Young Actors 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.


Last year’s pandemic plan for the Young Actors Workshop is no longer in effect. We will return to business as usual this year, keeping in mind that there are still some health and safety issues to be addressed. Since the FDA has approved vaccines for children, we are happy to accept registration for all vaccinated actors and ask that, if your child is not vaccinated, that they can provide proof of a negative Covid test. For now, all actors should be masked at registration and rehearsals. Performances will be mask-free and our directors will make sure that the staging is safe for all the actors. Registration will be held on December 4th, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the Gild Hall. The workshop fee is $30/child and $50/family. Participants must be Arden Club members; membership can be obtained at the time of registration. Rehearsals will be on Saturdays, January 8, 15, 22, 29, Feb 5, 12. The performance will be on Sunday, Feb 13, 2022, at 1 PM.  For further information or for questions, call workshop director Mary Catherine Kelley at 302 655 1253.

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