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shakespeare intensive for teens

SIT is a four-week, audition-based, professional-style training program in performance and Shakespeare for rising ninth grade students to rising college freshmen.  

During SIT, students are instructed by professional actors and Teaching Artists specifically trained in the performance and instruction of Shakespeare in classes in Shakespeare text work, voice and movement techniques, stage combat, madrigal, and Renaissance dance. Informed by what they learn in classes, students rehearse and perform a full-length play from the Shakespeare canon. The fast rehearsal process, similar to that employed by ASC’s professional actors, gives students the skills to make quick, bold acting choices and stretch their creative wings.

Tuition

Tuition is $949 per student.  For more information about tuition and scholarships, please see the Frequently Asked Questions From Students About SIT section.

Location

SIT will take place at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.  

Dates and Auditions

We will offer two, four-week sessions of SIT in June and July 2020. Information about dates and auditions will be provided on this webpage in fall 2019.

Applications will be due no later than early February 2020, and auditions will take place in late February 2020.  

scholarships available

Lord Chamberlain’s Award

This award is a talent-based award. We may choose to give this award to one person to cover the full cost of tuition, or we may give partial awards to multiple people. In the online application you can indicate that you are interested in being considered for this award. Everyone should apply for this award!

Friends of the Bard Awards

This is award is based on both talent and financial need. To apply for this scholarship, you will need to answer some financial questions, and you may be asked to provide supporting materials like your involvement in the Reduced Lunch Program at school, or another assistance program. This is the final part of the online application. If you do not need financial aid you can indicate this and you do not need to fill out the rest of the financial aid information. If you do need financial aid in order to attend SIT, please make sure you very carefully fill out this part of the online application.

Student Associate positions

These positions are work-study opportunities for really motivated teens who would like to contribute even more to the success of SIT and the Atlanta Shakespeare Company to get full or partial tuition assistance. Work-study positions come with added commitments of time and talent. During SIT, work-study students clean the theater building from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Wednesdays and volunteer during a mainstage performance on Thursdays or Fridays.

The Student Associate work-study program is a lot of work. Most of that work involves cleaning around the theater. If you aren’t able or willing to do that, then a Student Associate position isn’t for you. 

To apply for work-study, you should fill out the complete financial aid part of the online form. If you are under eighteen, you must have a Georgia student work permit by the start of your session and be available for all additional hours as listed above. Make sure your parents know about the extra time commitment for work-study. A maximum of three to four Student Associate positions are available per session.

A note to parents about the Student Associate Work-Study Program.

It is very important that the Student Associates have transportation available right at 6:00pm every day, or be able to take MARTA or carpool.  We cannot supervise students past 6:00pm each day. We will be glad to put you in touch with other parents who may be able to carpool.

Please note: If you do not fill out the financial information, we cannot make any financial aid determinations.  We will assume that you are not applying for aid if you leave the form blank or out of your application packet.

Contact Information

Please contact Education Performances Coordinator Tony Brown at tony@shakespearetavern.com or 404-874-5299 ext. 55.

Frequently Asked Questions From Students About SIT

What is the Shakespeare Intensive for Teens (SIT)?

SIT is an intense theater training program in which you will be cast in a full-length Shakespeare play. The fast, four-week rehearsal process, similar to that of our professional company at the Shakespeare Tavern, is designed to encourage students to make quick, bold acting choices and grow as performers. 

What classes will I take?

SIT classes, which will be interspersed between daily rehearsals, will focus on the skills you will need to perform Shakespeare. Classes will cover stage combat, music, movement, and text work. Depending on the sessions, classes may also cover status, improvisation, clowning, mime, mask work, and Alexander Technique.

Who will be the Teaching Artists who will instruct me?

All of our Teaching Artists for SIT are college-educated, professional actors employed at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company. Beyond playing leading roles at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, former SIT Teaching Artists have been employed at The Alliance Theater, Theater in the Square, Onstage Atlanta, Georgia Shakespeare, Human Race Theater Company, Georgia Renaissance Festival, and the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair.  

Where is the Shakespeare Intensive for Teens held?

SIT will be held at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, which is located at 499 Peachtree Street, in Midtown Atlanta.

When is SIT and how long does it run?

We offer two SIT sessions to allow more students the opportunity to participate and still do the other programs they enjoy in the summer. You should apply for the session that best fits your summer schedule. Each session is four weeks. Please check this webpage in fall 2019 for more information about the start and end dates of the June and July 2020 sessions of SIT.  Please note that due to the intense nature of the program, students who have conflicts during the scheduled sessions of SIT should not apply. In applying and auditioning, you are committing to be at all of the session dates and activities. We do not allow absences unless in the case of unexpected illness or family emergencies.

When are the applications due?

Please check this webpage in fall 2019 for more information about the due date for applications. Applications will be due no later than early February 2020, and auditions will take place in late February 2020.  

Can I apply for both sessions? When are the auditions, and what should I plan on doing?

You can apply for both sessions, but you will only be accepted to one session.  However, if you are available for both sessions, applying for both sessions increases your possible casting and chance of being selected for one.

Once you apply, we will assign you a sixty-minute audition slot on one of those days. Auditions will be group auditions. If you can only be at auditions one of those days or only a specific time during the day, please let us know on your application. If you are auditioning for other summer programs such as Governor’s Honors Program, please let us know when you accept your slot.

