charity

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

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 www.shakespeareinaction.org/shakespeare-challenge for more info!

Registration for the 5th Annual Shakespeare Challenge is Officially OPEN!

CALLING ALL PROFESSIONALS with the desire to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth!

Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Ephesus are locked out of their home.

Toronto, the city of workToronto, take a break and play! Step out of your Winter routine and into the spotlight this Spring, and join the cast of Shakespeare in Action’s 5th annual Shakespeare Challenge!

About the Challenge:

For the past four years, community members from the corporate sector fearlessly took to the stage in productions of some of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays to raise funds for Shakespeare In Action’s educational programming. Their generosity has helped to foster literacy, enhance creativity and promote speech arts for youth at risk in Toronto’s priority neighborhoods.

Shakespeare Challenge 2016
In celebration of the 5th Shakespeare Challenge, this year we are looking for a group of 14 courageous community members to volunteer their time to rehearse and perform an abridged version of one of Shakespeare’s beloved comedies, chosen between A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing,and As You Like It, at the Historic Arts and Letters Club of Toronto.

SIA - Shakespeare Challenge - Pyramus & Thisbe Whisper

 

Requirements for Shakespeare Challenge participants: 

  • 8 rehearsals, a small amount time. Tuesday’s only from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, January 12th– April 5th, 2016.
  • 8 tickets, sold for $75 each to friends, family members, and colleagues to the final show.
  • Be professionally coached and directed by our renowned Artistic Director, Michael Kelly.
  • Socialize & meet new friends that help to create an exciting community event that supports youth.
  • Ensure youth from priority neighbourhoods get access to professional theatre arts programming.
  • Make a commitment to have fun, exercise your inner actor and enjoy the magic of Shakespeare.

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

Upon registration, each champion will make a tax deductible deposit of $100.00, and will commit to attending scheduled rehearsals, and selling a minimum of 8 tickets to the final performance on April 6, 2015.

To register, click on the Register Now button below!

The deadline to register is December 18, 2015.
Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Eventbrite - The Shakespeare Challenge 2016- Performer Registration

 

For more information  on rehearsals and other ways to get involved, please visit our website!

The Shakespeare Challenge- Check out our live auction packages!

There are only a few days left until the Shakespeare Challenge fundraising gala, and the SIA team, along with our Challenge Champions are putting the final touches on The Comedy of Errors, as well as the live and silent auction! Here is a sneak peak at what guests will be able to bid on in the live auction right after the show!

Montreal Trip– Take a round trip for 2 to Montreal, courtesy of VIA Rail to attend the Talk of the Fest Show from July 20-26 at the Just for Laughs Festival! Enjoy accommodations for one night provided by Delta Downtown Montreal, and brunch provided by Vieux-Port Steakhouse.

Value: $1116

Cottage Stay– Spend 2 nights at a beautiful 2 bedroom cottage overlooking Lake Erie. Valid from October- November for a perfect Fall getaway!

Value: $300

Oakdale Golf and Country Club- Enjoy a round of golf for 4 at the Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto! Valid until Dec. 31, 2015.

*Please note that a $60 host caddy fee is also required.

Value: $700

Niagara-on-the-Lake Experience- Spend 2 nights at Aqua Bella B&B, and enjoy 2 tickets to a Shaw Festival Show. Complete your trip with a romantic wine tasting experience for 2 at Chateau des Charmes in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Value: $510

Stratford Festival Stay- Spend the night at Caledonia House, and see a show at the Stratford Festival during the 2015 season. Winners will also be treated to a complimentary tour of the Festival’s props and costumes warehouse!

Value: $345

Whole Beast Butchery Demo- Learn how to expertly cut your meats with a butchering class demonstration for 8 people at Sanagan’s Meat Locker.

Value: $750

The silent auction will have many more amazing packages to bid on! To join us for the Shakespeare Challenge, please visit our website to purchase tickets!

