STAGES Shakespeare Ensemble


Please note this program is in progress – Registration for the 2022-23 Shakespeare Ensemble will open in June 2022. More details will be posted soon!


The 2021-2022 Shakespeare Ensemble
Limited to 15 Students
The war has ended and at the Duke’s estate, Claudio and Hero have fallen in love. Benedick and Beatrice despise love and make fun of the young couple’s earnestness — and in response, the others secretly plot to make them fall in love with each other. Unbeknownst to this merry group, a villainous intruder has concocted a more malicious plot threatening the possibility of two happy endings in one of Shakespeare’s most popular and enduring comedies! Join the cast of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and celebrate thirteen years of the STAGES Shakespeare Ensemble! 

The Shakespeare Ensemble is a two-semester program, meeting on Mondays from 5:30PM-7:00PM, beginning on October 18, 2021; and, adding Wednesdays from 5:30PM-7:00PM on January 5, 2022. The final rehearsals and performances will take place MAY 12-14, 2022. The Ensemble will NOT MEET on the following dates: the week of November 22, 2021 (Thanksgiving Week), the weeks of December 20 & December 27, 2021 (Winter Recess), January 17, 2022 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), the week of February 21, 2022 (February School Vacation Week), the week of April 18, 2022 (April School Vacation Week).

Tuition: $700.00 (installment plan options available)

Please note: We hope and expect to be able to perform this production in our theater next spring for a live in-person audience. We also acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic is still evolving in ways we may not be able to predict. In the event of a pandemic-related or other disruption that would make in-person rehearsals and performances impossible, this program (inclusive of all Master Classes, rehearsals and production) will transition seamlessly (in whole or in part) to an online format with a digital presentation.

WE RESPECTFULLY ASK THAT YOU DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM IF YOU/YOUR STUDENT ARE UNWILLING TO PARTICIPATE IN AN ONLINE FORMAT SHOULD THE NEED ARISE. There will be NO refunds for this program unless it is formally and fully cancelled (without in-person or online options) for any reason.


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 ultimately work 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), Casey Turner (film/TV/audio producer), 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!

“Theater/STAGES was a critical part of my children’s development. Educators talk of the importance of sports and ‘teamwork.’ My non-athletic kids learned that through theater. They both appreciate the importance of expression through the arts….they are better people for it!”

Liz Freeman, STAGES Parent

“I’m not sure I would have wanted my children anywhere else during their formative years, other than with STAGES or at performing arts related programs. The supportive atmosphere was like no other.”

Beth Doane, STAGES Parent