If you can act Shakespeare, you can act anything.
– Michael Kahn, Artistic Director
Every summer, the Shakespeare Theatre Company gives students between the ages of 7 and 18 the chance to dive head first into the world of the greatest playwright in history: William Shakespeare.
We offer one-week sessions for Poppets (ages 7-8) and two-week sessions for Groundlings (ages 9-11), Young Players (ages 12-14) and King’s Company (ages 15-18). For returning Young Players and King’s Company, we offer a three-week Advanced Camp.
At Camp Shakespeare, students will:
- Transform into Shakespeare’s characters through voice and movement work
- Unravel Shakespeare’s plays with text analysis
- Develop fundamental acting skills
- Learn the basics of stage combat
- Perform for friends and family onstage at the Shakespeare Theatre Company
Our age groups are based on the optimum peer groups for creating positive, collaborative ensembles.
Camp Day: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Monday–Friday
Performance times vary by program
Advanced Camp invites returning participants to experience an actor’s journey from audition to performance. Participants will delve deeper into the text by focusing on one character’s emotional journey, challenging even the most experienced camper with advanced movement and acting techniques from our Academy for Classical Acting. The advanced ensemble produces a fully realized Shakespeare production which culminates in three public performances in the Forum at Sidney Harman Hall. Acceptance into Advanced Camp is by audition only.
All’s Well That Ends Well
Dates: June 27 – July 16
Performances: July 14 and July 15 at 7:00 p.m. & July 16 at 2:00 p.m.
After Helena, the daughter of a physician, cures the ailing King of France, the King promises her the husband of her choice. But Helena loves the non-committal Count Bertram who attempts to escape their impending union through his harsh words and disdainful actions. All’s Well That Ends Well follows the determined Helena on her journey for true love and self-fulfillment.
Dates: July 18 – August 6
Performances: August 4 and August 5 at 7:00 p.m. & August 6 at 2:00 p.m.
Young and brash King Henry V of England takes his nation to war with France. As he leads his troops into combat and experiences the true costs of war firsthand, Henry discovers that the challenges of leadership are greater than he ever imagined.
The Forum in Sidney Harman Hall
610 F Street NW
Metro: Gallery Pl-Chinatown
Saturday, February 20 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 27 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Education Studio, 516 8th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Call the Education Hotline at 202-547-5688 to schedule your audition.
Planning to audition but don’t want your child to miss out if other sessions are full? Register for a regular session before January 25 and your early registration discount of $50 will be applied to Advanced Camp tuition once your child is accepted.
Tuition, Discounts & Scholarships
- One-Week Poppet Session: 10:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m., $350
- Two-Week Performance Intensive : 10:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m., $725
- Three-Week Advanced Camp: 10:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m., $1,100
Every camper receives a Shakespeare Theatre Company t-shirt!
Registration closes one week prior to the camp’s start date OR once a camp is full.
Register by January 20 and receive $50 off!
Register siblings or for multiple sessions and receive $25 off each additional camp registration.
Call the Education Hotline at 202.547.5688 to register and receive your discount.
To apply for a scholarship to Camp Shakespeare, please submit the following items to the Shakespeare Theatre Company Education Department.
- A completed scholarship application form filled out by the parent or legal guardian of the student
- A 500-word typed essay, written by the student that answers this question:
Why do you want to attend Camp Shakespeare and what do you hope to gain from the experience?
- A copy of applicant’s 2014 tax return for proof of income or documentation proving your qualification for free or reduced school lunch.
Applications are due no later than May 1, 2016. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis, so it is best to turn in complete applications early. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.
Please mail your materials to:
Shakespeare Theatre Company
516 8th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Or fax to: Attn: Camp Shakespeare at 202.547.0226
You may also submit a scholarship application online.
Each summer, Camp Shakespeare Teaching Artists create a unique curriculum aimed at optimizing students’ physical, intellectual and artistic development. All Teaching Artists are classically trained professional actors and educators.
The energy and fervor of the faculty is one of the things I value and love best about the camp. They inspire you, and their excitement rubs off on you and makes you want to dive in.
– Sarah Hirsch, Camper
Renea Brown is from Lexington, KY and is ecstatic to be joining Shakespeare Theatre Company as the Resident Teaching Artist this season! She recently obtained her BS in Theatre Arts from the University of Louisville this past May. Her past credits include Measure for Measure, Monsieur Baptist, Sleep Rock Thy Brain, Mad at Miles and others. After graduating she worked as a Teaching Artist at Kentucky Shakespeare. Her credits there include Macbeth, The Tempest, and The Taming of the Shrew just to name a few. She has studied theatre from New York’s Circle in the Square to Shandong University in Jinan, China. She enjoys reading, dancing ballet and speaking Chinese. Renea is excited to begin her journey in Washington, D.C.
