Shakespeare Academy

The 2017-18 Shakespeare Academy production is AS YOU LIKE IT. Meetings are already in progress, but if you’re interested in joining the program before October 25, please contact STAGES at (207) 699-3330 or

The STAGES Shakespeare Academy is a high-level (non-musical) performance training program for teen students (ages 12 and up).  This intensive year-long program culminates in a fully-staged presentation of one of William Shakespeare’s plays.

The objectives of Shakespeare Academy are as follows:

  • To build a tight-knit ensemble, confidence, and self-esteem. Academy members will have a strong bond with each other from this shared experience.
  • To provide an in-depth and intensive acting training program for students of all experience levels.
  • To provide a foundation for other acting projects at STAGES and beyond.
  • To encourage students to consider all aspects of production (including costumes, sets, props, lighting, and sound) as they work together to come up with a unique concept for their production.
  • To have FUN!

Shakespeare Academy meets once weekly beginning around the end of September, and shifts to 2 rehearsals a week once students start rehearsing the play (typically after the new year), leading up to their fully staged performance in March.


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 (Chekov, Simon, Friel, Wilde, etc…) may be explored as well.  That said, Shakespeare will play a big part in Company activities. And Shakespeare provides a crucial foundation for any students serious about pursuing a career in performance or literature after high school. Plus, it’s just cool! Our Shakespeare Academy 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 Academy is first and foremost an acting company. Students will work together to form a tight-knit ensemble, capable of taking on many different types of performance challenges.

Students 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. When appropriate the program will also include sessions focusing on production design, and other non-performance aspects of theater that support Company endeavors.

Can I do the Shakespeare Academy AND other STAGES classes and shows?
The Academy Schedule has been developed to let Academy members participate in other STAGES classes as permitted by your own schedules and time management situations. 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.

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“My time at STAGES gave me a sense of belonging, and presented an entry point for something that I found myself so passionate about. These experiences helped to shape my love of the arts and appreciate the impact that the performing, and later visual, arts could have on my life.”


“When you graduate from STAGES you wish you could do it all over again. STAGES helped me grow as a person and I truly miss it.”

DJ Nicholas, STAGES Alum