TDSB

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 info@shakespeareinaction.org for more info!

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A Student’s POV- Stage Combat

The date is January 21, 2014, and it seemed as if this day took forever to come…

It all started last Monday in my schools’ drama class, as we were all getting excited for the upcoming unit. Our teacher told us about this unit at the beginning of the year, but we didn’t want to get too excited. We still had the whole semester in front of us before we could do this, but when last Monday came around, you could see the excitement in all our eyes. I even saw a little excitement in my teacher, although he didn’t want to show it.

We all knew he was excited, because our next unit was Stage Combat. That’s right… Stage Combat! And we weren’t going to learn how to give a fake punch, or pretend to kick someone. No, we were going to be using swords. Our teacher stepped in front of the class the prior Friday, and gave a brief, but exciting announcement.

“Tomorrow, we will be have a guest come in by the name of Simon. Get ready for some sword fightin’.”

We were so excited when Simon came in on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and taught us so many things, from how to properly defend yourself, to how to “kill” your opponent and make it look believable. For days, we worked in partners for our scene, and they were all very funny scenes. There was one about a couple fighting on if they should watch an action movie or a musical, and there was another about a drug deal gone wrong, and then there was mine, Blockbuster versus Netflix. Each group took the moves taught and mixed them to make incredible fighting scenes.

Now before I finish, I must give a thank you to Shakespeare In Action, because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have been able to do this since Simon worked with them. Thank you and goodbye.


Josh Peters is a Grade 11 student at Central Commerce Collegiate. He has been with SIA this past semester as part of his co-op placement
. We enjoyed working with him, and wish him the best of luck for next semester!

Bookings open September 3rd!

Be the Early-Bard and save!

For main-stage shows, tours, and workshops,
call 416-703-4881 for more information or to book.

- Hamlet's 100 Worries - November 25-29, 2013 Kaleb Alexander Photo: SIA

Main Stage:
– Hamlet’s 100 Worries –
Shakespeare meets shadow puppetry
November 25 – 29, 2013
Kaleb Alexander
Photo: SIA

 

Double Tragedy: - Romeo & Juliet -  March 31 - April 11, 2014 L-R: Kaleb Alexander and Shaina Silver-Baird Photo: Joel Charlebois

Main Stage:
– Double Tragedy: Romeo & Juliet –
March 31 – April 11, 2014
L-R: Kaleb Alexander and Shaina Silver-Baird
Photo: Joel Charlebois

 

Double Tragedy: - Macbeth -  March 31 - April 11, 2014 T-B: David Shelley and Kaleb Alexander Photo: Joel Charlebois

Main Stage:
– Double Tragedy: Macbeth –
March 31 – April 11, 2014
T-B: David Shelley and Kaleb Alexander
Photo: Joel Charlebois

 

On Tour: - Shakespeare Alive -  November 4 - 15. 2013 and April 28 - May 9, 2014 L-R: Kaleb Alexander, Shaina Silver-Baird, and Marcel Stewart Photo: SIA

On Tour:
– Shakespeare Alive –
November 4 – 15, 2013 & April 28 – May 9, 2014
Click here to read reviews!
L-R: Kaleb Alexander, Shaina Silver-Baird, and Marcel Stewart
Photo: SIA

 

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

In the Classroom:
– Workshops & Residencies –
September – July
Click here to see us on the TDSB site!
Photo: SIA

“heART this!” Central Commerce students look back on an evening of art, dance, music, and fashion

- heART this! -  A fundraiser for inner-city ARTs Nelly Furtado shows off a "We Take No BULL-ying" tee, designed by Central Commerce Collegiate Institute's Art Department and its students!

– heART this! –
A fundraiser for inner-city ARTs
Nelly Furtado shows off a “We Take No BULL-ying” tee, designed by Central Commerce Collegiate Institute’s Art Department and its students!

 

On Friday, May 31, 2013, Central Commerce Collegiate (CCC) hosted “heART this!” – an eclectic evening of student and professional art, dance, music and fashion at Walnut Contemporary Gallery. This event was an extension of CCC’s Art & Culture Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), in which students earn course credits, while learning from and working with industry professionals.

