Songs for Shakespearience- A fundraiser from our friends at The Shakespearience Group!

Our friends at Shakespearience are having their first annual fundraiser, Songs for Shakespearience!


The Shakespearience Group is preparing its summer season, and we’d like to expand! We are hoping to perform again at The Flounder Festival, here in Burlington, as well as at another local venue (TBA) and this time we’d like to go big (and not go home!). We’d like to introduce Youth Programming this summer at a local venue, as well as Masterclasses for 16+, and we’re planning on not only adding a few more adult thespians to our troupe, but creating an all-new entirely youth-cast to our production!

That’s right folks! We’re creating a great big Shakespeare family this summer – and we need your help! Promoting these shows, generating props and costumes, paying for rental spaces and production venues is pricey – and being the young company that we are, we need some extra help from our friends and fans!

We’d like you to join us for …

Songs for Shakespearience : A Fundraiser

Sunday March 8, 2015

2pm – Mocktails and Silent Song Auction
2:30pm – Curtain

Orchards Uptown Clubhouse
2025 Appleby Line,
Burlington, Ont.
L7L 7G8

Suggested Donation $15

What’s Happening?

The Shakespearience Group & Friends will be presenting a Family Friendly Showcase Recital as well as a Silent Song Auction.

What’s a Silent Song Auction you ask?

Well, it’s basically like a regular silent auction only you’ll be bidding on a performer to serenade you (or your loved one) with a song of your choosing (from our songbook) that the performer has never sung before… Which should make for some entertaining performances, and quick thinking! All in the spirit of Original Practices, where Shakespearean actors only received their cue lines and cut parts a day before the show, we’ve cut this timing down to learning a song only an hour before you perform it… Let the improvisation prevail!

The Shakespearience Group will be providing Mocktails, and other non-alcoholic beverages (including specialty coffees) for a small donation. There will be a food/snack table as well, no donation required.

The Shakespearience Group & Friends will be performing 2 full sets of show tunes, classical repertoire, and more with guest performances by:

Miranda MacDonald’s Show Choir
Welsh Tenor Gwyndaff Jones

The Shakespearience Group & Friends Performers include:

Kelly Baker
Skyla Baker
Sara Black
Tristan Alexander Emmanuel
Jeff Fox
Miranda MacDonald
Marlene Matos-Jones
Lauren Shepherd

Hosted by our very own Kyle Villeneuve, Songs for Shakespearience should prove to be a wonderful afternoon for the entire family! Help Shakespearience make a big splash in Burlintgon this Summer!

RSVP to the event here!

Shakespeare at the Movies- The Muppets

Since the 1950’s, Jim Henson and Co. have been delighting children and adults alike with their band of Muppets!
The Muppets have appeared in many movies and have had several television shows since their debut, constantly making reference to Shakespeare and other important literary figures along the way.
Since Kermit and the rest of The Muppets are back on the big screen this week, let’s take a look at some of the nods to Shakespeare over the years!

Monsterpiece Theatre appeared on Sesame Street, and featured Cookie Monster introducing skits based on some of the great literary classics! Shakespeare’s work appeared in this segment several times.

A segment on The Muppet Show called Veterinarian’s Hospital tried to find out how many Shakespeare references can fit into a minute and a half.

Patrick Stewart appeared on Sesame Street and pondered the age old question- “B… Or not a B?”

The Muppet Show had many panel discussions during its run. One of the more important topics discussed; Was William Shakespeare, in fact, bacon?

Garth Brooks made some Shakespearean modifications to the duet he planned on doing with Miss Piggy during a taping of Muppets Tonight.

I know we haven’t even begun to list all of the Shakespeare references in the Muppets’ work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some more on your own! Which Shakespeare reference is your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids- A Family Tradition

Shakespeare in Action’s Sonnets by Kids program has been bringing the bard to poetry-lovers everywhere for three years’ worth of Valentine’s Days now. As the big day draws closer once again, and our Sonnet Kids make their final preparations to spout sonnets to your sweeties, we wanted to take some time to reflect on how this program has touched the lives of everyone who participates in it: from the kids who read the sonnets, to the patrons who give the gift of poetry to their loved ones, to the volunteers and staff here at Shakespeare in Action who make the program a reality.

Alania Weisdorf has purchased Sonnets by Kids for her loved ones every year since the program’s inception. We asked Alania what the program means to her:

“With regards to my story, we got married at Toronto City Hall and Sonnet 116 was read at the end of the ceremony. Then a few years back, sometime in February, the National Post featured an article on gift ideas for Valentine’s and that’s how I found out about Sonnets by Kids. Since then, it has become a tradition in our family. To me, the message in the sonnet is a meaningful and lasting gift that I want to share with my family and friends.”

Sonnets by Kids has also had important impact on our Sonnet Kids. Every year in 30 different library branches across the GTA, SIA runs TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club, a free readers’ theatre program for young people. And every year we invite the most enthusiastic, the most excited, the most dedicated Library Club students to become Sonnet Kids. SIA’s education team works closely with the Sonnet Kids to teach them about Shakespeare’s sonnets: what the words mean, how the rhythm of the poetry flows, how best to deliver a line, etc.

We asked some of our Sonnet Kids what they liked about Library Club and Sonnet by Kids. Sonnet Kid Temina Tova (age 12) liked the programs because she was able to develop her acting skills, and learning Shakespeare’s plays and poetry gave her confidence at school.

The best part for Sonnet Kid Spencer (age 8) was being able to share the poems he had learned with his friends and family.

For Sonnet Kid Audrey (age 9), it was the fact that these programs united all of her passions:

“I love Library Club because I love acting, and I love reading, and I love libraries, and I love books, and I love Shakespeare, and other people.”

