14 Actors - 6 weeks - 2 plays - 1 ENSEMBLE
2018 Applications Will Open on January 1, 2018
Application Deadline: April 1
Applications: Via Acceptd
The Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford is a six-week theater and performance program that uniquely combines the study of Shakespeare's text, contemporary ensemble training, and the opportunity to rehearse and perform in two of Shakespeare’s plays in repertory.
Now entering its fourth season, SA@S provides 14 students from around the U.S. and abroad with a rigorous, collaborative and immersive conservatory experience. Housed together in Stratford, Connecticut, the ensemble trains and performs on the property that once housed the legendary American Shakespeare Festival Theater where performers such as Katharine Hepburn, Paul Newman and Christopher Walken brought their magic to the work of Shakespeare for decades.
Perhaps the most exciting and unique aspect of the program is the chance to rehearse and perform in not one but TWO Shakespeare productions simultaneously in the final week of the program. Beginning this season, SA@S will invite a working professional to serve as guest director on one of the two productions. This summer, New York City based director, Jessi D. Hill, will direct The Tempest and SA@S Artistic Director Brian McManamon will direct the second play, Measure for Measure.
In addition to daily ensemble classes and weekly work-in-progress showings, the SA@S ensemble participates in master classes led by internationally renowned instructors from programs such as the Juilliard School and the Yale School of Drama. Master classes in 2016 included acting, text, Droznin, Lucid Body, voice, speech, Alexander Technique, clown and stage combat.
a historic location
Stratford, CT & The White House
Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford is located in Stratford, CT, on the grounds of the former American Shakespeare Festival Theatre. This 1950s-era, 1500-seat Shakespeare theater has stood vacant since 1989 but played host to many great actors in its time. Though the festival stage is no longer in working condition, classes and rehearsals are held in the historic Nicoll-Benjamin House (affectionately known as the "White House") on the grounds of the theater. The White House, once home to the American Shakespeare Academy, is a beautiful old house featuring classrooms and rehearsal spaces, an office, and a kitchen whose cupboards are kept well stocked with tea and coffee. These will be your stomping grounds. Come ready to work in a summer-stock spirit, often site-specifically, making imaginative use of all corners of this property. Learn more about the theater grounds.
live, train, and play together
You'll be part of a true community—living, working, and playing together as an ensemble for six weeks. For students traveling to the program from a distance, the Mighty Quinn Foundation provides housing in the Stratford community. Students in the past have enjoyed living together, either in a local house or with a local family. Students share rooms and living spaces, make trips to the grocery store and laundromat together, and in the past have enjoyed going to the beach, joining the local gym together, and visiting the surrounding area, including New York City, during their down time. You are welcome and encouraged to bring a bike or car; this year we are delighted we will all live close enough to have only a short walk to the program. Local students may opt to commute to the program instead.
The Mighty Quinn Foundation also hosts weekly communal dinners for SA@S students and staff—past activities have included beach picnics, barbecues, a bonfire night, and the annual Mighty Quinn Foundation Cook-Off fundraiser on the theater lawn. And every Friday night we hold our Friday Night Showings, open-mic style informal gatherings where we share monologues, writing, music, sketch comedy, and more.
Six days a week, for six weeks
You will take daily classes in Shakespeare performance while working to build a close-knit ensemble, in and out of the classroom. Classes in Shakespeare's verse as well as voice & speech, supplemented with visiting masterclass teachers, make up SA@S's curriculum. In the past, students have trained in stage combat, playwriting, Shakespeare scholarship, clowning, Lucid Body, Droznin Method, and Alexander Technique.
While taking classes, students will also rehearse for two Shakespeare plays, to be performed in rotating repertory at the end of the program. This is a unique aspect of SA@S which allows students to directly apply the methods and techniques taught in their classes to their roles.