, the drink! I am poison’d.”

Hamlet poisons King Claudius:

Hamlet poisons King Claudius: “Thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink off this potion…”

Hamlet dies in Horatio's arms.

Hamlet dies in Horatio’s arms.

Horatio (far right):

Horatio (far right): “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

The cast and directing team!

The cast and directing team!

Oh dear...

Oh dear…

Joe, Director

Joe, Director & Filmmaker

Sabio, Assistant Director

Sabio, Assistant Director

Gabriella, Assistant Director, Kids' Camp

Gabriella, Assistant Director, Kids’ Camp

Isabelle, Summer Student

Isabelle, Summer Student

Summer Camp – Day 18

The duel between Hamlet and Laertes was going to be on film, but it was later shifted to the stage, so that everyone could be together in front of the audience at the end of the show.

Much of the morning was spent tweaking and rehearsing the duel, as well as the deaths of Queen Gertrude, King Claudius, Laertes, and Hamlet.

 

- Young Co. for Teens -  Joe watches as the ensemble rehearses the graveyard scene.

– Young Co. for Teens –
Joe watches as the ensemble rehearses the penultimate scene of the play – the graveyard grapple.

Claudius joins Laertes' & Hamlet's hands.

Claudius joins Laertes’ & Hamlet’s hands.

Osric presents the foils to Laertes.

Osric presents the foils to Laertes.

Laertes and Hamlet prepare to duel.

Laertes and Hamlet prepare to duel.

Alas! Poor Yorick…. I made him myself, Horatio…

Hello, my name is Isabelle, and in case you’re wondering who I am……..I am a summer co-op student contributing my creativity, artistic skill, and passion to this year’s summer camp.

That’s right, folks! Just like the foils, Hamlet’s crown, and Old Hamlet’s armor, Yorick was handmade by a crafty, creative, and artistic member of the Hamlet summer camp production team. Of course Yorick couldn’t have been made without the inspiration from the outstanding actors of the show, and the supportive SIA staff. Just in case anybody here is curious, here is the process on how Yorick was made.

First off, like all handmade projects from scratch, Yorick started off as nothing but a roll of wire. The wire is to be bent, shaped, and put together into a frame to give the skull its shape. It was a painful process for the hands, as it is required to precisely bend the hard, thick, and pointy wire into the desired shape. Furthermore, the wire is also slippery and hard to tie in place. However, with the help of masking tape and some strands of thin wire, the wire is easily held together to keep its shape. This is an important process, as the wire frame needs to be as accurate as possible for canvas cloth to lay over it smoothly. The details such as the skull’s eyes and nose holes also need to be clearly marked out, so it would show up clearly when the cloth gets draped over it.

 

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 1 - wire

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 1 – wire

 

Next off, as most of you may have already guessed….it’s time to give Yorick some “flesh” (well….the wire acts as his bones…). A sheet of artists’ canvas is to be draped over the frame to make it look like a skull. Although this may sound easy….it really isn’t…. Since the artists’ canvas is hard and stiff, it is hard to get it to lie smoothly over the frame, therefore it must be accurately cut into the shapes of each gap to follow the shape of the frame. Afterwards, the pieces cut out are then to be hot glued onto the frame to cover up all the holes (except for the eyes and nose, of course!)

 

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 2 - canvas

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 2 – canvas

 

Now that Yorick has the shape and appearance of a realistic skull….he is ready to star in the famous graveyard scene. No wait! A skull that has been buried in the dirt for several years, obviously doesn’t look that clean and perfect. It’s a little too perfect…..so it’s time to destroy it a bit……….well…not actually destroying the hard work put in to it, but to define it. So some acrylic paint is used to paint on the skull to give it a dirty and aged look like it has truly been living in the dirt for many years. Last but not least, Yorick needs teeth, so we took beads from a necklace that looks like teeth, painted them, and glued them to his mouth. A fun fact about this is that we have debated on whether Yorick should have teeth or not, because hygiene was poor during Shakespeare times. Laboni jokingly suggested that Yorick must have had dentures, but Michael said that there were no dentures during that time. Then I suggested that Yorick must have starved to death after he lost all his teeth. So, I went with a little bit of both ideas. I decided to give Yorick some teeth, but with a few missing to show his aging.

 

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 3 - paint...and teeth!

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 3 – paint…and teeth!

 

And…..finally……Yorick is done and ready to star in the famous graveyard scene along with the talented actors of the teen camp.