Photographers, underground graffiti and media artists all played a part in CCC’s SHSM programming. Entertainment was provided by DJ Club, various crump dance crews, beat-boxers, and even a student opera singer. A fashion segment featured designs from Dutch Blonde, Global Warming Tees, and CCC’s own “We Take No BULL-ying” t-shirt. Students modeled alongside Toronto transgender icons Myles Sexton and Derek Friday. Canadian and international superstar Nelly Furtado even came by to assist with hair and make-up!

We caught up with two CCC students – Terika Davis and Matthew Chung – who both played an integral part in the evening’s festivities*:

 

SIA:  Tell me a little about yourselves; what are you passionate about?

Terika:  I’m in Grade 12, a SHSM student.  I have a passion for lyrical dance. Most time, when I dance, there has to be a meaning behind it. I don’t like to just perform; I like it to be meaningful. I also make a lot of jewelry designs on the theme “the power of love.”

Matthew:  I am in Grade 12 and I’m in the SHSM program. I like art – LOVE actually. When I was young, I was really very sensitive about different colours and shapes and lines. I enjoy painting and digital art.

SIA:  What was your role in the “heART this!” event?

Terika:  My role was to sell jewelry – necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

Matthew:  I helped creating the poster and flyers, and I was also one of the models (laughs) wearing the “Power of Love” t-shirt (a collaboration with Global Warming Tees). One of my paintings was hanging there too.

SIA:  How did it feel to have your painting hanging on the wall at Walnut Contemporary?

Matthew:  It was exciting and I think it was a very good experience for me, because I feel like I was a real artist.

SIA:  You are a real artist! Matthew, you also had co-op placement at Walnut Studios, right?  What did you do there?

Matthew:  I worked with celebrated portrait artist Ilene Sova, also the [Artistic] Director of Walnut Studios. I prepared the art show for her, called Spring for Art. I e-mailed all the artists and sent them their own invites that I made, and I also sent out the promo. flyers to people’s houses, in their mailbox. I also helped hang up the artwork for the show and promoted the show online through different social media. And I also helped creating an Instagram account and uploaded pictures for them and also [updated] their Facebook.

SIA:  It sounds like you had a very full experience.

Matthew:  Yes.

SIA:  Why did you want to participate in the Arts & Culture SHSM program at CCC?

Matthew: Because it’s about art and I love it – I love art.  And I also believe that I can learn a lot in that program.

SIA:  And the event?

Terika:  Just to raise awareness. For instance, the main theme of the event is “the art of acceptance,” so I thought that I could use art to raise awareness on anti-bullying.

SIA:  What was the best part of the experience for you?

Terika:  One of the best parts was creating the “Power of Love” t-shirts. I think that it was really meaningful. From this experience I learned that it is important to love each other – to accept everyone no matter what their gender, their ethnicity etc. To accept everyone for who they are.

Matthew:  The co-op placement ’cause I learned a lot there; I have done a lot that I have never done before.

SIA:  Where will your journey take you next year?

Matthew:  I’m going to George Brown next year to study jewelry methods. My family – actually my dad and uncle – are jewelry-makers, so I actually want to help them after I graduate, to help the family business.

Terika:  Well next year, I’m going to work to prepare for university. In the future I want to be a high school teacher.

SIA:  Did your teacher, Ms Di Leo, inspire you?

Terika:  Yes.  Yes she did.

SIA:  Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Matthew:  I hope I can continue to follow my dream and to be a real artist one day.

Terika:  I just hope the best for CCC. Even after I leave. I hope to give back to this school.

 

* These interviews were conducted separately and have been combined for easier reading!

To read an earlier interview with Rebecca Di Leo, the current Head of Central Commerce Collegiate’s (he)ARTS Department, click here!

2013/14 Season Announcement!

