education

Celebrate Black History Month- Black Actors in Shakespearean Roles

We are currently in the middle of celebrating Black History Month, and all of the important contributions that black men and women have made to the world. We wanted to share with you a list of some of our favourite actors who have tackled Shakespeare over the years. Here are just a few of the actors that we admire (we know this list could be much longer, so please share your favourites with us!)

 

Ira Aldridge

aldridge-othello

Ira Aldridge was an American-born Shakespearean actor who had a lengthy acting career, playing some of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, including Macbeth and Richard III. Most notably, in the 1820’s, he was the first black Shakespearean actor to play Othello, a black character. Met with much resistance, Aldridge continued to perform in the role, touring to many places across Europe, receiving acclaim for his acting. If you would like to learn more about Ira Aldridge’s life and career, you can check out his page on Biography.com or Wikipedia!

 

Condola Rashad

The-Trip-to-Bountiful-Condola-Rashad

Condola Rashad is an American-born Broadway actress who has recently risen to fame on the stage. In 2013, she appeared in the Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet, the first Broadway production of the play since 1977. Condola starred as one of the titular characters, opposite Orlando Bloom as Romeo. The show was a modernization of the play, featuring an all white Montague family and an all black Capulet family. We look forward to seeing what projects she takes on next! To read more about Condola, you can visit her Wikipedia page!

 

James Earl Jones

james-earl-jones

James Earl Jones is an American Actor who is famous for portraying the voices of some of the most iconic film characters in recent memory, which I am sure I will not need to tell you! He is also a veteran of the stage, acting in Shakespearean productions since the 1950’s. Some of his most notable roles include Othello in Othello, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. To read more about James and his lengthy career, you can visit his page on Biography.com!

 

Noma Dumezweni

noma-dumezweni

Noma Dumezweni was born in Swaziland, and is an Olivier Award winning British actress. Her name has made headlines recently after the announcement was made that she would be portraying Hermione Granger in the upcoming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child plays (which we are super excited for, by the way!) Noma has also made many appearances on stage with The Royal Shakespeare Company since the late 90’s, including playing Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing, Paulina in The Winter’s Tale, and Calphurnia in Julius Caesar. To read more about Noma’s career, check our her Wikipedia page!

 

The Cast of Voodoo Macbeth

1,000 Views from 100 Years

Voodoo Macbeth was a 1936 production of Macbeth that took place on a fictional Caribbean island instead of Scotland. Directed by a young Orson Welles, this production featured a cast of all black actors, which was unheard of at the time. The show ended up being a huge box office success, and has had several revivals over the years. To read more about the show, visit the Voodoo Macbeth Wikipedia page!

 

Paul Robeson

Paul_Robeson_1942_crop

Paul Robeson was an American born actor, and was the first black actor of the 20th century to portray Othello on Broadway, and the first in Britain since Ira Aldridge played the role in the previous century. The Broadway production of Othello is still to this day one of the longest running Shakespearean productions to ever be on Broadway, running for nearly 300 performances!

 

Marcel Stewart

IMG_0173

Marcel Stewart is one of Shakespeare in Action’s very own! He has appeared in our most recent productions of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, and is one of the brilliant minds behind our popular Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop tour! Check out a video of him performing below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Job Posting- Producer

The Organization

Shakespeare in Action, Ontario’s Leading Shakespeare Education Company for Young Audiences since 1988, is searching for a producer. We are a multi-racial repertory theatre company that produces yearly programming. We are dedicated to fostering literacy, enhancing creativity and promoting speech arts by making the language and stories of Shakespeare relevant to young audiences, families, schools and communities.

 

Producer: Full time – Contract Position

Salary starting at $800.00 weekly

 

Job Description:                    

Reporting to The Board of Directors and the Artistic Director, the Producer will lead our administrative, educational and fundraising strategies.

 

We are looking for a highly organized, motivated individual with a passion for classical theatre, youth, education, and community partnerships. Candidates should have expansive knowledge of Canadian Theatre, theatre for young audiences and theatre in education specifically, with exceptional written and oral communication skills, acuity in financial management, experience in managing staff and volunteers and experience in fundraising.

