Young Actors Workshop


Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue.
— Hamlet’s advice to the Players


This six-week workshop under the direction of Arden Shakespeare Gild members will begin on January 7, 2017 and culminate in a February 12th, 2017 performance. Short scenes and monologues from Shakespeare plays are the focus of the workshop.  Rehearsals of 90 minutes to 2 hours are held on Saturday Jan 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, February 4th, and 11th.  Children are assigned to age related groups.  All young actors between 6 -16 years old are invited.  For information call Mary Catherine Kelley at (302) 655 1253.

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP. Arden Shakespeare Gild’s Young Actors Workshop is a unique opportunity for kids to speak the speeches actors have been performing for over 400 years – and for good reason – because it’s the greatest material ever: filled with passion, humor, great insults, beautiful poetry, wit, anger, fear, goofiness and alliteration. The workshop started in 1999 as part of our mission to continue the Shakespeare tradition in Arden and train the next generation of Shakespeare actors. We performed a shortened (but not shortened enough) version of Romeo & Juliet, set in a galaxy far away. Sword fights featured Star-Wars-type laser flashlights whose plastic segments flew into the audience once the combat started. The performance was exciting, and we learned a lot. Since then, our annual workshop has concentrated on individual short scenes from a variety of plays; our weapons (if needed in a scene) are both safe and combat-worthy. We accept actors as young as 6 through high school age. And our dream has come true: we have nurtured another generation of Shakespeare lovers. Many of our young actors have grown into adult roles in our main-stage summer production. Some have continued their involvement in theater through college, and a few act professionally and teach theater in our schools.

Visit our Videos Page to watch a TV interview of YAW co-founder Betty Solway Smith speaking of her passion for introducing young people to Shakespeare.

To all our future Young Actors: even if you have never been on stage before – especially if you have never been on stage before – join us. Registration for the Young Actors Workshop is held on the first Saturday of December. Rehearsals are held on 5 or 6 Saturdays in January and February. Actors are assigned to a director and rehearsals are scheduled for 1-2 hours between 9:30 am and 3:30 pm. Our aim is to have a small number of actors in each scene so everyone gets a good opportunity to speak and act. We do not “dumb down” the text in any way, although some directors can be relied on to “silly things up”.

All actors must be members of the Arden Club. But it’s easy and inexpensive for a family to join. There are junior Arden Club memberships and workshop scholarships available too. To find out how to join the Arden Club, click here.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED ATTEND OUR SHOWCASE PERFORMANCE on the second Sunday of February in the upper hall. Donations are gratefully accepted at the door.

You can link to galleries of our past YAW showcases and order prints by clicking here.