“The Shakespeare Institute is a serious, rigorous and completely fun way to explore Shakespeare’s Elizabethan world, text, sonnets and theatre plays in a totally fun, comprehensive, camp setting.”
Mon-Fri 9:00 – 3:00 July 6th to the 31st Ages 7-16 yrs.
Company I: 2nd to 4th graders
Our youngest performers will engage in a full day of activities that lay the groundwork for the skills needed to approach fuller theatrical productions. Campers may attend the first two weeks, the last two weeks or the entire month. Performers will learn: musical versions of Shakespeare’s sonnets, dance, improvisation, costume design, and singing. They will memorize and perform text and have a great time!
Company II: 5th to 7th graders
Our middle grade performers will rehearse their one-hour wacky version of
As You Like It in preparation for 7 full performances at Bergen County Libraries & Parks. Performers will be trained in: Stage Combat, Make-up Design, Improvisational techniques, Elizabethan History and Shakespeare’s world, Set and Costume Design, Dance, Singing and rehearsal techniques. There will be ONE sleepover (they always want more!) and several day trips including a trip into NYC to a show. We will visit the Cloisters and rehearse in Fort Tryon Park. Visiting off Broadway designers, directors and actors will give master classes.
Camp III: 8th to 11th graders (hours may be different for the big guys)
Our Pre-professional performers step it up a notch. They will rehearse their one-hour wacky version of a newly adapted play (to be announced!) in preparation for 7 full performances at Bergen County Libraries & Parks. Performers will be trained in: Stage Combat, Make-up Design, Improvisational techniques, Elizabethan History and Shakespeare’s world, Set and Costume Design, Dance, Singing, Rehearsal Techniques and Auditions/Monologue Techniques. There will be ONE sleepover (they always want more!) several day trips and several evening performances. We will rehearse on the beach at the Jersey Shore. We will attend 3 Wednesday matinees. Visiting off Broadway designers, directors and actors will give master classes.
Tuition for the month is: $1,200-new campers $1,100-returning campers.
$300 per week for the youngest campers
Cost includes all snacks, materials for the shows, advertising for the performances, pick-up rehearsals etc. Each child must bring her/his own lunch and drink daily. There are NO OTHER COSTS other than food money for day trips and inexpensive tickets to shows in NYC.
Please make checks payable to: The Shakespeare Institute, LLC. Mail to 35 County Road, Demarest, NJ 07627. A non-refundable deposit of $300 is due May 25th. The remaining balance, paid in full, is due June 9, 2009. NOT THE FIRST DAY OF CAMP. Call with any questions.
Every Camper (other than Company I) MUST attend the ENTIRE month of camp. We rehearse and perform our shows for public audiences. The entire month is required to rehearse and present the plays. There are NO understudies.
*Ages are not fixed. Returning campers are often put a grade level higher. Friends are kept together and requests are honored. We work with each family to determine camp placement.
The Warm-up/ Stage Combat: We begin our day with a variety of theatre movement techniques that teach kids to use their bodies in an expressive, connected way - connected to text, emotions and ideas - showing them how to play with theatre through physical expression. Our certified stage combatant instructor guides the actors through basic combat techniques: hitting, kicking, punching, hair pulling and other assault techniques that are completely safe and your kids will LOVE! This year continues our work with sword and rapier and advanced fight techniques with Dan Renkin.
Theatre Games: We use a number of improvisational/acting techniques here at the Institute: Spolin, Mask, Suzuki, Meisner, Method, Laban, Viewpoints and many others in game formats to introduce your kids to as many different professional training techniques as possible. We work voice, movement, singing, choreography, acting, directing and complex ensemble work. While it always feels like fun; much of the work is at a very high level. Theatre Business and Snack: By now they are starving. I provide fresh fruits, veggies, whole wheat crackers, cheese
etc. (all allergies are noted in the sign-up forms) and we divide up into different groups each day to execute the various tasks of producing a traveling production: venue bookings, advertising, poster and costume design, technical theatre, etc. We expose the actors to EVERY aspect of the theatre and allow them to gravitate toward whatever area interests them most as long as they spend at least one session in each area.
Rehearsal: This year’s one-hour wacky adaptation is As You Like It and an all-new adaptation by NYC writer Alec Strum (Playwright’s Horizons) to be announced. Kids this age can handle the text well and love to speak it, and sing it, as long as it is clearly taught and directed. One of life’s great joys is watching an 10-year old make sense of Shakespeare’s verse, and believe me, it can and will happen right here this summer!
Real People in the “Business”: At some point during several afternoons we have visiting professionals. Since I worked on and off-Broadway, I have many associates who are more than happy to devote an hour of their time helping us understand the process of making theatre in NY and across the country at regional theatres. In the past three
summers we have had: 7 Broadway lighting, costume and set designers, 25 Professional actors, 7 writers, 3 producers, 5 directors and 8 general practitioners of NY and Regional theatre. Not only is this a fabulous opportunity for your child to make important connections which may serve in the future, but it gives them a “real life” understanding of what it means to have a life in the theatre today in the year 2008.
Hands-on Design: We design and build our own banner, props, costumes and posters. This year we add sound design. The kids create the concept for the show and design accordingly. We do a line-item budget and determine and contact venues, and zip around town in our much-loved camp van to hang posters.
Performances: Now for the big event!! We perform the last two weeks of July – aiming for 14 performances in total, at libraries and art centers throughout Bergen County.
Day Trips: For some reason, this gang can’t get enough of day trips. Here are some of our favorites: the beach, the Cloisters in NYC, the thrift store/mall to shop costumes and fabrics, Central Park to wait for tickets and see the play later that night, the Museum of Radio and Television for research, local towns and libraries to advertise our show, Teaneck Library for free Shakespeare shows.