 

Working closely with the Artistic Director, the Producer will:

  • Write and lead strategies for securing grants, foundation asks and corporate sponsorship pitches.
  • Assist to coordinate our unique fundraising events.
  • Manage and support contract and production staff with Artist Director
  • Supervise and mentor our team of outstanding interns and volunteers.
  • Liaise with stakeholders including the TAPA, PACT, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Public Library, TD Bank and other corporate supporters to deliver programs and nurture the company’s strategic growth.
  • Work with the Artistic Director to build new community partnerships to broaden our mandate and strengthen our revenue base.
  • Liaise with the CAEA to ensure Equity contract compliance.
  • Coordinate the company’s marketing and outreach strategies to build new audiences
  • Participate in creative planning, business planning and development and with the Artistic Director
  • Assist to manage development of the Board of Directors including distribution of agendas and minutes
  • Manage individual project budgets and reports
  • Assist Artistic Director to manages annual audit and charity law compliance
  • Assist Artistic Director to manage website and execute changes

 

Job Requirements.

The successful applicant will have:

  • A post-secondary degree in a relevant field, with a minimum of 5 years experience in theatre production, arts administration, management and fundraising.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, with experience in writing copy for grants, fundraising and marketing.
  • Working knowledge of the CTA.
  • Experience in recruiting and supervising staff, contract employees and volunteers.
  • Experiencing in successfully managing fundraising events.
  • The ability to work flexible hours
  • A deep commitment to theatre for young audiences, education and community partnerships
  • A keen entrepreneurial spirit
  • Patience and a sense of humour!

 

Desirable skills include:

  • Proficiency in photoshop, in-design and illustrator, with experience in designing marketing materials.
  • Experience working in the theatre, arts management, production and arts-in-education.
  • Conversational French is an advantage, but not essential.

 

Shakespeare in Action is an equal opportunity employer, with a deep commitment to reflecting the vibrant cultural diversity of our city in our creative and administrative team.

 

Application process:

  • Applicants are asked to please email a cover letter and resume info@shakespeareinaction.org
  • Applications will be accepted until February 26th.

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!

 

Welcome Jeanine to the SIA team!

We are happy to introduce to you our new Education and Outreach Coordinator, Jeanine Thrasher to the SIA team. Keep reading to find out a little more about her!

 

I am the newest addition to the Shakespeare in Action Family! Hailing from Saskatchewan, I have found myself in Toronto this New Year and am happy to have found a home doing exactly what I am passionate about.

After encountering theatre in high school it has continued to inspire me throughout the years and led to my completion of a BFA in Acting at the University of Saskatchewan. It was in that program that I fell in love with Shakespeare and became enthralled with why he remained so relevant in modern culture. After graduation I said goodbye to the flatlands and prairies and headed to the Berkshires in Massachussets to pursue further studies in Shakespeare performance at Shakespeare and Company in their conservatory program.

There I was introduced to Fall Festival, a 10-week program that brought 10 schools together to perform 10 of Shakespeare’s plays for over 500 of their peers. Over 10 weeks I was able to witness the transformative power of Shakespeare in youth. It was through that encounter that I knew I would forever be involved in youth theatre and now here I am!

My production credits include Associate Artist with Embrace Theatre, Co-Producer of Shakespeare’s Macbeth- Abridged for students, and touring two Fringe plays for families in Saskatchewan provincial parks, and several student productions. Most recent acting credits include Malcolm/Porter/Lady Macduff/Others in Macbeth, Alice in Mexico City by Hannah Moscovitch, and Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare and Company.

I spend my free time seeing local theatre, reading, baking copious amounts of cookies, teaching swimming lessons, and adventuring in the outdoors!

I look forward to serving the GTA and its students and families!

Shakespeare in Action is going on tour!

This spring, Shakespeare in Action is excited to hit the road and travel across Ontario, performing two exciting shows for students of all ages! To have one of these fantastic shows come to your school, please visit our website, call us at (416) 703-4881, or e-mail info@shakespeareinaction.org!