And in all this reflection, how could we not hear from the brains of the operation, our wonderful and dedicated Education Coordinator, Laboni?

“For me, the program celebrates poetry and kids!  I love meeting them, helping them learn, learning from them, and seeing their confidence build and build.  In the bigger picture, I enjoy linking all of our kids’ programming – TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club, Sonnets by Kids, and Summer Camp – to create a Shakespeare Family.  It’s special having these kids grow up with us and hearing their younger siblings say: ‘I want to learn Shakespeare too!’”

So, from our Shakespeare family to yours, happy Valentine’s Day!

Sonnets will be available for purchase until 5PM on February 13, so be sure to order yours now!

Shakespeare at the Movies- The Lego Movie

Since The Lego Movie is coming out this Friday (and looks completely awesome,) let’s go through the cast and see who has done some Shakespeare related work!
If you see the movie this weekend, be sure to keep an eye out for The Bard himself!


Morgan Freeman (Vitruvius)

Appeared in:

  • Coriolanus (New York Shakespeare Festival, 1979) as Coriolanus
  • Julius Caesar (New York Shakespeare Festival, 1979) as Casca
  • The Taming of the Shrew (New York Shakespeare Festival, 1990) as Petruchio


Keegan-Michael Key (Foreman Jim)

Appeared in:

  • The Second City’s Romeo and Juliet Musical: The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet (Second City, 2004) as Romeo


Liam Neeson (Bad Cop/ Good Cop/ Pa Cop)

Appeared in:

  • Henry IV Part 1 (Lyric Players Theatre, 1976) as Percy
  • The Winter’s Tale (Dublin’s Abbery Theatre, 1979)


Jorma Taccone (William Shakespeare)

Appeared in:

  • The Lego Movie (2014) as William Shakespeare


Channing Tatum (Superman)

Appeared in:

  • She’s the Man (2006) as Duke

Day of Delight @ Dufferin Grove Park – Sunday, June 16th!

- Clay & Paper Theatre's 11th Annual Day of Delight! -  Image: Barbara Klunder

– Clay & Paper Theatre –
Image: Barbara Klunder


We’re huge fans of puppetry and creative storytelling here at Shakespeare in Action!

This Sunday, June 16th, Clay & Paper Theatre presents its 11th annual Day of Delight: A Toronto Celebration of Love, Courtship, and Desire!

The event will take place in Dufferin Grove Park, from 2-5pm and is $10/Pay What You Can.  Founding Artistic Director, David Anderson, was kind enough to give a little more insight into the Day of Delight:


SIA:  What inspired you?  What is the Day of Delight story?

David:  I wanted to do a seasonal festival that played with the idea of rebirth and fecundity.  We also have a festival in the fall called Night of Dread.  Once we had Night of Dread – which looks and endings and death and our morality and which asks us to build images of our fears, to parade them, mock them, and laugh at them as a community – it was natural for me to think about its mirror festival in the spring.  And so, Day of Delight – a fanciful celebration of Spring, love, courtship, and desire in, with, and for Toronto – was born.

SIA:  there are some enormous puppets in this celebration! What are some materials and method that you and your team used to build them?

David:  We typically build our puppets by sculpting them in clay, then using paper mache on top of the clay sculpture.  We also sometimes build puppets out of cardboard.

SIA:  The theme is “Celebrating Mother Earth.”  Without giving anything away, what can attendees expect to experience?

David:  This year’s theme is celebrating Mother Earth herself, how Toronto rests in her bosom, and how lovers love her in our beautiful city.  Attendees can expect to be delighted by art installations and theatre, dance and musical performances, happening all around the park by 12 spectacular Toronto companies and solo artists.  Creative offerings will range from a singing picture show (also known as a song-story, or “flippy,” or cantastoria) exploring the hidden rivers and creeks beneath our feet; to a trio of Thai dancers reminding us of the universality of love and that we are all on Earth together; to a chorus of Ukrainian folk songs celebrating the transition from spring to summer;, to an installation inviting visitors to sit back, relax, and reflect on the beauty and love surrounding them at Dufferin Grove Park.


The event will feature music, art, dance, and theatre by:

  • Ahna DiFelice and YOU!
  • Broulala
  • Coyote Collective
  • Ekakshara Dance Creations
  • Iana Komarnytska, independent dance artist
  • Kosa Kolektiv
  • Max Kelly from More of Everything
  • MTM Collective
  • sandra Henderson
  • Toronto Thai Dramatic Arts Troupe
  • Viktor Lukawski



Day of Delight
Hosted by Clay & Paper Theatre
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Dufferin Grove Park
Website – click here.
Facebook – click here.

Dundas West Fest – Saturday, June 8th!

- Inaugural Dundas West Fest - Saturday, June 8, 2013 11am - 10pm Dundas West, between Lansdowne Avenue & Roxton Road

– Inaugural Dundas West Fest –
Saturday, June 8, 2013
11am – 10pm
Dundas West, between Lansdowne Avenue & Roxton Road
To learn more, click here.


It’s all about community!

This Saturday, June 8th marks the inaugural Dundas West Fest – between Lansdowne Avenue & Roxton Road, from 11am to 1pm!  It’s…

…a car-free, participatory, community-inspired celebration of everything local!

There will be…

  • art & art-making
  • bartering
  • buskers
  • comedy
  • dance & dance lessons
  • food
  • kids’ zones
  • literature
  • live music
  • photography
  • shopping

Fun for the whole family – rain or shine!

This event is a collaboration between the Dundas West BIA and Little Portugal BIA, with support from Councillors Bailão (Ward 18) and Layton (Ward 19), and with support from many local organizations and residents.

For more information and a full event schedule, visit the website below!


Website – click here.
Facebook – click here.
Twitter – click here.