STAGES Shakespeare Ensemble



The 2020-2021 Shakespeare Ensemble

On a Midsummer’s night, four young lovers find themselves in an enchanted forest full of sprites and fairies. While the Fairy King and Queen feud, their paths are crossed by a group of actors rehearsing a play in the woods. Chief mischief-maker goblin Puck ensures that games of fantasy, love and dreams abound in Shakespeare’s most beguiling comedy. Join the cast of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and celebrate twelve years of Shakespeare at STAGES! 

The Shaksepeare Ensemble is a two-semester program and meets/rehearses twice-weekly on Mondays from 5:30PM-7:00PM, beginning October 5. The final rehearsals and performances will take place the week of April 5-11, 2021. There will be NO MEETINGS on Indigenous Peoples Day, during the Thanksgiving Week, Martin Luther King Jr holiday, or during February school vacation week. THIS PROGRAM IS CURRENTLY SOLD OUT – For more information and to join a waitlist, please click here.

Please note: In the event of a COVID-19 pandemic or other disruption that would make in-person rehearsals impossible, this program (inclusive of all Master Classes, rehearsals and production) will transition seamlessly to an online format with a digital presentation.


What is it? The STAGES Shakespeare Ensemble is an acting and ensemble-building program for students ages 12 and up, that spans both the fall and spring semester, and culminates in a fully-staged presentation of one of William Shakespeare’s plays.

What does the Ensemble do? First and foremost, Shakespeare Ensemble members work together to form a tight-knit group of players, capable of taking on many different types of performance challenges.  Under the guidance of the STAGES Shakespeare Ensemble directors, Members learn about Shakespeare, experiment with different acting methods and techniques, and ultimatelywork together to discuss, cast, direct and design their show. Unlike other STAGES programs, the Ensemble format is expanded to accommodate more interaction with the STAGES production team, giving Members a more in-depth stewardship of their original design concepts for the show.

Throughout the two-semester program, Members also receive instruction and advice through a series of Master Classes with local theater and other interdisciplinary artists in support of the themes and goals for the year’s play. Topics in any given season might include language and verse, historical context, adapting and devising, fight choreography, and design. Recent Master Class teaching artists have included Peter Brown (Fenix Theatre), Mike Levine (Acorn Productions), James Patefield (Bare Portland), JJ Peeler (Bare Portland), Megan Tripaldi (Polyphonic Theatre Ensemble), and Sally Wood (Portland Stage Affiliate Artist).

How much do Ensemble members need to know about Shakespeare? All experience levels are welcome — and NO experience is required! Our Ensemble directors work hard to ensure that Shakespeare is accessible to all students, regardless of whether or not they have studied it before! Shakespeare will play a big part in Ensemble activities – Shakespeare’s work provides a crucial foundation for any students interested in theater and performance (including Musical Theater actors)! Plus, it’s just cool. 

Do you have more questions about the Shakespeare Ensemble? contact us any time!

Celebrating Shakespeare at STAGES!

“STAGES allowed me to be creative, and to be myself, and for that I’m eternally grateful.”

Hallie Scammell, STAGES Alum

“When I think of my STAGES friends, I think of some of the closest friends I’ve ever made.”

Owen Freeman, STAGES Alum