Win Tickets to the 4th annual Shakespeare Challenge!

Shakespeare in Action is holding the 4th annual Shakespeare Challenge fundraising gala on March 25, 2015 at The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, and we want you to join us!

V - Shakespeare in Action - Shakespeare Challenge - 2013 - Trinculo is Reeling Ripe

The Cast of The Tempest from the 2013 Shakespeare Challenge

For the past three years, community members from the corporate sector fearlessly took to the stage in productions of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night to raise funds for Shakespeare In Action’s educational programming. Their generosity has helped to foster literacy, enhance creativity and promote speech arts for youth at risk in Toronto’s priority neighborhoods.

This year, The Challenge will feature twelve community members coming together to unleash their inner Shakespeare under the direction of Shakespeare in Action’s renowned Artistic Director Michael Kelly. Our Challenge Champions will perform an abridged version of The Comedy of Errors. In a race against time, these brave souls have rehearsed one night a week for eight weeks to prepare and present this memorable production. That’s the Shakespeare Challenge!

We are giving away a pair of tickets to the Shakespeare Challenge, where guests will be treated to a performance of The Comedy of Errors, food and drink, and a live and silent auction with fabulous packages, including a trip for 2 to Montreal to attend a Just For Laughs event, wine tasting tours, golfing passestheatre tickets, and many more! Most importantly, all funds raised will go towards Shakespeare in Action’s educational programming, giving access to the arts to students in priority neighbourhoods across Toronto!

HOW TO ENTER:

To enter, all you have to do is send an e-mail to jenny@shakespeareinaction.org with your name and contact information, and tell me who your favourite character from The Comedy of Errors is!

Contest closes at 11:59PM on Friday, March 20, 2015. Winner will be selected at random and contacted via phone or email. 

Good luck to everyone who enters!

WANTED- Volunteer Piano Player and Auctioneer for the Shakespeare Challenge Fundraising Gala!

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

Shakespeare in Action is looking for a volunteer piano player and a volunteer auctioneer for the 4th annual Shakespeare Challenge fundraising gala on March 25, 2015. The event will take place at The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, located at 14 Elm Street, near Yonge and Dundas.

We are looking for an individual to play pleasant and lively music to entertain guests during the reception. The event begins at 7:00PM, and will be over by 10:30 at the latest, with a break in the middle to enjoy the performance and live auction. We can offer a small stipend for the evening, but this will be a volunteer position.

Our volunteer auctioneer will be responsible for running the live auction that will take place right after the show has finished. The live auction should last for about 20 minutes total, and will include under 10 packages. You will be invited to join us beforehand to enjoy the show, as well as the reception right after the live auction has been completed.

For more information on the Shakespeare Challenge, please visit: http://www.shakespeareinaction.org/event/the-shakespeare-challenge/

If you are interested in volunteering for the evening with us, please contact Michael Kelly at info@shakespeareinaction.org, or (416) 703-4881.

Farewell February; Hello March!

February was a short but busy month for us at Shakespeare in Action, as it marked our 5th annual Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day fundraiser!

Sonnet Kids – Dushane, Ivy, Nicholas, Saskia, and Thomas – all began their journeys in different places – our Summer Camp for Kids and the TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club sessions at Brookbanks, Highland Creek, Main Street, and St. Jamestown public libraries.

We spent time together unpacking sonnets 18, 29, 105, and 116 – discovering rhyme scheme, sorting out characters’ thoughts and feelings, and using the hundred-odd words that the kids recognized to decode the half dozen words that they had never seen before. On Valentine’s Day, they were ready to deliver sonnet-grams to unsuspecting recipients in Canada and the US!

Thank you: To all the parents and guardians for their time and encouragement; to CBC Metro Morning for showcasing this program and helping us reach a new audience; to Pizzaville (College and Roxton), Metro (College and Shaw), and our favourite bookstore, Doug Miller Books (now at 650 Bloor Street West!) for adding the gift of great food and reads to our festivities; and to everyone who purchased a sonnet for a loved one, in support of literacy and live theatre!