Dan Crane has been an affiliated teaching artist with Shakespeare Theatre Company since 2006. He is also a professorial lecturer at The George Washington University and Howard University, and a teaching artist at Folger Shakespeare Library. Dan is a company member with Taffety Punk Theatre Company in Washington, DC, and co-founder of The Enlightenment Theatre Project in Williamsburg, VA. DC area acting credits include the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, and The Beaux Stratagem, Folger Theatre in Cyrano, Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale, and Taffety Punk Theatre Company in Oxygen, The Rape of Lucrece, Twelfth Night, and Bloody Poetry. Dan received two 2012 Helen Hayes Award nominations for his work inCyrano at Folger Theater and Hub Theatre’s Birds of a Feather. Other regional acting credits include work with companies across the United States, including Baltimore Shakespeare Festival (as Hamlet), Idaho Shakespeare Festival, PCPA Theaterfest and Portland Center Stage to name a few. Dan directed Romeo & Juliet for the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Young Company, which performed at the Festival International de Companias de Teatro Juveniles in Parla, Spain. He trained at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts, holds a BFA from Ithaca College and an MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University.
Chelsea Mayo understudied for Cecily and Gwendolen in STC’s The Importance of Being Earnest last season. Since moving to Washington, DC, she has performed with local companies including Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Annapolis Shakespeare Company, Idly Bent, The Federal Theatre Project, and Pallas Theatre Collective, where she is a company member. She has taught students grades K-12 through her work at CSC, Lola’s Laboratory, and Creative Kids. In addition to acting and teaching, Chelsea has designed props for productions at 1st Stage and WSC-Avant Bard. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Vanderbilt University.
Victoria Reinsel is a classically trained actor, director, and teaching artist who has acted and/or taught at a number of local and regional theatres including American Shakespeare Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Imagination Stage, Constellation Theatre Company, Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Maryland Shakespeare Festival, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and Encore Stage & Studio. She has taught additionally through Lola’s Laboratory, Creative Kids, Trax, and the Institute of Reading Development, and has guest lectured at Georgetown University and Eastern Mennonite University. In 2011, she co-founded Brave Spirits Theatre. Victoria holds a MFA and M.Litt in Shakespeare in Performance with a concentration in acting from Mary Baldwin College in partnership with the American Shakespeare Center, and a BA in Theatre/Literature from Marlboro College.
Melissa Richardson is a director, stage manager, and teaching artist. She has taught children and adults at all levels throughout the DC Metro Area. She has directed several youth theatre productions, and she also works with students to create and perform original, ensemble-written plays. She has been a Teaching Artist with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Education through the Arts since 2005. In this capacity, she partners with early childhood classroom teachers to incorporate the arts into daily learning. She wrote an original, ten-minute play that she performed for preschool audiences for the Institute’s Small Bites program and served on the STEM Science Task Force to develop science and engineering curriculum. She has worked with the Heyday Players, Round House Theatre’s acting troupe for senior citizens, for the past five years. She has also taught drama to students from preschool through high school with Arena Stage. Adventure Theatre, and Lenore Blank Kelner and Co. Melissa is passionate about storytelling, whether from children’s literature, folktales from around the world, or stories created with children on the spot. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.
Megan Thrift has been teaching theater for the last 10 years. She holds a degree in Theater and Education from George Mason University, where she returned this Fall for her Masters in Theater Education. She has taught for Acting For Young People and The Keegan Theatre, where she has been a company member for 8 years and has worked on over 20 productions. She also teaches outreach classes for churches and community centers in low SES areas of Fairfax county. She currently teaches Theater and Creative Writing at Key Middle School for Fairfax County Public schools.
Kathryn Tkel is a theatre artist originally from Northern California. She received a BA in Drama and Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine and an MFA in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University. Most recently she was seen in Everyman Theatre’s production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Regionally she has performed with San Jose Repertory Theatre, The San Francisco Playhouse, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, California Conservatory Theatre, Willows Theatre, Just Theatre, Boxcar Theatre, Second Wind Productions, and the Collegiate Players. Kathryn is very excited to be making Washington, D.C. her home and is thrilled to be teaching with STC!