For the auditions you should prepare two Shakespeare monologues of contrasting style. Each monologue should be no longer than two minutes and at least one of them should be iambic pentameter verse (not prose). Please pick monologues from two different plays. Also, pick pieces that show us a wide emotional range and your capabilities. Unlike a professional show, we will be casting all the characters from actors in their teens, so we will need people who can play both younger and older characters, as well as funny and serious. Your monologues must be memorized; we will not accept auditions from students who have not memorized their monologues.

In addition to the monologues, please be prepared to show us at least one other skill you possess. If you sing or sing and dance please prepare sixteen bars or about thirty seconds of a song or a song and dance piece. Any style of song or dance is fine. We will provide a CD player, so you may bring a CD, or you may sing or sing and dance without music.

If you play a musical instrument, please prepare a sixteen bar selection to show us.   

If you juggle, or do acrobatics, show us that. Basically, we want you to show us one other talent you may have. Pick the one you think you do the best. We may also ask you questions about yourself, and your experience. Be prepared for a short interview during the audition.

We like to have fun, and keep you on your toes at the audition, so expect the unexpected. Even if you don’t sing, you might brush up on “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” It might also be a good idea to have a good, clean joke prepared. Most of all, plan to show us your best work and a professional, fun attitude. 

Audition slots will be limited, and auditions will be assigned in the order we receive your application. We will do our best to see everyone that applies, and we may add additional audition times at our discretion. If you are unavailable for the two days listed, please let us know another time you could meet with us. Video auditions will be accepted, if you cannot be here at all. However, attending in-person auditions will improve your chances of being selected.

For what are you looking from the applicants?

We are looking for a lot of things including commitment, maturity, and a willingness to try. Some of the casting decisions will be made based on talent, but it is not the most important thing we consider. The most talented actor in the world is only as good as his or her strength of character. We would much rather work with someone who is talented and personable, than someone who is super talented and a diva. We are looking for personality, skill, presence, integrity and strength. We are also looking for people who have a potential to grow and get the most out of this experience.

How many people will be accepted?

Unfortunately, space is limited. We will cast between twelve and eighteen individuals, depending on the show we pick and whom we think will work well together. We strive to give everyone a similar experience. Some cast members will get one role; others may get three or more. We can’t guarantee that all of the cast members will have the same number of lines or roles, but you will be just as important as everyone else.

I have been in SIT before; will I be accepted to SIT this year? Do I have a better chance?

That depends. You will need to submit the online application and audition just like everyone else.The difference is that we are familiar with you and your work. We know your strengths and weaknesses; we know if you learned your lines on time or not. Being involved a second or even third year is not guaranteed, but we would love for you to apply again. We recommend that you audition with material we have not seen you do before; please do not use your last audition piece or the big speech you did in SIT.  Show us how you have grown and tried to stretch yourself as an actor. The one major difference is that you do not need a teacher recommendation. However, you must submit Audition and Scholarship Applications online.

Also, just because you applied last year and weren’t accepted, that does not affect your chances this time around. Please apply again. It may simply be that we had too many people and had to limit due to the cast size of the show we thought would fit with the people who auditioned. Just as the play will change each year, so will you. You’ve changed and grown; this time we may have the perfect part for you!

When will the casting decisions be made?

We know that you have many other choices for summer activities. We also know that those opportunities fill up quickly, so we will cast the SIT as quickly as possible. Acceptance and Alternate Letters will be sent out by the end of the first week of March, provided that auditions are closed. We will send scripts and your parts at least one month before the first day of rehearsal, once everyone has confirmed.

What play will we be doing?

We don’t know yet. We see everyone in auditions and then decide on the play. Our choice is based on the skills of the actors available. We aren’t looking for the actor that is perfect for the part; we are looking for the part that is perfect for the actor.

What is an “Alternate Letter”?

We will be selecting several alternates, in case someone is selected and then is unable to attend. Remember, these are not “runners up” but are other people with whom we really wanted to work if we’d only had more roles. We would work with you all, if we could.

We only have four weeks. How will I learn my lines?

Once you have accepted a space in SIT, we will send you a script and cast list. You will have at least a month to learn your lines. You will be expected to come to the first rehearsal off-book, which means you should have all your lines memorized. We will include some tips for memorizing lines in the script packet. Remember, this is a professional style, intense program; you must be prepared when you arrive.

Will my parents have to pay to see the SIT performances?

Two complimentary tickets to each of the three SIT performances are included in the cost of SIT tuition. You may give those tickets to whomever you wish. If you would like additional tickets, cast members and their parents may purchase tickets for $7 each. The price to the public will be $9 for students and $12 for adults.

How much does the Shakespeare Intensive for Teens cost?

We try our best to make all of our programs accessible to everyone. Therefore, we do not want the cost of SIT to be prohibitive. Similar programs cost $1500 and don’t offer as much, or have more participants. The tuition for SIT is $949.

Are there Scholarships available? What about work-study?

We understand that not everyone who would benefit from SIT will be able to afford it. Therefore, we are sometimes able to offer full or partial scholarships based on both talent and need. The online application has a section for your financial aid information. You must fill out the financial aid section of the online application to be considered for aid. If you do not want to be considered, there is an option on the application to decline aid.

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