Summer camp

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.

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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!

 

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!

Summer Camp – Day 19 – “Hamlet” (Teen Camp Show!)

The play in pictures – a mix of photos from the morning’s dress rehearsal and the final show:

- Young Co. for Teens -  L-R: 3 Lords, Laertes, Ophelia, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet.  King Claudius:

– Young Co. for Teens –
L-R: 3 Lords, Laertes, Ophelia, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet. King Claudius: “Though yet of Hamlet, our dear brother’s death, the memory be green…”

Horatio tells his good friend, Hamlet, about a Ghost: "A figure like your father, armed at point exactly, appears..."

Horatio tells his good friend, Hamlet, about a Ghost: “A figure like your father, armed at point exactly, appears…”

L-R: Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia.  Polonius blesses his son before his son leaves for France.

L-R: Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia. Polonius blesses his son before his son leaves for France.

L-R: Polonius and his daughter, Ophelia.  Ophelia: [Hamlet] hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me.

L-R: Polonius and his daughter, Ophelia. Ophelia: [Hamlet] hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me.”

L-R: Marcellus, Hamlet, Horatio see the Ghost and jump back. Hamlet:

L-R: Marcellus, Hamlet, Horatio see the Ghost and jump back. Hamlet: “Angels and ministers of grace defend us!”

L-R: Ghost of Hamlet Senior, Horatio, Hamlet, Marcellus - a photo taken from the balcony earlier in the week.

L-R: Ghost of Hamlet Senior, Horatio, Hamlet, Marcellus – a photo taken from the balcony earlier in the week.

The Ghost of Hamlet Senior speaks to Hamlet: "I am thy father's spirit...If thou didst ever thy dear father love, revenge his foul and most unnatural murder."  Hamlet feigns madness to seek out the truth.

The Ghost of Hamlet Senior speaks to Hamlet: “I am thy father’s spirit…If thou didst ever thy dear father love, revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” Hamlet feigns madness to seek out the truth.

L-R: Polonius and Ophelia, who describes her frightful encounter with Hamlet.

L-R: Polonius and Ophelia, who describes her frightful encounter with Hamlet.

L-R: Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude.  The King and Queen ask the two to find the cause of Hamlet's madness.

L-R: Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude. The King and Queen ask the two to find the cause of Hamlet’s madness.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Polonius, King Claudius.  Polonius reads Hamlet's love letter, , believing love to be the cause of Hamlet's madness.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Polonius, King Claudius. Polonius reads Hamlet’s love letter, believing love to be the cause of Hamlet’s madness.

Hamlet "reads." Note the orientation of the book.

Hamlet “reads.” Note the orientation of the book.

L-R: Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern.  Hamlet knows his friends are reporting to the King:

L-R: Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern. Hamlet knows his friends are reporting to the King: “I am but mad north-north-west…I know a hawk from a hand-saw.”

The Players arrive.  Hamlet will have them act "The Murder of Gonzago," a story that mirrors the murder of Hamlet Senior.  He wants to see King Claudius' reaction - to "catch his conscience."

The Players arrive. Hamlet will have them act “The Murder of Gonzago,” a story that mirrors the murder of Hamlet Senior. He wants to see King Claudius’ reaction – to “catch his conscience.”

Hamlet:

Hamlet: “To be, or not to be, that is the question…”

Ophelia is shaken; Hamlet suspects that her father, Polonius, is spying:

Ophelia is shaken; Hamlet suspects that her father, Polonius, is spying: “Let the doors be shut upon him…”

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Horatio. Hamlet:

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Horatio. Hamlet: “There is a play to-night before the king…Observe mine uncle…”

L-R: Guildenstern and Rosencrantz watch "The Murder of Gonzago" - Hamlet's "mouse-trap."  The play within the play was filmed and shown on screen.

L-R: Guildenstern and Rosencrantz watch “The Murder of Gonzago” – Hamlet’s “mouse-trap.” The play within the play was filmed and shown on screen.

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz. Hamlet: "Do you think I am easier to be play'd on than a pipe?"

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz. Hamlet: “Do you think I am easier to be play’d on than a pipe?”

L-R: King Claudius and Hamlet.  Hamlet:

L-R: King Claudius and Hamlet. Hamlet: “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying…”

Queen Gertrude tells King Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius (his death scene was on film).

