The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has announced the launch of The Shakespeare Theatre Academy, a new expansion of its already extensive education program offerings. Beginning in March, the Theatre will offer youth and adult classes in a wide range of disciplines connected with classic theatre. Each series of classes meets once a week and offers participants the opportunity to work under the instruction of The Shakespeare Theatre’s renowned artistic and educational staff as well as guest teaching artists.
“As The Shakespeare Theatre enters its second half-century and with the acquisition of its new, centralized support facility in Florham Park, it is primed to embark on this newest educational endeavor, The Shakespeare Theatre Academy,” said Director of Education Brian B. Crowe. “Whether a student is taking his or her first theatre class or this experience is just one step on an ever-evolving theatrical journey, The Shakespeare Theatre Academy provides compelling, enriching, and fun opportunities for the artist in everyone.”
Associate Director of Education and one of the Theatre’s Fight Directors Doug West will lead both sword and unarmed stage combat courses for students ages 16 and up. With small class sizes, students will receive individualized attention as they discover the meticulous art of choreographing realistic duels and fights for shows. Crowe, a frequent Main Stage director, will lead two introductory classes in scene study for aspiring adult and young adult actors. Through text, character and language analysis, participants will bring some of classic theatre’s greatest characters to life.
The Shakespeare Theatre Academy’s spring semester includes the following classes:
EN GARDE!: SWORD PLAY 101 (ages 16 and up) The masterful craft of single sword play flashes through and enlivens so many of Shakespeare’s plays; from the impassioned and fiery fights of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet to the comic diversions of Twelfth Night and The Comedy of Errors. This eight-week series will cover the basics of form and safety, as well as the acting magic required to make Shakespeare’s fights come to life. Foils and blades will be provided during classes by the Theatre.
PUNCH, TUMBLE, AND ROLL: UNARMED STAGE COMBAT (ages 16 and up) From a single slap or shove to an all-out rumble, great detail and care goes into creating the illusion of realistic fights on stage and film. Learn some of the basic tricks-of-the-trade implemented by actors and fight choreographers when developing believable, exciting and safe scuffles and brawls.
ADULT CLASSIC SCENE STUDY (ages 18 and up) Ever dreamed of being on stage in a thrilling Shakespeare tragedy or one of Moliére’s rollicking, fast-paced farces? Designed for novice and semi-experienced actors, this eight-week series focuses on the skills necessary to bring life to the classics on stage. Participants will work with The Shakespeare Theatre’s acclaimed staff while delving into works from Euripides to Shakespeare to Shaw to Williams.
YOUNG ACTORS SHAKESPEARE SCENE STUDY (ages 14-18) An extension of The Shakespeare Theatre’s popular Junior and Senior Shakespeare summer program, the Young Actors Shakespeare series takes students through the actor’s approach to Shakespeare. From text analysis and speech work to engaging in the “deliciousness of language” and physical characterization, this eight-week series explores some of Shakespeare’s most popular (and some lesser-known) scenes and sonnets.
A long-standing leader in arts education, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is deeply committed to nurturing new talent for the American stage and providing compelling enrichment programs for patrons of all ages. The Theatre’s Summer Professional Training Program brings early-career artists from across the nation to study and experience classic theatre in an intense, hands-on environment alongside some of the most respected artists in the country. The Junior and Senior Shakespeare Corps has provided an exciting immersion in Shakespeare and other classics for young people ages 11 to 17 for over two decades. The Pages-to-Players in-school residencies, the Shakesperience: NJ Student Shakespeare Festival, and the Shakespeare LIVE! educational touring company and workshops provide even more opportunities for students and educators to be a part of the magic of classic drama. Patrons of The Shakespeare Theatre have long praised the Theatre’s Symposium and Know-the-Show series, as much appreciated opportunities for audiences to get a deeper look into the work on stage.
The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey’s largest professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classic for contemporary audiences.