Eva Wilhelm holds an MFA in Classical Acting from the Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University. Locally, she has appeared in productions at Folger Theatre, Studio Theatre, Maryland Shakespeare Festival, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Faction of Fools and Taffety Punk Theatre Company. In Chicago, she worked with Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Shattered Globe and Stage Left, among many others. She is currently an adjunct professor at Trinity Washington University, and an Associated Artist with Faction of Fools, as well as a book narrator for both Audible.com and the Library of Congress.
Jaysen Wright is an actor and teaching artist based in Washington, D.C. His regional credits include Looking for Roberto Clemente (Imagination Stage); Sons of the Prophet (Theatre J); Now Comes the Night and Take Me Out (1st Stage); Choir Boy (Marin Theatre Company); Choir Boy (Studio Theatre); Love Godfrey/Love George (Blind Pug Arts Collective); Pinkalicious and 12 Days of Christmas (Adventure Theatre MTC); The Carolina Layaway Grail (The Welders); Measure for Measure, Wallenstein and Coriolanus (Shakespeare Theatre Company); The Rocky Horror Show (Studio Theatre 2nd Stage); You Can’t Take it With You and The Taming of the Shrew (Indiana Festival Theatre); The Nerd (Brown County Playhouse). Mr. Wright holds an MFA in Acting from Indiana University, and is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association. He is a teaching artist at both the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Young Playwrights’ Theatre, and has taught courses in Shakespeare, Suzuki, stage combat, playwriting, acting and many other styles.
*Teaching Artists are subject to change without notice.
What’s a typical day like at Camp Shakespeare?
A typical day begins with a Movement class, during which students do a vocal and physical warm up and explore techniques for character creation and visual storytelling. The morning continues with Acting class, during which students explore improvisation and scene work, followed by Text Analysis class, which provides strategies for understanding and communicating Shakespeare’s language. After lunch, students train in the art of safe stage combat. The rest of the afternoon is dedicated to applying what they have learned in rehearsal.
Sample Schedule* for a Poppets Day
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Ensemble Time/Acting
11:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Story Time
11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Dance/Movement/Combat
12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Theatre Games
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Design
2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Performance Project Rehearsal
3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Snack
3:30 p.m.–4:15 p.m. Performance Project Rehearsal
4:15 p.m.–4:50 p.m. Design/Theatre Games
4:50 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Wrap Up/Dismissal
Sample Schedule* for a Groundling Day
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Movement
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Text or Acting
12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Theatre Games
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Stage Combat
2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Scene Study
3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Snack & Design
3:30 p.m.–4:45 p.m. Scene Study
4:45 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Reflection
Sample Schedule* for a Young Player or King’s Company Day
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Voice and Movement
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Acting
12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m. Text Analysis
12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Stage Combat
2:00 p.m.–4:45 p.m. Rehearsal
4:45 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Reflection
*Schedule subject to change
Who teaches camp and what is your teacher to student ratio?
Our two week performance intensives have a maximum of 20 students. There are two Teaching Artists and an intern for each camp. All Camp Shakespeare Teaching Artists are classically trained professional actors and educators. All of our interns are college-aged students pursuing degrees in theatre and/or education. Check out our faculty bios here.
What if my child is on the cusp of an age group? Can they move into the older group?
We ask that students remain in their designated age group. Our curriculums are designed for each specific age group and we have found that these peer groups are the most successful for creating strong ensembles. There is a an extremely big difference, both developmentally and socially, between an 11-year-old and a 14-year-old, or a 14-year-old and an 18-year-old, which leads to a lot of group dynamic challenges. Camp Shakespeare is also a true performance intensive, which means it’s a very long and demanding day. We pace each age group appropriately throughout the day. We pride ourselves on the caliber of training all of our age groups receive.
What if my child has special needs?
The Shakespeare Theatre Company encourages children of all abilities to discover and develop their full creative potential through the performing arts. In order to plan the best experience for your child, we ask that you provide us with specific information regarding special circumstances or conditions that may impact your child’s learning or participation in Camp Shakespeare. As our team of Teaching Artists plan the camp curriculum in early June, this information will help us address the needs of your individual student.
Do you offer before- or aftercare?
We do not offer before- or aftercare. Camp Shakespeare runs from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Students may be dropped off at 9:45 a.m. and must be picked up by 5:15 p.m. There is no supervision on the premises prior to 9:30 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m.
What is your refund policy?
Full tuition is due upon registration. 50% will be refunded if registration is withdrawn before May 1, 2016. After May 1 tuition is non-refundable.
Do you offer a payment plan?
We offer a payment plan option that divides the total camp tuition into two installments. The first half of the payment is due upon registration. The second half of the payment is due by May 1, 2016. You must call the education hotline at 202-547-5688 to utilize this payment plan.
