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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!

SHAKESPEARE IN ACTION SUMMER PROGRAMMING- FOCUS PLAYS ANNOUNCED!

Shakespeare in Action is thrilled to announce the focus plays for the 2015 Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids, and Shakespeare Young Company for Teens summer training program, starting on June 29!

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Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids 2014- The wonderful cast of Twelfth Night!

Campers at the Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids will perform their very own version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies!

Camp runs from June 29- July 10, 2015, and is for kids aged 7-12. To sign up for camp, please visit our Eventbrite registration page!

Shakespeare Young Company for Teens 2014- The wonderful cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream!

Shakespeare Young Company for Teens 2014- The wonderful cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

Teens who participate in the Young Company for Teens will have the opportunity to create a multi-media version of Hamlet, one of Shakespeare’s best known (and performed) plays.

The training program runs from June 29- July 24, and its for teens aged 13-17. To sign up for the program, please visit our Eventbrite registration page!

Shakespeare Young Company for Teens- Register by March 20 for the Early Bard discount!

The Shakespeare Young Company for Teens is a now 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.

INFO:

  • Ages: 13-17
  • Dates: Weekdays, Monday, June 29 – Friday, July 24, 2015. No camp on Canada Day.
  • 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!

DAILY SCHEDULE:

9:00 – 9:15 – Welcome and warm-up
9:15 – 10:15 – Voice and movement work
10:15 – 10:30 – Break & snack
10:30 – 11:30 – Choral, text, and scene work
11:30 – 12:15 – Lunch
12:15 – 1:45 – Play development and rehearsal
1:45 – 2:00 – Break & snack
2:00 – 4:00 – Set, costume, and prop design
4:00 – Campers head home

COST:

$900 per camper (plus Eventbrite fees)

Early Bard Deadline: Friday, March 20, 2015 (Enter the promo code “EarlyBard” and save 10%)

Registering Siblings? Use the promo code “EarlyBardFamily.” After March 20, use “FamilyBard.”

For more information, or to register, please visit out Shakespeare Young Company for Teens page!

Shakespeare for Kids and Young Company for Teens Summer Camp Announcement!

Great news! Shakespeare in Action is proud to announce the focus plays for the 2014 Shakespeare for Kids Summer Camp and Young Company for Teens training program!

The cast practices its final bow with Director Sascha Cole.

Campers coming to the Shakespeare for Kids Summer Camp will be performing their very own version of Twelfth Night, while our Young Company for Teens will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

As a special treat to all of you, we have extended the Early Bard deadline to April 21, 2014!

Visit our Summer Programming page for more info!

Photo Friday- Envelopes! Envelopes Everywhere!

Today, the SIA team spent a better portion of the day gathered at the meeting table. For what, you say? Why, stuffing envelopes of course!
We are excited to announce that our popular interactive touring program, Shakespeare Alive will be returning this Spring! The tour will start on March 31, and run until April 11. We are visiting schools across Toronto and the GTA, so make sure to book your school now!

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Rosemary is focused on getting through her pile of flyers!

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The wall between me and Rosemary is growing by the minute! And we weren’t even half finished at this point!

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!

Conquering Shakespearephobia and the Importance of Live Theatre Today

“…and he felt no remorse what so ever!” is what I overheard a student remarking last week as he and his classmates exited the theatre after attending SIA’s production of Hamlet. I imagine his remark was in reference to Claudius’ character. That kind of observation, comparison and conversation is why theatre is important. Theatre helps us understand human motivation and psychology, it teaches us to look inward at ourselves and identify with characters that mirror or challenge our values and simultaneously entertains audiences.

I believe that it is harder than ever to successfully capture today’s theatre audience, but I also believe that today’s audience is better equipped to be challenged and moved by the power of theatre. Here’s why: I often observe parents or teachers remarking that kids today are more technologically inclined than ever, that they’ve been operating computers and iPhones since before they could talk. That’s why the experience of attending a live show is thrilling. It’s brand new and it’s happening in real time, it’s “reality entertainment” at it’s best…it doesn’t get more real than actors performing right before your eyes. Unfortunately I think we underestimate the transient power of theatre and assume that kids today don’t understand or can’t appreciate or can’t grasp the complexity of theatre let alone Shakespeare’s work.  I’m 24 and I’m a theatre graduate and I’m not sure that I’ll ever fully understand Shakespeare, but I know how it makes me feel, and isn’t that the point? To be able to experience something that sparks an insightful conversation? Something that reminds us of our own humanity?

I’m writing this morning from our offices at Shakespeare in Action, a week after overhearing that student’s reaction to Hamlet…I can still see the expression on that student’s face, smiling at his friend, something about Claudius’ character resonated with him and made him contemplate the themes of remorse and consequence. I was ushering that afternoon and he thanked me on his way out, “This was really good,” he said, “Thank you so much!” And in that moment, I was humbly reminded of how thankful I am for that thing called theatre magic. It’s real. Get out to a theatre and experience it for yourself and whatever you do, don’t fret about whether you ‘get’ it or not.