Shakespeare for kids

First Day of Camp in High Park

New this summer:  Shakespeare in Action has partnered with Canadian Stage and Shakespeare in High Park.  Our annual Shakespeare for Kids Summer camp will culminate in final performances on the High Park Community Stage.

 

Today was the first day in High Park! The campers got a chance to see the Shakespeare in High Park stage and check out the space we will be performing on. We rehearsed scenes in the space, picnicked for lunch, and the campers started creating a trailer for the show.

 

Joining us this week in the park is Gillian Murphy, the Youth and Outreach Coordinator at Canadian Stage. Today Gillian interviewed two actors at camp, Joel and Tanya, about the experience of being in the park, Shakespearen language, and their thoughts on their characters.

 

Gillian: So, this is your second week of camp! What were you up to last week?

 

Tanya: We got our characters last week, we played a lot of games, and went outside.

 

G: What’s different about being in the park versus the school?

 

Joel: Well the bathrooms are closer. It’s outside, and yeah that’s pretty much it.

 

G: Have you done Shakespeare in Action camp before?

 

J: No.

 

T: No, but I’ve been [to Shakespeare in High Park]. Last year I saw Hamlet and All’s Well That Ends Well

 

G: Did you know about Shakespeare before the camp?

 

J: Yah, my mom was really into it when I was like four, so then I grew into it. I went to a Shakespeare Camp at the library.

 

G: Cool! Have you acted in a Shakespeare play before?

 

J: No.

 

T: Ya. We did Romeo and Juliet at my school.

 

G: And, what are you playing in this show?

 

T: Sebastian, in the Tempest.

 

G: That’s awesome. What does Sebastian try to accomplish in the play?

 

T: To kill Alonso and Gonzalo because he wants to be king of Naples.

 

And what part do you play Joel?

 

J: The King of Naples, Alonso.

 

G: And what does Alonso want to accomplish in the play?

 

J: To find his lost son, Ferdinand.

 

G: So far, is Shakespeare different from any other acting you’ve done?

 

T: Yes, the words are different. It’s harder to understand because you don’t know what the words are.

 

G: How do you go about understanding them better?

 

T: We have a Shakespeare dictionary so we just search it up and find out what the word is. I think the Master’s first scene we searched up a word for her and that very sentence was in the dictionary.

 

G: What about you Joel, is the language the hardest part?

 

J: Not really. I sort of understand it. Compared to normal acting it’s really different.

 

G: Is it a fun different?

 

J: It’s a nice challenge.

 

G: If I was going to put this on the blog what would you want people to know about your first day in the park?

 

T: It is fun and very interesting. We finally saw the stage, we actually get fresh air, and our whole class doesn’t have to go to the washroom together.

 

J: It’s very nice.

 

T: They should come to the camp!

 

J: And every single show!

 

G: And pay lots of money?

 

J: Yah.

 

Come Catch our Groundlings (age 7 – 10) perform The Tempest on the High Park Community Stage on Friday July 14th at 2:30PM!    If interested, RSVP to education@shakespeareinaction.org.

High Park Community Stage is located on the Shakespeare in High Park premises, beside the High Park Amphitheatre.

Let the 2015/16 Season Begin!

Shakespeare in Action is back in action after a restful summer break, and we are ready to bring you another great season for the 2015/16 school year! Whether you are looking to bring The Bard to your classroom, or your entire school, Shakespeare in Action has a program to meet your needs. Take a look below to read about all of the great things we have in store for the next year!

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop– School Tour, Nov 23- Dec 4, 2015 and April 18- May 6, 2016

shakespeare-meets-hip-hop-tour

Returning for the 2015/16 season by popular demand, Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop is avibrant, 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.

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 website for more information, or to book your school today!

Masterclass Workshops– Available from September- July! 

In the Classroom: - Workshops & Residencies - September - July Photo: SIA

  • 75-minute exploration of any Shakespeare play.
  • An opportunity to work with an experienced actor-educator who visits your school.
  • A chance for students to be on their feet, exploring the text through voice and movement exercises.
  • For Kindergarten – Grade 12, up to 30 students per workshop.
  • Programs available for ELL, ESL/EDL students.

For more information, or to book a workshop, please visit our website!

Suddenly Shakespeare– Tour, April 4-15, 2016

suddenly-shakespeare-banner

Shakespeare in Action brings Kim Selody’s sparking production of Suddenly Shakespeare to your school in the Spring of 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. Make this a must see culture event for your students in the spring of 2016!

Visit our website to find out how to reserve your spot today!

