Youth Education Programs

Single Tickets for Season 15 are on sale now!

Think Shakespeare is hard to understand? Check out this video from Season 8 (below) and see why kids say differently.

Summer Programs for All Students

Chill with Will

GRSF provides FREE tickets for students age 11 – 18 to a selected performance of each professional production. 

With programming tailored to students before the performance, and a Company Conversation after, GRSF is passionate about welcoming students to the theater. All students are encouraged  to reserve their free Chill with Will ticket through the Box Office in advance. Guardians wishing to accompany a student must purchase a ticket. Chill with Will tickets must be reserved over the phone or in person. Not available online.

Do you have a student younger than 11 who is interested in coming to a play? Contact the Box Office at 507.474.7900 for more information–some Shakespeare fans are ready to join is in the theater at a younger age!

Programming for Chill with Will begins at 6:30 p.m., an hour before curtain. Students will receive a primer prepared by our Arts Education staff and get a chance to learn about the world of the play, tour backstage, and ask questions about the theater. Chill with Will students are also invited to stay after the performance for a Company Conversation.

Chill with Will Dates for Season 15 (Summer 2018)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Thursday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m.

All’s Well That Ends Well

Thursday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Shakespeare in Love

Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Summer Programs for Grade School Students

Will's Power Players (Grades 3-6)

This program gives students who entering 3rd through 6th grades in Fall 2018 a chance to build a foundation of skills in acting and performance while exploring the wonders of Shakespeare.

Power Player students work together on a script.

Students will explore voice, movement and imagination, in addition to monologue and scene work while practicing listening and speaking skills and building confidence–all essential acting traits. This fun, active program will culminate in an informal performance by all participants.

Dates:

Session 1: July 10 – 14  10am – 4pm with Saturday performance at 9:30am

Session 2: July 17-21  10am-4pm with Saturday performance at 9:30am

Tuition: $195/week; $290/both weeks

Lead instructor:

Kacie Mixon (Will’s Creative Drama and Power Players) has taught dramatics for young people for over 20 years. She holds a BFA in Acting from Rutgers University, and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Montclair State University. She served as Education Coordinator at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and has taught and mentored young actors at ASF, George Street Playhouse, the Omega Institute, Princeton Montessori, and with her husband, GRSF actor Chris Mixon, created the Creative Dramatics for Homeschoolers program in Montgomery, Alabama. Kacie teaches literacy and runs an afterschool program which incorporates theater for at-risk students in Newark, NJ. Her son Jackson is a young actor in GRSF’s SYA program.

For more information or to apply for a scholarship, please email GRSF’s Education Director at education@grsf.org.

Will's Power Players (Age 4 - 2nd Grade)

This program offers four half-day creative dramatics classes for students for students from 4 years of age through those entering 2nd grade in Fall 2018. Children will have a blast playing theater games to learn collaborative performance skills and group dynamics. They will explore ways to use their voices and

Will’s Creative Drama students at work in the classroom

bodies as tools for storytelling working with simple stories and poetry. Students will also have a basic introduction to Shakespeare through simple scenes and sample performance videos.

Dates:

July 3 – 7 (no classes July 4)  9am-12pm with Saturday performance at 9:30am

Tuition: $150

Instructor:

Kacie Mixon (Will’s Creative Drama and Power Players) has taught dramatics for young people for over 20 years. She holds a BFA in Acting from Rutgers University, and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Montclair State University. She served as Education Coordinator at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and has taught and mentored young actors at ASF, George Street Playhouse, the Omega Institute, Princeton Montessori, and with her husband, GRSF actor Chris Mixon, created the Creative Dramatics for Homeschoolers program in Montgomery, Alabama. Kacie teaches literacy and runs an afterschool program which incorporates theater for at-risk students in Newark, NJ. Her son Jackson is a young actor in GRSF’s SYA program.

For more information or to apply for a scholarship, please email GRSF’s Education Director at education@grsf.org.

Summer Programs for Middle and High School Students

Shakespeare for Young Actors

SYA 1: July 17 – July 29, 2018 (Tuition: $350)*

Classes are held from 10am-4pm with Showcase on 7/29 @ 6pm

SYA 2: July 10 – July 29, 2018 (Tuition: $450)

Classes are held from 10am-4pm with Showcase on 7/29 @ 6pm

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

SYA 1 students work closely with professional actors to understand and interpret Shakespeare’s text.

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 summer season productions. The program culminates in a performance of a production to be announced soon 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:

  • Basic 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 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.

 

Program Details:

Students of all experience levels will work together in focusing on basic acting techniques, 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 summer season productions. Summer 2017 will feature two levels of instruction.  For

SYA students practice stage combat for a performance of “Hamlet”, 2017

beginners, Level 1 will offer two-weeks of instruction and a performance of scene work. Advanced students in Level 2 will study and perform Hamlet. For students who completed 6th-12th grade in Spring 2017

Level 1- 2 week session beginning in mid-July with a final performance at the end of the season; Tuition $350

Level 2 – 3 week session beginning in July with a final performance at the end of the season; Tuition $450

Scholarships for students would who would otherwise not be able to attend the program may be available. Please inquire at education@grsf.org 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 who have completed grades 6 through 12 in Spring 2017. 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. A link to the application will be posted in early 2018.