Queen Gertrude tells King Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius (his death scene was on film).

Ophelia unravels after her father's death, descends into madness and sings: "He is dead and gone, lady..."

Ophelia unravels after her father’s death, descends into madness and sings: “He is dead and gone, lady…”

L-R: Laertes, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius.  Laertes:

L-R: Laertes, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius. Laertes: “Where is my father?…How came he dead?”

Ophelia:

Ophelia: “And in his grave rain’d many a tear…”

Laertes:

Laertes: “Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!”

King Claudius and Laertes plot revenge against Halmet. The King will set up a duel, through which Laertes can kill Hamlet. King Claudius: "Revenge should have no bounds."

King Claudius and Laertes plot revenge against Halmet. The King will set up a duel, through which Laertes can kill Hamlet. King Claudius: “Revenge should have no bounds.”

Ophelia has drowned.  Laertes:

Ophelia has drowned. Laertes: “I have a speech of fire, but this folly douts it.”

L-R: Clown and Hamlet.  Hamlet:

L-R: Clown and Hamlet. Hamlet: “Whose grave’s this, sirrah?”

Hamlet:

Hamlet: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio…”

Laertes and Hamlet grapple in Ophelia's grave, as other rush to intervene.

Laertes and Hamlet grapple in Ophelia’s grave, as other rush to intervene.

L-R: Attendants, Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Attendant, Horatio.  Hamlet:

L-R: Attendants, Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Attendant, Horatio. Hamlet: “I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum.”

L-R: Hamlet and Osric, who presents the wager.

L-R: Hamlet and Osric, who presents the wager.

L-R: Laertes, King Claudius, Hamlet.

L-R: Laertes, King Claudius, Hamlet.

L-R: Laertes and Osric. Laertes chooses a

L-R: Laertes and Osric. Laertes chooses a “sword unbated” anointed “with contagion.”

Osric presents the foils to Hamlet, as King Claudius stands by.

Osric presents the foils to Hamlet, as King Claudius stands by.

King Claudius announces the wager.

King Claudius announces the wager.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Osric, Hamlet, Lord, Horatio.  Queen Gertrude offers Hamlet a drink which, unbeknownst to her, is poisoned.  Hamlet refuses...and Gertrude drinks it.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Osric, Hamlet, Lord, Horatio. Queen Gertrude offers Hamlet a drink which, unbeknownst to her, is poisoned. Hamlet refuses…and Gertrude drinks it.

Osric:

Osric: “Nothing, neither way.”

Centre: Osric tends to the wounded Laertes. Right: Queen Gertrude collapses in Hamlet's arms.  Hamlet, too, is near death.  Queen Gertrude: "The drink, the drink! I am poison'd."

Centre: Osric tends to the wounded Laertes. Right: Queen Gertrude collapses in Hamlet’s arms. Hamlet, too, is near death. Queen Gertrude: “The drink, the drink! I am poison’d.”

Hamlet poisons King Claudius:

Hamlet poisons King Claudius: “Thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink off this potion…”

Hamlet dies in Horatio's arms.

Hamlet dies in Horatio’s arms.

Horatio (far right):

Horatio (far right): “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

The cast and directing team!

The cast and directing team!

Oh dear...

Oh dear…

Joe, Director

Joe, Director & Filmmaker

Sabio, Assistant Director

Sabio, Assistant Director

Gabriella, Assistant Director, Kids' Camp

Gabriella, Assistant Director, Kids’ Camp

Isabelle, Summer Student

Isabelle, Summer Student

Summer Camp – Day 18

The duel between Hamlet and Laertes was going to be on film, but it was later shifted to the stage, so that everyone could be together in front of the audience at the end of the show.

Much of the morning was spent tweaking and rehearsing the duel, as well as the deaths of Queen Gertrude, King Claudius, Laertes, and Hamlet.

 

- Young Co. for Teens -  Joe watches as the ensemble rehearses the graveyard scene.

– Young Co. for Teens –
Joe watches as the ensemble rehearses the penultimate scene of the play – the graveyard grapple.

Claudius joins Laertes' & Hamlet's hands.

Claudius joins Laertes’ & Hamlet’s hands.

Osric presents the foils to Laertes.

Osric presents the foils to Laertes.

Laertes and Hamlet prepare to duel.

