Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop- Making a difference in the lives of students!

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

Students at Central Toronto Academy were inspired by the Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop performance, and found a way to combine Shakespeare and rap for their final Drama class project! Find out what they had to say about the show, and watch them rehearse!

The Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop tour will be back for the 2015/16 season! Visit our website or send an e-mail to for more info!

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:

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

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!

The Shakespeare Grammy Awards 2015

In honor of the 57th Annual Grammy Awards this weekend, we thought it would be fun to celebrate some of the great popular songs and albums that have been inspired by The Bard! Let’s have our own Shakespeare Grammy Awards!

Since phonographs (the device that the Grammy trophy design is based on) were not invented for another few hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, let’s name the award after a popular instrument from Shakespeare’s day…

The Golden Lute (or Luteys, for short), will honor songs across different genres that were influenced by Shakespeare’s plays, themes, and characters! here are the winners for 2015!


Cherish- Madonna

This song references Shakespeare with the lyrics “Romeo and Juliet, they never felt this way I bet,” and it is just too catchy to not love!


Hey There Ophelia- MC Lars (Featuring Gabe Saporta And Brett Anderson)

A rap retelling of Hamlet, with a focus on Ophelia. (Shakespeare and hip hop combined, what a great concept!)


Titus Andronicus Forever- Titus Andronicus

This song is deserving simply because they named the song AND their band after a Shakespeare play! The Bard’s influence is always with the band!


Love Story- Taylor Swift

We can only hope that the couple in this song does not meet the same demise as the original Romeo and Juliet!


Double Trouble- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

It is no secret that most of the SIA team loves everything to do with Harry Potter, but you must admit, one of the most famous spells of all time does fit perfectly with a movie about a school of magic!


The King Must Die- Elton John

“The King Must Die” is about a person falling out of power, and we all know that Shakespeare’s plays are full of characters that face similar situations, and for that reason, takes the top song award!


As You Like It- Barenaked Ladies

The Barenaked Ladies recorded an entire album inspired by As You Like It for the Stratford Festival 2005 season, which is a double Canadian win in our books!

That’s it for the 2015 Luteys. Congratulations to all of the winners! We shall end the show with one of Shakespeare’s most famous (and true) quotes about music:

If music be the food of love, play on.

Do you agree with the winners? What are some of your favorite Shakespeare inspired songs? Leave a comment and let us know!

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop- Touring May 4-15, 2015!

Shakespeare in Action’s popular touring interactive production Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop is back for the Spring of 2015!

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

The presentation features three professional actors, thumb-nail sketches of Shakespeare’s life and times, and key scenes & speeches from Shakespeare’s most popularly studied plays – including Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet.

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.

This semester, help your students break through the Elizabethan language barrier with Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop!

For more information on the Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop interactive tour, or to book your school, visit our website!

Let’s Have a Shakespeare Halloween Party!

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays here at Shakespeare in Action. Witches, ghosts, magic, and dress up are all a huge part of the holiday. Many of the things that make Halloween great are also a huge part of Shakespeare’s works. In celebration of Halloween today, we are going to throw a Shakespeare themed Halloween party! Let’s go through our list of essentials…


For a Shakespeare themed Halloween party, it is mandatory that you come dressed as one of the many characters that Shakespeare created or wrote about in his plays. Here are some suggestions for couples/ duos, groups, and individuals to dress up as!

Couples/ Duos

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth



The Weird Sisters


Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Maria





The Ghost of King Hamlet


Julius Caesar


Shakespeare’s plays offer us a lot of room to work with when trying to come up with spooky decorations. Take inspiration from plays like Macbeth to create a scary environment for your guests. make sure you have a cauldron for the witches to brew their potions, lots of dry ice to add fog, and strobe lights to create lightning! Oh, and don’t forget to carve a jack-o-lantern!


A Bard-o-lantern for Halloween!


It is not hard to find references to food in Shakespeare’s plays. Characters often meet at meals and parties, so lots of great food and drinks are mentioned! Here are some inspiring quotes to help you plan your menu:

“Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used.”

Eight wild boars roasted whole at breakfast, but twelve persons there.
-Antony and Cleopatra

My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn I saw good strawberries in your garden there; I do beseech you send for some of them.
-Richard III

Finish the menu off with a great Shakespeare cake for dessert!



Finally, you will want to entertain your guests with some music inspired by Shakespeare! Here are some Shakespeare inspired tunes to help get your guests on the dance floor!

Now that we have everything we need, let’s party! Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone!

A Celebration of Shakespeare in Song – May 31st @ Little Trinity Church


Spring has sprung and it’s time to SING!  with the Toronto Vocal Arts Festival  — Friday, May 30 to Sunday, June 1, 2014; in and around the historic Distillery District.

SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival is the City’s first-ever a cappella festival. It’s a weekend full of cabaret, choir, sing-alongs, 80s karaoke, and much more!

On April 23, we celebrated Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. The festivities continue on Saturday, May 31 with Shall I Compare Thee? A Celebration of Shakespeare in Song. This performance will feature settings of Shakespearean text, popular musical works from that time period, and all things inspired by the great William Shakespeare.  Featured artists include: Driftwood Theatre Co. (original a cappella theatre), Betamax (a cappella improv comedy), Toronto Northern Lights (award-winning barbershop chorus), Cantemus Singers (Early Music Choral Ensemble), The SING! Festival Singers, and Cawthra Park Chamber Choir.

For full details and ticket information, please click here.