What measures are in place to ensure the safety of my child?
Your child’s safety is our first priority. All of our camp Teaching Artists and interns are trained and certified in First Aid and CPR. All STC locations have procedures in place in case of an emergency and parents and guardians will be contacted immediately.
What is your lunch policy?
All Poppets, Groundlings, and Young Players must stay on site for lunch. Parents must provide non-perishable lunch food and snacks. Poppets, Groundlings, and Young Players have thirty minutes for lunch and ample time for snack breaks throughout the day. Students in King’s Company and Advanced Camp will not be supervised during the hour lunch break. Students in King’s Company and Advanced Camp may leave for lunch, but students are also welcome to remain onsite with a lunch from home.
Are campers allowed to have cell phones?
Because of the distraction and disruption caused by cell phones, we ask that campers do not use cell phones during class or rehearsal. There are periodic breaks during the camp day where students can check messages and make calls if necessary. In order to avoid interruptions, we ask that if a parent needs to contact a child, they call our Education Hotline at 202.547.5688 and we will relay the message to your child.
Does Camp Shakespeare arrange carpools?
Camp Shakespeare does not arrange carpools on behalf of parents, but we are happy to send an email request for a carpool to other parents registered for your session.
Where can I find permission forms and emergency contact forms?
Forms can be downloaded here. Forms must be returned to the Education Department by June 1, 2016. Please be sure to fill out and return ALL THREE PAGES. Forms can be returned via fax at 202.547.0226, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or by mail to the address: Camp Shakespeare, 516 8th Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003-2834
When is the final performance and how many people may attend?
Final performance times, dates, and locations vary by program. Poppets Sharings are at 5 p.m. on the last day of each session. Groundlings and Young Players performances are 10 a.m. the Saturday after the last day of each session. Most King’s Company performances are Friday evenings at 7 p.m. or Saturday at 12:00 noon at the end of each session. If you are attending a camp in Washington, D.C., performances will be held at either the Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th Street NW, or the Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20004. If you are attending a satellite camp, the performance will be held at that location. Specific performance times will be listed in an information packet emailed in May. You may invite as many people as you want. Families are encouraged to watch the entire performance, but if you need to leave early, we ask that you leave during intermission to ensure that the students acting onstage are not disheartened and the audience is not distracted.
Will the performances be videotaped?
We will have a professional videographer at the performances in Washington, D.C.. After the performance families will be able to order a DVD for $30.00. For performances at the Lansburgh Theatre and at all of our satellite camps, you are also allowed to video tape and photograph the performances yourself, but we ask that you do not use flash photography as it is distracting to the actors. For King’s Company and Advanced Camp performances at The Forum in Sidney Harman Hall, you are not allowed to videotape or photograph the performance due to the audience’s proximity to the actors.
For Registered Campers
We are very excited that you will be participating in Camp Shakespeare 2016! The following information will prepare you for a successful camp experience.
Please fill this form and return it to the Education Department by June 1, 2016.
Forms can be returned via fax at 202.547.0226, via email to to email@example.com, or by mail to this address:
516 8th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003-2834
What Should I Bring to Camp?
- Three-ring binder: To hold your script. A thin (1/2 inch) one is easiest to handle.
- Pencil: For taking notes in your script.
- Clothes to move in: As much of the day requires physical activity, please wear clothes that are easy to move in such as shorts, sweat pants, t-shirts and tennis shoes. Please DO NOT wear skirts, sandals, heels or big pieces of jewelry as they hinder movement and can be unsafe. The building is air-conditioned, so layers are encouraged.
- Closed-toed sneakers or tennis shoes: Flip flops and sandals are not allowed at camp.
- Hair-ties: Hair should be tied back for rehearsals and stage combat class.
- Water bottle: To keep hydrated.
- Healthy lunch and snacks: Please note that students will not have access to a microwave or refrigeration, so all lunches need to be non-perishable.
What Sort of Snacks Should I Bring?
Camp is a long, vigorous day for young actors as they are physically active most of the day and need to consistently maintain focus. We ask that you limit sugary snacks and choose healthy alternatives such as:
- Chopped, raw vegetables
- Granola bars
- Cheese and crackers
- Celery, apples or mini rice cakes with peanut butter
- Nuts and dried fruits, especially raisins
- Fresh fruits, applesauce, or other fruit cups
- Breadsticks or pita chips with hummus
- Pretzels or popcorn
- Graham crackers or gingersnaps dipped in applesauce