A warm thank-you to all the supporters of Sonnets by Kids for Valentine's Day!

A warm thank-you to everyone who supported Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day!

Sonnet Buddy, Kyle and Sonnet Kid, Thomas, prepare for one of the first calls!

Sonnet Buddy, Kyle and Sonnet Kid, Thomas, prepare for one of the first calls!

Ivy delivers a sonnet, while Sonnet Buddy, Anna, looks on.

Ivy delivers a sonnet, while Sonnet Buddy, Anna, looks on.

Sonnet Buddy, Asha, lends a hand as Nicholas signs off on a sonnet.

Sonnet Buddy, Asha, lends a hand as Nicholas signs off on a sonnet.

It's time to give Shakespeare a makeover...or shall we say a Shakeover?!  Looks like the Bard is ready for "the winter of our discontent."

It’s time to give Shakespeare a makeover…or shall we say a Shakeover?! Looks like the Bard is ready for “the winter of our discontent.”

Sonnet Kid, Dushane, with Sonnet Buddy, Jenny!

Sonnet Kid, Dushane, with Sonnet Buddy, Jenny!

Sonnet Kid, Saskia, and Sonnet Buddy, Rebecca smile for the camera.

Sonnet Kid, Saskia, and Sonnet Buddy, Rebecca! And, wait, who’s that in the middle?

Our amazing Sonnet Kids! L-R: Saskia, Nicholas, Thomas, Ivy, and Dushane.

Our amazing Sonnet Kids! L-R: Saskia, Nicholas, Thomas, Ivy, and Dushane.

With the Sonnet Buddies! Back Row, L-R: Rebecca, Asha, Kyle, Anna, and Jenny!

With the Sonnet Buddies! Back Row, L-R: Rebecca, Asha, Kyle, Anna, and Jenny!

8-year-old Ivy's translation of Sonnet 116

8-year-old Ivy’s translation of Sonnet 116

Sonnets-by-Kids – A Unique Gift for Valentine’s Day!

Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day is celebrating its 5th year!

This Valentine’s Day, why not give the gift of poetry and let the Bard do the talking!

  • Visit http://www.shakespeareinaction.org/sonnets-by-kids.
  • Select and purchase your favourite Shakespeare Sonnet – 18, 29, 105, or 116. (Only $25 CDN)
  • On Valentine’s Day, between 2:30pm and 4:30pm EST, a talented and charming Shakespeare Kid will call your lucky Valentine and recite the sonnet with a heart full of love!
  • A Shakespeare Kid will also sign and mail a personalized copy of the sonnet for your Valentine!

SONNETS BY KIDS are available in Canada and the US until Friday, February 13, 2015 at 5pm EST, while quantities last.

Shakespeare in Action is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to introducing young people to the magic of Shakespeare, language and live theatre. All proceeds support our educational programs throughout Toronto – the kids are “graduates”!

sonnets-by-kids-2011

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2011 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

sonnets-by-kids-2012

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2012 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

 

sonnets-by-kids-2013

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2013 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

sonnets-by-kids-2014

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2014 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

 

Shakespeare in Action- 2015 at a glance!

Happy New Year, everyone! We hope you all had a wonderful and restful holiday season. The Shakespeare in Action team is officially back to work today, and we cannot wait to get started on all of the exciting projects we have lined up for the first half of 2015! Here is a sneak peak at what’s coming up!

td-shakespeare-for-kids-library-club

TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club

Winter Session- Saturdays, January 31 – March 7, 2015

  • free readers’ theatre program for kids ages 7-12!
  • Explore plays such as The Comedy of ErrorsMacbeth, A Midsummer Night’s DreamRomeo & JulietThe Tempest, and Twelfth Night.
  • Read aloud and play drama games and meet other Shakespeare fans!
  • Led by professional actors and educators.
  • Visit  the TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club page for locations and details!