School Residencies– Available from September- June!

shakespeare-in-action-residency-program

  • An in-depth study of a Shakespeare play over several weeks.
  • An opportunity to work with a professional actor-educator who visits your school.
  • An interactive and dynamic approach to Shakespeare that gets students on their feet and exploring the story.
  • For Kindergarten – Grade 12, up to 30 students per Residency.

Fore more information, or to book a residency, please visit our Residencies page!

TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club– Fall, Winter, and Spring Sessions

td-shakespeare-for-kids-library-club-1

  • free readers’ theatre program for kids ages 7-12
  • Magic, witches, ghosts, silly mix-ups, and swordplay in some of the greatest stories ever told!
  • Explore plays such as The Comedy of ErrorsMacbethA 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.
  • Up to 24 participants per session.

Check our website for dates and locations!

The Shakespeare Challenge– April 6, 2016

The twins meet. Egeon re-unites with his sons, Antipholus...and Antipholus.

For the past four years, community members from the corporate sector fearlessly took to the stage in productions of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s DreamThe TempestTwelfth Night, and The Comedy of Errors 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.

Play announcement and registration information coming soon! Check our website for updates!

Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids and Young Company for Teens Summer Training Program

The Cast!

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 own Shakespeare production for parents, extended family, and friends!

The cast and directing team!

Teens will participate in 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.

For more information, please visit the Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids or Young Company for Teens page on our website!

TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club- Spring Session Taking Registrations!

– TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club - Jump for Shakespeare! Photo: SIA

– TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club – Jump for Shakespeare! Photo: SIA

Do your kids need a little drama in their life?

Well, Shakespeare will turn 450 (!) this April – what better way to celebrate than by joining the TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club!

This is a FREE readers’ theatre program for children ages 7-12.

Witches, ghosts, potions, magic, and humour!

Led by professional actors and educators, kids explore plays like Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tempest, Comedy of Errors, and Henry IVth. They read aloud, play drama games, get a head start on high school, and make friends with other Shakespeare fans.

The program runs for 6 Saturdays at 10 Toronto Public Library branches. The Spring session starts Saturday, April 5th. Register early at participating branches. Please see below!

SPRING

Saturdays from:
April 5 – May 10, 2014

Morning (10am – 12pm)

Afternoon (2pm-4pm)

td-bank-logotoronto-public-library-logoshakespeare-in-action-logo

TD Bank Group and Shakespeare for Kids- Celebrating 8 years together!

Shakespeare
 in 
Action 
is 
pleased
 to 
announce 
renewed 
support 
from
 TD
 Bank 
Group 
for 
the
 TD
 Shakespeare 
for
 Kids 
Library 
Club. 
Since 
2005,
 The 
TD
 Shakespeare 
for
 Kids
 Library 
Club,
 a 
literacy 
program
 for 
children 
aged 
7‐12, 
has
 been 
delivered
 in
 public
 libraries
 across
 Toronto.

td-shakespeare-for-kids-library-club

We 
are 
thrilled
 to
 support
 the 
TD 
Shakespeare
 for
 Kids 
Library
 Club
 as 
it 
places 
an
 emphasis
 on 
classic 
literary 
works 
that 
encourage 
reading 
and 
inspire 
the 
joy 
of
 learning,” said
 Alan 
Convery,
 Senior
 Manager,
 Community
 Relations,
 TD
 Bank
 Group.
 “We 
look 
forward
 to
 seeing
 this
 program
 continuing
 to
 grow.”

Developed
 by
 Shakespeare
 in 
Action
 Artistic
 Director 
Michael 
Kelly, 
in 
partnership
 with 
the 
Toronto Public Library,
 this
 FREE
 program 
has
 served
 over
 6000 
GTA
 children.
 This 
season,
 Shakespeare
 in
 Action
 is
 proud
 to
 announce
 that 30 
Toronto Public L
libraries
 will
 participate 
in 
the
 program 
from
 November
 2013
 through
 May
 2014.

The
 TD
 Shakespeare
 for 
Kids
 Library
 Club
 runs
 for 
six
 consecutive
 Saturdays
 and
 empowers
 children
 to 
learn 
through 
the 
arts.
 Shakespeare 
in
 Action
 assembles
 a
 team 
of 
highly
 trained
 and
 experienced
 actor‐educators 
to 
aid 
children 
in
 understanding 
Shakespeare’s 
poetic 
language.

I 
used
 to be
 shy,
 but
 now 
I 
feel 
like
 I’ve 
done 
something 
difficult 
and 
I 
feel 
more 
able 
to
 try 
new
 things,“
 says
 Mark,
 age
 12,
 a
 2012
 Library
 Club
 participant.