For main-stage shows and workshops, call for more information or to book: 416-703-4881

- Hamlet's 100 Worries - November 25-29, 2013 Kaleb Alexander Photo: SIA

Main Stage:
Hamlet
Shakespeare meets shadow puppetry
December 2-6, 2013
Kaleb Alexander
Photo: SIA

Double Tragedy: - Romeo & Juliet -  March 31 - April 11, 2014 L-R: Kaleb Alexander and Shaina Silver-Baird Photo: Joel Charlebois

Main Stage:
Double Tragedy: Romeo & Juliet
March 31 – April 11, 2014
L-R: Kaleb Alexander and Shaina Silver-Baird
Photo: Joel Charlebois

Double Tragedy: - Macbeth -  March 31 - April 11, 2014 T-B: David Shelley and Kaleb Alexander Photo: Joel Charlebois

Main Stage:
Double Tragedy: Macbeth
March 31 – April 11, 2014
T-B: David Shelley and Kaleb Alexander
Photo: Joel Charlebois

On Tour: - Shakespeare Alive -  November 4 - 15. 2013 and April 28 - May 9, 2014 L-R: Kaleb Alexander, Shaina Silver-Baird, and Marcel Stewart Photo: SIA

On Tour:
Shakespeare Alive
November 4 – 15, 2013 & April 28 – May 9, 2014
Click here to read reviews!
L-R: Kaleb Alexander, Shaina Silver-Baird, and Marcel Stewart
Photo: SIA

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

In the Classroom:
Workshops & Residencies
September – July
Click here to see us on the TDSB site!
Photo: SIA

In the Community: - Shakespeare Without Fear in the Classroom - Artistic Director Michael Kelly @ York U. July 8 - 10, 2013

In the Community:
– Shakespeare Without Fear in the Classroom –
Artistic Director Michael Kelly @ York U.
Click here to learn more or register.
July 8 – 10, 2013

In the Community: - Word on the Street Toronto -  September 22, 2013

In the Community:
Word on the Street Toronto
September 22, 2013

In the Community: - Council of Ontario Drama & Dance Educators Conference - October 18 - 20, 2013

In the Community:
– Council of Ontario Drama & Dance Educators Conference –
Click here to learn more!
October 18 – 20, 2013

In the Community: - TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club -  Fall, Winter, Spring Photo: SIA

In the Community:
TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club
Fall, Winter, Spring
Click here to see a photo essay!
Photo: SIA

Photo Friday – Shakespeare Alive, Rave Reviews!

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Shakespeare in Action has just wrapped up its Shakespeare Alive 2013 tour!  This 75-minute interactive presentation travelled to  elementary and secondary classrooms, auditoriums, cafeterias, and gyms across the GTA!  Their goal was to show students why Shakespeare is still relevant and why his language – his poetry – is so important. Here’s what the teachers had to say about Shakespeare Alive!:

 

I was so impressed with the actors who came in and ran the workshop. They were exceptional and the kids loved it. I’m extremely happy with the way things went. It was an excellent experience for us.

-Jarrett Flindall, Middle School Teacher

 

I want to thank your organization for bringing an exciting, hilarious and gripping presentation to John Fraser Secondary School. Our students were energized and engaged throughout, and some even got to improv onstage in front of their drama teacher. We had a range from just-arrived ESL to near graduates take in the performance, and all the feedback I’ve heard from kids and teachers so far has been positive. Each kid came away with different favourite moments. They say they were impressed and enjoyed learning why we still care about Shakespeare.

Thanks for accommodating our needs, and thanks for a great show.

-Stephen Morra, High School Teacher

 

Yesterday’s performance was outstanding! The three performers were energetic, talented, funny, informative and it was a great pleasure for me to look out at the audience’s faces in the lecture theatre — the really academic students, the not-so-academic students — all were grinning and under the spell cast by your actors. The audience participation elements were very well received.I told your performers after the show that they made my job easier (the kids found a new respect for and interest in Shakespeare), but also harder, because how can we teachers match the fun of what they did?We would be pleased to have them come again in the future.

-Paula Nevins, High School Teacher

Photo Friday – A moment of silence for the victims of bullying

The Winter’s Tale:
“The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades when speaking fails.”
– II.ii, 893-894 –

At 11am today, 290,000 Toronto District School Board staff and students held a moment of silence to remember the victims of bullying. As members of the Central Commerce C.I. community, SIA stands with its peers.