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

The Shakespeare Challenge

March 25, 2015 at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto

Purchase a ticket for the Shakespeare Challenge Gala Fundraiser and join us for:

  • An abridged version of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errorsperformed by a cast of courageous community members! (We have opened new spots in the cast, and the deadline to register is January 9th! Find out how to register here.)
  • Food, drink, and live music following the show!
  • A live and silent auction of fabulous items and packages!
  • The chance to give youth in priority neighborhoods across Toronto access to the arts through our subsidized ticket program!

hamlet-stage-photo

On the Mainstage: Hamlet

April 13-24, 2015

Our most recent production of Hamlet returns to the mainstage this Spring! This dreamlike production incorporates mask puppets and shadow play to create a visually rich and engaging show while staying true to Shakespeare’s text. Teen audiences will fall in love with our dark and brooding Hamlet as he perseveres to find the truth. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Visit our Hamlet page for prices and booking info!

shakespeare-meets-hip-hop-marcel-stewart

On Tour: Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop

May 4- May 15, 2015

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop is a vibrant, interactive presentation that demonstrates how modern hip-hop shares many similarities with the themeslanguage and rhythm used by Shakespeare. Both are full of poetry, word play and lyricism and both deal with what it is to be human.

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop brings alive the parallels between the world of the plays and their own contemporary experience. It’s the perfect complement to your in-class teaching of a specific play, in the beginning, in the middle or at the end. Visit our Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop page for booking info!

If you have any questions regarding our upcoming shows and events, please feel free to send us an e-mail, or call us at (416) 703-4881!

The Shakespeare Challenge: Deadline to register December 19!

Are you looking to make a difference in the lives of young people across Toronto? Time is running out to register for the Shakespeare Challenge, our annual fundraiser where corporate meets classical!

We are still looking for fearless community members that are willing to get on stage and perform an abridged version of The Comedy of Errors, all in the name of giving access to the arts to students in priority neighborhoods across Toronto!
All we ask of you is to attend rehearsals, and help us sell tickets to the show! Details can be found on our Shakespeare Challenge page.

Take a look at the video below, and find out how one of our past performers felt about her experience doing the challenge in 2012!

If you have any questions about the Shakespeare Challenge, please feel free to send us an e-mail, or give us a call at (416) 703-4881. If you would like to register, click on the registration button below!

Eventbrite - Shakespeare Challenge 2015- Performer Registration

Some New Faces at SIA

The SIA office has been busy preparing for the Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop tour and the Shakespeare Challenge, so we haven’t had the chance to formally introduce some new members to the team! We are happy to bring Steve Haviaras on as our Interim General Manager, and Kyle Villeneuve will be our Administrator/ Marketing Manager.

steve

Steve Haviaras

Steve Haviaras has been an arts administrator his entire career in Canada and the U.S. while serving in management, fundraising, marketing and communication roles for symphony orchestras, opera and theatre companies, conservatories and arts education organizations throughout North America. Also, as President of Arts Consulting International, Steve has been actively involved with numerous performing arts organizations, granting agencies and arts alliances as well as being a frequent lecturer on arts administration. Steve has dedicated his career to creating vibrant, relevant and self-sustaining arts organizations while also helping to further develop arts education, advocate for the arts and help nurture vibrant cultural communities. “ I am excited to be a part of Shakespeare In Action, working with its dedicated staff and supporters to help advance and promote the arts to young audiences and our community while contributing to the ongoing viability and growth of such a dynamic and worthwhile organization.”

kyle

Kyle Villeneuve

Kyle grew up in Ottawa, where he first got involved in performance in
school and community theatres. After studying theatre at Brock
University, Kyle moved to Toronto to chase a career in the arts. Kyle
has spent several years touring schools through out Southern Ontario,
as well as performing sketch comedy in various venues in Toronto. Kyle
blames his family and friends for encouraging the kind of behavior
that led him to a career in the arts.