Shakespeare for Young Actors

Tuesday, July 8th – Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Information and application for Shakespeare for Young Actors in Season 12 will be available in January 2015.

Led by GRSF company members, this intensive workshop for students grades 7-12 introduces young actors to the principles of acting Shakespeare.

Students of all experience levels will work together in focusing on basic acting techniques; applying principles of scansion, meter, and text analysis to Shakespeare’s plays; and movement and creative improvisation exercises. All SYA students work with members of the GRSF professional company, get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create a professional Shakespeare production, and attend GRSF’s 2014 summer season productions. The program culminates in a performance of The Tempest including all SYA students.

All previous experience levels are welcome; all that’s required is an interest in Shakespeare!  Student with previous experience will build on their experience with more advanced work.

SYA students will focus on:

  • Helena Scholz-CarlsonBasic principles of acting and acting technique.
  • Applying principles of scansion, meter, and text analysis to Shakespeare’s plays.
  • Movement and creative improvisation exercises.

All SYA students also:

  • Work with members of the GRSF professional company and get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create a professional Shakespeare production.
  • Attend GRSF’s 2014 summer season productions and other festival events.
  • At the end of the workshop, participants will receive a certificate indicating their successful completion of the GRSF Shakespeare for Young Actors training program.

Shakespeare for Young Actors

Program Details:
Held Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM-4PM July 8th-July 26th, the program culminates in a public performance of a Shakespeare play at 7:00 PM on Sunday, July 27th. The tuition for the program is $425. Scholarships for students would who would otherwise not be able to attend the program may be available. Please inquire at to apply for financial assistance.
Program Description:
With differentiated instruction for students with any background and previous experience with Shakespeare and theatre, SYA is perfect for all students entering grades 7-12. All that is required is a desire to learn about Shakespeare’s text!

To be considered for acceptance into the program, students should complete an online application below or email The deadline for applications is June 15th, 2014. Space is limited, so early application is recommended.

  • Classes at the Winona State University’s Performing Arts Center.
  • Program fees include tickets to the three main stage productions, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, as well as other GRSF events.
  • Students will provide their own lunch; refrigeration is available.
  • Housing is not provided, but arrangements with a host family may be available. Please inquire at with questions or requests.
  • Parents must provide transportation to and from the program.
  • Classes are led by GRSF actor Tarah Flanagan and other members of the GRSF professional company.

Some scholarships are available. Email to inquire.
Lead instructor: 

Tarah Flanagan is a NY based actor and acting teacher. She has performed in more than 50 productions across the country, and has been a company member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival since 2007. She has been involved with SYA since it’s inception; first as a Guest Instructor, then as Movement Teacher and Assistant Director under Andrew Carlson’s leadership. For the past two seasons Tarah has served as Lead Instructor and Director (As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet). As a GRSF company member, she has worked as an Artist in Residence for the Shakespeare in the Schools program, and has lectured for the Road Scholars and for the Shakespeare Symposium. She has taught Acting and Movement at the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, Georgia State University Summer Shakespeare Intensive, and directed Apprentice Solo Mio projects at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Tarah received her training from PCPA Theatrefest, Webster University (BFA) and The Alabama Shakespeare Festival (MFA).

Macbeth (2007 dir. Doug Scholz-Carlson) Chris Bernard and Kern McFadden.JPG

Photos: Helena Scholz-Carlson in The Winter’s Tale (SYA 2011), Andrew Carlson teaching in the Winona Area Schools, SYA class of 2008 with teacher Andrew Carlson, Macbeth (2007 dir. Doug Scholz-Carlson) with Kern McFadden and SYA alum Chris Bernard.

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