The 
program
 makes
 Shakespeare
 easy
 and 
fun
 and
 is 
so 
popular
 that
 retention 
rates
 are 
over 
90% 
in 
all 
30 
branches. 
Participants 
of 
the 
program 
read 
aloud 
from
 Shakespeare’s 
most 
famous 
works 
including 
Romeo 
and
 Juliet,
 The
 Tempest, 
A
 Midsummer
 Night’s
 Dream,
 Twelfth
 Night
 and
 Macbeth.
 Through
 their
 participation,
 children
 gain 
confidence 
and 
a 
deeper 
understanding
 of
 Shakespeare’s 
work.

This 
is 
what 
we’re 
all 
about,” 
said
 Shakespeare 
in
 Action
 Artistic
 Director, Michael
 Kelly,
 “Our
 mission
 of
 enhancing 
cultural 
literacy
 by
 bringing
 Shakespeare 
alive
 flourishes
 each 
and 
every 
time 
we 
deliver 
this 
program. 
I 
take 
my
 hat 
off 
to 
TD
 for 
 believing
 in 
the 
power 
of 
language 
and 
for 
their 
commitment 
to 
literacy.”

Registration
 for 
the 
2013/14‐ season 
is 
now 
open. 
For 
more 
information 
and
 a 
full
 schedule of 
participating 
Toronto Public Library 
locations, 
visit our TD Shakespeare for Kids page!

A Fun Photo Friday!

Introducing: the office antics of Shakespeare in Action!

With the school year almost done, we thought we’d share a few of the most memorable moments at the Shakespeare in Action office from the past year.

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Just imagine, if we can have this much fun in our office… how do kids and teens handle all the fun we throw at them in camp?

Register now for a guaranteed summer of fun- these testimonials say it all!

“We love Shakespeare. Thanks for the camp. It was fun. And that is the end.”
Nigel & Marielle Pynn-Coztes – Age 10 & 7

“I think its great fun, I’m more confident with everything” Jessie Marshall-Sheppard – age 8

“This camp was sweet I really enjoyed it. The costumes ruled.” Matthew Benedict – Age 10

Check out the Shakespeare Camp for Kids and Teens

Shakespeare’s Shorts Tour begins. So does winter.

Welcome winter, glad you showed up just in time for us to hit the road causing complications on the 401 and making it very tricky to get to Uxbridge.

With all the excitement around here lately, we almost forgot to tell you: we’re on tour right now!  As you are reading this, three fabulous actors of ours are touring schools in the GTA.  We’ve tweaked our scripts a bit since the fall and acquired some fantastic new face and so far it sounds like the results have been stellar.

Lisa Li, Joe Bucci, and Adam Seybold kick things off with our very own Central Commerce Collegiate crowd.

Shakespeare’s Shorts is out and about in the Junior and Senior Schools; it’s never too early to learn Shakespeare.  The idea behind this particular show is to introduce students to Shakespeare’s stories.  Because while we sometimes get lost in the language, the stories can be understood and identified by kids (and adults) of all ages.  In fact, the harder you look, the more likely you are to realize there is a Shakespeare story in everything, even those Saturday morning cartoons.

Nothing like a little sword fight to get the crowd going!

For our friends in the Secondary Schools, the same three versatile actors are performing Shakespeare Alive! As most of them have probably encountered Shakespeare in their studies, or will shortly do so, the aim in this show is to help them see how Shakespeare’s language translates to the English we use every day.  We get that the whole can be overwhelming, but if you can look at the pieces, you begin to be able to break it down.  And that is, after all, our goal.  By the end, we hope students will realize that the situations that come up in Shakespeare’s plays are not so far removed from their own lives!

“Lay on, Macduff!”

But more than anything, we hope students of all ages will leave both shows feeling like Shakespeare just might be a whole lot of fun!

 

Shakespeare for Kids: Library Club

Mark your calendars! This Saturday, February 6, a new session of our fabulous FREE library program is beginning.

Now in its fifth year, this program is open to children aged 7 – 12 at various branches throughout the city.  Each Saturday professional actors/teachers will provide new opportunities to explore the world of magic, wizards, potions, ghosts & witches in some of the greatest stories ever told!

This Saturday, you will find us at the following branches:

Morning (10am-12noon)
Burrows Hall
Gerrard/Ashdale
Pape/Danforth

Afternoon (2pm-4pm)
Albert Campbell
Brookbanks
Centennial
Humberwood
Parkdale
Riverdale
St. Clair/Silverthorn

The program runs on Saturdays from February 6-March 13. It is FREE to participants.  Register at your local branch! And if you don’t see your branch on the list, we may be coming your way in our third session…