Laertes and Hamlet prepare to duel.

Alas! Poor Yorick…. I made him myself, Horatio…

Hello, my name is Isabelle, and in case you’re wondering who I am……..I am a summer co-op student contributing my creativity, artistic skill, and passion to this year’s summer camp.

That’s right, folks! Just like the foils, Hamlet’s crown, and Old Hamlet’s armor, Yorick was handmade by a crafty, creative, and artistic member of the Hamlet summer camp production team. Of course Yorick couldn’t have been made without the inspiration from the outstanding actors of the show, and the supportive SIA staff. Just in case anybody here is curious, here is the process on how Yorick was made.

First off, like all handmade projects from scratch, Yorick started off as nothing but a roll of wire. The wire is to be bent, shaped, and put together into a frame to give the skull its shape. It was a painful process for the hands, as it is required to precisely bend the hard, thick, and pointy wire into the desired shape. Furthermore, the wire is also slippery and hard to tie in place. However, with the help of masking tape and some strands of thin wire, the wire is easily held together to keep its shape. This is an important process, as the wire frame needs to be as accurate as possible for canvas cloth to lay over it smoothly. The details such as the skull’s eyes and nose holes also need to be clearly marked out, so it would show up clearly when the cloth gets draped over it.

 

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 1 - wire

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 1 – wire

 

Next off, as most of you may have already guessed….it’s time to give Yorick some “flesh” (well….the wire acts as his bones…). A sheet of artists’ canvas is to be draped over the frame to make it look like a skull. Although this may sound easy….it really isn’t…. Since the artists’ canvas is hard and stiff, it is hard to get it to lie smoothly over the frame, therefore it must be accurately cut into the shapes of each gap to follow the shape of the frame. Afterwards, the pieces cut out are then to be hot glued onto the frame to cover up all the holes (except for the eyes and nose, of course!)

 

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 2 - canvas

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 2 – canvas

 

Now that Yorick has the shape and appearance of a realistic skull….he is ready to star in the famous graveyard scene. No wait! A skull that has been buried in the dirt for several years, obviously doesn’t look that clean and perfect. It’s a little too perfect…..so it’s time to destroy it a bit……….well…not actually destroying the hard work put in to it, but to define it. So some acrylic paint is used to paint on the skull to give it a dirty and aged look like it has truly been living in the dirt for many years. Last but not least, Yorick needs teeth, so we took beads from a necklace that looks like teeth, painted them, and glued them to his mouth. A fun fact about this is that we have debated on whether Yorick should have teeth or not, because hygiene was poor during Shakespeare times. Laboni jokingly suggested that Yorick must have had dentures, but Michael said that there were no dentures during that time. Then I suggested that Yorick must have starved to death after he lost all his teeth. So, I went with a little bit of both ideas. I decided to give Yorick some teeth, but with a few missing to show his aging.

 

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 3 - paint...and teeth!

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 3 – paint…and teeth!

 

And…..finally……Yorick is done and ready to star in the famous graveyard scene along with the talented actors of the teen camp.

Summer Camp – Days 15 to 17

Hamlet is one day away!

This has been a busy week for filming – Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus’ first encounter with the ghost of Hamlet Senior; as well as Queen Gertrude in her closet.

When filming, the same segment must be filmed over and over again from different angles.  A huge thank-you to the actors for their patience, stamina, and consistent effort!

 

- Young Co. for Teens -  On set for a day of filming: Queen Gertrude hears Hamlet...

– Young Co. for Teens –
On set for a day of filming: Queen Gertrude hears Hamlet…

In a long, dark hallway in the basement...filming the first encounter with the Ghost.  Marcellus: "Look, where it comes again!"

In a long, dark hallway in the basement…filming the first encounter with the Ghost. Marcellus: “Look, where it comes again!”

IMG_3299 Shakespeare in Action - Summer Camp - 2015 - Teens - Hamlet - Question it, Horatio

Horatio: “What art thou that usurp’st this time of night?”

Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus flee in fear, as Isabelle (left) and Gabriella (centre) capture the sound for the scene.

Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus flee in fear, as Isabelle (left) and Gabriella (centre) capture the sound for the scene.

Hamlet takes to the stage, the second of three in our show.

Hamlet takes to the stage, the second of three in our show.

Ophelia

Ophelia