2019-20 SHAKESPEARE ENSEMBLE PRESENTS:
written by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
co-directed by NOLAN ELLSWORTH & JOHNNY SPECKMAN
including regular master classes and training with guest artists and instructors
Celebrating Eleven Years of Shakespeare at STAGES! Join the newly re-visioned STAGES Youth Theater Shakespeare Ensemble and the 2020 production of MACBETH
Dates/Times: REHEARSAL/MEETINGS: Mondays & Wednesdays, 5:30PM-7:00PM, September 30 through April 1 | TECH WEEK – March 30-April 2 (dates/times TBD) | PERFORMANCES: weekend of April 3-5, 2019
Tuition: $695 – $75 early bird discount through 8/5
Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies (and spurred to action by his wife), sets out on a murderous path to take the Scottish throne for himself. MACBETH is a psychological thriller about ambition, betrayal, guilt and madness.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROGRAM: The STAGES Shakespeare Ensemble is a high-level (non-musical) performance training program for students ages 12 and up, spans both the fall and spring semester, and culminates in a fully-staged presentation of one of William Shakespeare’s plays.
The new Shakespeare Ensemble meets twice weekly from late September until late March. In response to recent feedback, the dates for this program have been adjusted to better accommodate the Maine One-Act Play Festival regional and state competition dates.
The objectives of the newly-re-designed Shakespeare Ensemble are as follows:
- To unlock self-discovery, confidence, and self-esteem in each Ensemble Member.
- To build a tight-knit ensemble. Ensemble Members will have a strong bond with each other from this shared experience.
- To develop, or further, an interest in classical theater.
- To provide an in-depth acting training program for students of all experience levels – both in the rehearsal process, and in an expanded series of Master Classes provided by visitig artists and instructors.
- To provide an opportunity for Ensemble Members to participate in production meetings, and more actively contribute to the design process for the show.
- To provide a foundation for other acting projects at STAGES and beyond.
- To have FUN!
SHAKESPEARE ENSEMBLE FAQs
Will we only be talking about Shakespeare? What if I don’t like Shakespeare?
While the program will use Shakespeare’s plays, and the Shakespearean conventions and styles of acting (particularly as it pertains to the art of ensemble), works from other classic and contemporary playwrights may be explored as well. That said, Shakespeare will play a big part in Company activities. Shakespeare’s work provides a crucial foundation for any students serious about pursuing a career in performance (even for Musical Theater actors)! Plus, it’s just cool. Our Ensemble instructors work hard to ensure that Shakespeare is accessible to all students, regardless of whether or not they have studied it before.
What types of activities will the program entail?
The Shakespeare Ensemble is first and foremost an acting company. Members will work together to form a tight-knit group of players, capable of taking on many different types of performance challenges. Members may work on a variety of performance styles, such as monologues, scene work, improvisational theater, clowning, etc. There will be some focus on the unique writing style of William Shakespeare. The program has also expanded to accommodate more interaction with the STAGES Youth Theater production team, to give Members a more in-depth stewardship of their original design concepts for the show.
Can I participate in the Shakespeare Ensemble AND other STAGES classes and shows?
The schedule has been developed to let Members participate in other STAGES classes as permitted by your own schedules and time management situations. That said, if you are thinking about taking on multiple productions at once, be sure to weigh the production schedules carefully against other home and school commitments. While some number of excused absences are reasonable throughout this school-year program, the Shakespeare Ensemble does require a commitment of participation – as each Member is pulling the same weight, and plays a critical role in the entire company-building process.
“Being in productions with kids who were older than me exposed me to a sense of artistic community that I never saw at school or at home.”
“STAGES brings together people who may not have met otherwise and allows kids to develop the skills to make friends in a setting outside of school. Without theater, some of my dearest friends would be strangers to me.”