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


The Young Actors Workshop (YAW) has been a successful program of the Shakespeare Gild for more than 20 years. Hundreds of young people have participated. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we will not be able to present the workshop in the usual format, BUT the Arden Shakespeare Gild has come up with a solution.

This is a chance for each young actor to present a monologue from Shakespeare, directed by one of our Gild team, rehearsed one-on-one, and filmed or streamed as performance.

Each actor MUST have a parent or other adult present during the rehearsals which will last 30-45 minutes. We will be using the same Saturday schedules as we always have and, adhering to Arden Club and CDC rules and guidelines, masking and social distancing will be observed. Example: from 10-10:30, actor A will take the stage with his/her director at least 15-20 feet away. Actor B and companion should not arrive until 10:30 and may wait in the lobby. Actor A finishes and exits through the balcony door, Actor B takes the stage.

On “performance” day, actors will be scheduled in 20, 3-minute increments for the video recording. There may be additional people for filming, light and sound, but no more than 3 others.

We will need you to register by December 12. Enrollment will be limited to 15 young actors ages 6 to 16. The fee is as usual $30.00 per attendee, $50.00 per family. If you are NOT a member of the Arden Club, that separate membership is also required. Registration materials will be posted on the Arden Club web page by end of November. In this year of COVID-19 economic disruptions, If you can’t sign up for financial reasons, please contact us, we may be able to help.

For more 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

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.