 

Suddenly Shakespeare– April 4-15, 2016

This hour long performance brings four of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays –Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Macbeth and Twelfth Night – to life for children ages five to seventy-five. Featuring music, dance, and physical comedy, the performance is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for young audiences.

Dates: April 4-15, 2016
Duration: 60 minutes.
Price: $675 + HST (BOOK 2 SHOWS AND SAVE!)
Location: Your classroom, school theatre or gymnasium.
Maximum 250 students per session. Ideal for Grades 1-8!

For more information on Suddenly Shakespeare, visit our website!

 

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop– April 18- May 6, 2016

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.

Dates: April 18- May 6, 2016
Duration: 75 minutes.
Price: $675 + HST (BOOK 2 SHOWS AND SAVE!)
Location: Your classroom, school theatre or gymnasium.
Maximum 250 students per session. Ideal for grades 6-12

For more information on Suddenly Shakespeare, visit our website!

Job Posting- Interim Administrator

Shakespeare in Action is looking to hire an Interim Administrator! See details below.

 

Job Description:                    

Reporting to The Board of Directors and the Artistic Director, the Interim Administrator will lead our administrative, educational and fundraising strategies for a period of 6 months, with the possibility of contract extension after such time.

We are looking for a highly organized, motivated individual with a passion for classical theatre and youth. Candidates should have expansive knowledge of Canadian Theatre, specifically Theatre in Education, with exceptional written and oral communication skills, acuity in financial management, experience in managing staff and volunteers and experience in fundraising.

Key Responsibilities:

Working closely with the Artistic Director, the Interim Administrator will:

  • Manage the daily operation of the Shakespeare in Action offices, including management of master calendar and email accounts.
  • Oversee finances, and manage yearly and individual project budgets, annual audits and, CRA remittances charity law compliance, as well as daily banking, bill payments and deposits.
  • Hire and supervise office/administrative and production staff, in partnership with with Artistic Director.
  • Coordinate Board meetings, including distribution of agendas and minutes.
  • Assist to manage development of the Board of Directors.
  • Manage the writing, submission and final reporting of grants from a variety of granting bodies.
  • Coordinate and manage Shakespeare in Actions Fundraising events, including overseeing call campaigns, managing donations, and ensuring receipts/thank you letters sent.
  • Coordinate and manage marketing and call campaigns
  • Take a leading role in strategizing and executing fundraising requests, devise and lead individual donor strategy plan, and draft and distribute foundation asks and corporate sponsorship pitches.
  • Research and implement strategies for new revenue generation.
  • Liaise with stakeholders including the TAPA, PACT, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Public Library and Central Toronto Academy to deliver programs and nurture the company’s strategic growth.
  • Liaise with the CAEA to ensure Equity compliance and manage actor contracts.
  • Maintain statistical information and perform data entry
  • Oversee and manage company website
  • Participate in creative planning, and
  • Supervise and mentor our team of outstanding interns and volunteers

 

Job Requirements.

The successful applicant will have:

  • A post-secondary degree in a relevant field, with a minimum of 5 years experience in arts administration, preferably management.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, with experience in writing copy for grants, fundraising and marketing.
  • Working knowledge of the CTA and CAEA.
  • Experience in recruiting and supervising staff, contract employees and volunteers.
  • Experiencing in successfully managing fundraising events.
  • The ability to work flexible hours
  • A deep commitment to theatre for young audiences, and
  • Patience and a sense of humour!

Desirable skills include:

  • Proficiency in Photoshop, in-design and illustrator, with experience in designing marketing materials.
  • Experience working in an educational or school setting.
  • Conversational French is an advantage, but not essential.

Shakespeare in Action is an equal opportunity employer, with a deep commitment to reflecting the vibrant cultural diversity of our city in our creative and administrative team.

Application process:

  • Applicants are asked to please email a cover letter and resume to info@shakespeareinaction.org
  • Applications will be accepted until the position is filled

Featured Intern- Meet Gillian!

Hello!
 
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 🐕.