Introducing: Claire, Administrative and Production Intern

I am very excited to take part in Shakespeare in Action’s internship program for Arts Administration and Production! I believe the 2014/2015 season will be a thrilling one and hope to further improve my skills in fundraising, marketing, outreach programs and general administration.
Originally from St. Catharines, ON, I am a graduate of the Dalhousie University 2010 Acting and Theatre Programme. I had resided in Halifax for six years where I became involved in it’s theatre community. This experience includes both writing, directing and performing in various independent theatre productions as well as arts administration. I now live in Toronto where I hope to further build my career in Theatre.
More recently, I have developed a genuine appreciation for beer. I currently work at Steam Whistle Brewing within their Events, Promotions and Retail. I am, also, the creator and owner of Bark n’ Barley, an all natural dog biscuit brand made with Steam Whistle Brewing’s spent barley grain.
In my spare time, I love reading at various coffee shops around the city, walking our dog, baking, frequenting cinemas and theatres, and discovering the endless films, documentaries and tv series on Netflix. Thank you Shakespeare in Action for inviting me to the team. Cheers!

Introducing: Taryn, Administrative and Production Intern

I am thrilled to be a part of Shakespeare in Action this season, interning at the wonderful office at 570 Shaw St.  Walking through the halls of Central Toronto Academy, I became nostalgic from the memories of volunteering with the company a few years ago assisting in their Teen Summer Camp. We put on As You Like It with a wonderful bunch of students, one’s in which inspired me with their sense of play, excitement and passion for the arts. Little did I know that a few years later I would be here again taking a new role in the company by honing new skills in administration and education.

I have been a theatre artist for quite some time working with different companies as an actor and director. I have learned many things along the way from many brilliant artists and am now looking to take a new perspective in how a company begins to get the production to the audience.

In taking this new position in the arts, it has really opened my eyes to the amount of team work and creativity that is involved behind the stage reaching out to educational institutions, companies and other organizations to get them involved and excited not only in what this company does but in the arts in general.

The reason for my craving for this administrative knowledge is due to the evolving trend in audience outreach. The tradition of the relaxed patron coming to sit in their seat and calmly watch the drama unfold, letting it wash over them, like they are watching a moving painting, are out dated.

Audiences seem to be searching for more engagement, more involvement and being a part of the production from the moment they walk in the theatre and even after they have gone home. How can we stimulate, engage and include them as part of the production on a more effective level?

A great start is seeing how the Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop program unfolds and how engaged the kids can become with this brilliant idea. Taking a medium that they are familiar with and educating and comparing the works and language of Shakespeares with that of modern poetry is such an exciting endeavor to see how the students become stimulated, engaged and involved.

Glad to see be a part of this new outreach!!

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 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 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.

The Shakespeare Challenge 2015- Registration is open!


The 2014 cast of Twelfth Night
Photo Credit: Jim Goad

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 subsidized ticket program. Their generosity has helped to foster literacy, enhance creativity and promote speech arts for youth at risk in Toronto’s priority neighborhoods.

This year, we are looking for a group of courageous community members to volunteer their time to rehearse and perform an abridged version of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved tales of mistaken identity, The Comedy of Errors, at the Historic Arts and Letters Club of Toronto.

Upon registration, each champion will make a tax deductible deposit of $100.00, and will commit to attending scheduled rehearsals, selling a minimum of 8 tickets to the final performance on March 25, 2015.

To register, click on the Register Now button below! The deadline to register to December 19, 2014.
Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Eventbrite - Shakespeare Challenge 2015- Performer Registration

Rehearsals for the Shakespeare Challenge will take place on Tuesday nights from 6:30- 9:30PM on the following dates:

  • January 20, 2015
  • January 27, 2015
  • February 3, 2015
  • February 10, 2015
  • February 24, 2015
  • March 3, 2015
  • March 10, 2015
  • March 17, 2015
  • March 24, 2014 (Dress Rehearsal)
  • March 25, 2014 (Final Show)

Rehearsal space TBD

If you would like for information about joining the Shakespeare Challenge 2015, or would like to find out how else you can get involved, please visit the Shakespeare Challenge page, or send us an e-mail!

Opera Atelier- Last Chance to See Alcina!

Opera Atelier’s Alcina has been lauded by critics as “brilliant”, “splendid” and “very compelling”.


Only two shows remain! Don’t miss your chance to see this magic Handel masterpiece, full of “fabulous singing and inventive staging” (Toronto Star).

Tickets start at just $38!

Visit operaatelier.com to purchase your tickets today. But hurry, the show closes this Saturday!

Shakespeare Elections 2014

On October 27, 2014, voters from across Ontario will head to the polls to elect Mayors, Councillors, and Trustees. We have decided to have our own Shakespeare-themed election! Four candidates from Shakespeare’s plays are vying for your vote in the great Shakespeare election! Here are the profiles of the candidates:


Name: Cleopatra

Relevant experience: Ruled as the Queen of Egypt

Thoughts on transparency:

Cleopatra certainly has a history of hiding the truth, if only to protect her own interests and assets.

This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels I am possessed of. ’Tis exactly valued, Not petty things admitted. Where’s Seleucus?
SELEUCUS Here, madam.
CLEOPATRA This is my treasurer. Let him speak, my lord, Upon his peril, that I have reserved To myself nothing.Speak the truth, Seleucus.
SELEUCUS Madam, I had rather seal my lips Than to my peril speak that which is not.
CLEOPATRA What have I kept back?
SELEUCUS Enough to purchase what you have made known.
CAESAR Nay, blush not, Cleopatra. I approve Your wisdom in the deed.

Thoughts on the environment:

Cleopatra really only loves the earth as long as Antony is in it.

Noblest of men, woo’t die? Hast thou no care of me? Shall I abide In this dull world, which in thy absence is No better than a sty? O see, my women, The crown o’ th’ earth doth melt. My lord!

Thoughts on income and wealth: Cleopatra is obviously wealthy, but she seems to be generous with all of her riches.

(to SCARUS ) I’ll give thee, friend, An armor all of gold. It was a king’s.

CLEOPATRA (giving money) There’s gold for thee. Thou must not take my former sharpness ill. I will employ thee back again; I find thee Most fit for business. Go make thee ready; Our letters are prepared.

Why it might not work: Death due to a snake bite


Name: Henry IV

Relevant experience: Ruled as King of England

Thoughts on transparency: Everyone around King Henry IV was deceiving and secretly plotting against each other, and the King himself did not rise to the throne under the most noble circumstances, so he may be willing to call someone out on their deception, but he still has his own secrets.

KING You have deceived our trust And made us doff our easy robes of peace To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel. This is not well, my lord; this is not well.

Thoughts on the environment:
King Henry IV was very busy defending his kingdom, but he did manage to make note of the damage caused to the field in England by the battles that were happening.

KING No more the thirsty entrance of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children’s blood. Nor more shall trenching war channel her fields, Nor bruise her flow’rets with the armed hoofs Of hostile paces.

Thoughts on income and wealth: As rich as the King is, he knows that if he is not well, he cannot enjoy the good things that happen to him, and compares it to wealthy people going to a feast with no appetite.

KING She either gives a stomach and no food–Such are the poor, in health—or else a feast And takes away the stomach—such are the rich, That have abundance and enjoy it not.

Why it might not work: Death due to illness


Name: Julius Caesar

Relevant experience: Ruled as Dictator of Rome

Thoughts on transparency: Though Caesar may need to be secretive in his work on the battlefield, he has no problem being honest with his colleagues when he decides to take the day off work.

DECIUS Caesar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Caesar.
I come to fetch you to the senate house.

CAESAR And you are come in very happy time
To bear my greeting to the senators
And tell them that I will not come today.
“Cannot” is false, and that I dare not, falser.
I will not come today. Tell them so, Decius.

CALPHURNIA Say he is sick.

CAESAR Shall Caesar send a lie?
Have I in conquest stretched mine arm so far
To be afraid to tell graybeards the truth?

Thoughts on the environment: When Antony read Caesar’s will after his death, it was revealed that Caesar (or possibly Antony) left his private gardens and orchards to the people, so Caesar did seem to be a fan of having and maintaining green space!

ANTONY Also, he’s left you all his walkways—in his private gardens and newly planted orchards—on this side of the Tiber River. He’s left them to you and to your heirs forever—public pleasures in which you will be able to stroll and relax. Here was a Caesar! When will there be another like him?

Thoughts on income and wealth: Caesar was born into a noble family, but became an incredibly wealthy man during his time in the army. During his rise to power, Caesar brought many beneficial economic reforms to Rome, which Antony was quick to point out after his death.

ANTONY He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.

Why it might not work: Death due to stabbing


Name: Macbeth

Relevant experience: Ruled as King of Scotland

Thoughts on transparency:
Macbeth found himself in the middle of a murder plot with his wife, and obviously no one could know about it, or it would ruin his chances of becoming King.

LADY MACBETH Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength to think
So brainsickly of things. Go get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there. Go carry them and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.

Thoughts on the environment:
During a confrontation with the Weird Sisters, Macbeth makes it clear that he has no problem with them destroying the world, as long as they gave him the answers he wanted.

MACBETH I conjure you by that which you profess–
Howe’er you come to know it—answer me.
Though you untie the winds and let them fight
Against the churches, though the yeasty waves
Confound and swallow navigation up,
Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown down,
Though castles topple on their warders’ heads,
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations, though the treasure
Of nature’s germens tumble all together,
Even till destruction sicken, answer me
To what I ask you.

Thoughts on income and wealth:
Macbeth was originally not thirsty for wealth, but certain outside influences caused changes in him that had negative consequences.

LADY MACBETH Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would, ”
Like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?

Why it might not work: Death due to Macduff

Now that we have the basic profiles for all of the candidates, it’s time to cast your vote!

Thanks for voting!

Now if you are old enough, make sure to head over to a real polling station and cast your vote today!

Where do you think these candidates would stand on transit issues? Leave a comment and let us know!

CONTEST- Win My Old Lady ROE Passes!

Hello dear SIA fans! To show you how thankful we are for all of you this Thanksgiving, we will be running a contest during the long weekend! Thanks to our great friends at DFilms, we have 5 Run of Engagement passes for My Old Lady, starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, and Kristin Scott Thomas!


Directed by famed playwright Israel Horovitz, “My Old Lady tells the story of Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline), a down-and-out New Yorker who travels to Paris to liquidate a huge and valuable apartment he has inherited from his estranged father. When he reaches his apartment in Paris he finds Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith), a refined old lady living in the apartment with her daughter, Chloe (Jane Birkin). He then discovers the romantic history between Mathilde and his father, a romance that lasted over half a century.”

To enter for your chance to win, just fill out the form below!

This contest is now CLOSED. Congratulations to all the winners!

*This contest is open to all residents of Ontario who are at least 18 years of age. Entries can be submitted until 11:59PM EST on Monday, October 13, 2014. Winners will be randomly selected and contacted via e-mail or phone to confirm mailing information.