  • Classes at the Winona State University.
  • Program fees include tickets to the main stage productions, as well as other GRSF events.
  • Students will provide their own lunch; refrigeration is available.
  • Housing is not provided. Please inquire at education@grsf.org with questions or requests.
  • Guardians must provide transportation to and from the program.

*Please note the dates for SYA 1 are different than what is listed in the Season Brochure. The dates listed on the website for SYA 1 (July 17 – 29) are CORRECT. Please call the office with any questions at 507.474.7900 or email Carrie Nath, Education Director, at carrien@grsf.org.

Shakespeare for Young Designers

SYD 2018: July 10-29. (Tuition: $450)

Classes are held from 10am-4pm with Showcase on 7/29 @ 6pm

Shakespeare for Young Designers offers an opportunity for students who have completed 6th through 12th grade in Spring 2018 to explore scenic and costume design and production strategies in the context of Shakespearean text.

This program incorporates elements of the professional design process, giving students the opportunity to create their own text-based design. The program culminates with a presentation of students’ designs. New to the program will be an opportunity to design and construct costume and properties elements for the Shakespeare for Young Actors production, which will perform the same evening as the Design showcase.

Over the course of this intensive workshop, students will experience the following:

  • Three GRSF mainstage productions;
  • Classes in Shakespearean text analysis for designers with GRSF actors and production staff;
  • Learning from GRSF professional theatre designers and technicians in areas of scenery, costumes, and properties;
  • A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create a professional Shakespeare production;
  • Backstage tour of the GRSF mainstage on WSU’s campus;
  • Creation and construction of their own design based on one of Shakespeare’s plays.

No prior experience with Shakespeare is necessary. Prior theatre experience is welcome but not required.

Program fees include:

  • Tickets to the three GRSF mainstage productions, as well as other GRSF events.
  • Small-group and individual instruction by theatre design/tech professionals.
  • Materials to complete design projects.
SYD students present their designs, 2017

Programs usually will take place from 10:00am – 4:00pm Tuesdays through Saturdays at Winona State University.  Students will have an hour lunch break, and should provide their own lunch (a refrigerator is available). The students will showcase their work on in July in the Performing Arts Center lobby, preceding the Shakespeare for Young Actors production. Housing is not provided, but host families in Winona may be available; please inquire at education@grsf.org.

Tuition for this program is $450. Scholarships may be available; please inquire at education@grsf.org.

Instructor: 

Jenn Oswald started as a Costume Intern with GRSF in 2013 and has served various roles in the Costume and Education departments since. Based out of Chicago, she is currently a Freelance Stitcher and a Workshop Leader with Turning the Page on the West Side of Chicago. She has a degree in Theatre Arts/Costume Design from Illinois Wesleyan University, where she designed Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Problem Child, and Dormimos (part of the Faculty Choreographed Dance Concert). She was also the Costume Designer for the Intern/Apprentice production of Macbeth her Intern year with GRSF. The last few years have taken her to various classrooms from Arusha, Tanzania, Louisville, KY, and Turbigo, Italy and she is ecstatic to be returning to one of her favorites – in Winona, MN. Find more information about Jenn at JennOswald.com.

Shakespeare for Young Filmmakers

SYF 2018: July 3-14 (no class July 4). (Tuition: $350)

Classes are held from 10am-4pm with Showcase on 7/29 @ 6pm

Guided by GRSF company members and filmmakers, this course is designed for students grades 7-12 seeking an introduction to filmmaking. SYF gives opportunities to those creative minds interested in the work behind the camera instead of in front.
Working from the ground up, students will be exposed to the workings of creating a film in pre-production, production, and post-production. All students work daily with professional filmmakers on conception, writing, filming, and editing. Over the course of the workshop, SYF students will take part in

the creation of one of GRSF’s summer films, acting as a part of the crew, including camera operating, directing actors, and other on-set duties. All SYF students will be credited in the film which will debut on the main stage before our Shakespeare for Young Actors summer production.
All levels of experience are welcome. SYF is based on the foundations of filmmaking, while giving a chance for those who may have more experience to enhance their skills.
SYF students will focus on:
  • The fundamentals of storytelling/screenwriting
  • On-set roles, equipment, and terminology
  • Directing actors for film
  • Basic principles of editing
All SYF students also:
  • Have a chance to work in multiple on-set positions
  • Get to take part in the creation of a short film created by GRSF company members, including the opportunity to direct GRSF company actors
  • Attend GRSF’s summer season productions and other festival events
Instructors:
Christopher Gerson, GRSF company actor and filmmaker. He is one of the creators of Darwin: The Series. He has been directing, editing, and making films for many years.
Benjamin Boucvalt, GRSF company actor, writer, and filmmaker. His early days in film were spent studying screenwriting. Today, Benjamin works/teaches on stage and in film, leads storytelling workshops, and published his first novel in 2014.

Classroom Programs (During the School Year)

Shakespeare in the Schools

The Shakespeare in the Schools Program (SITS) is designed to bring Shakespeare to life in the classroom. Activities are centered around Shakespeare’s works and the actor’s process. Residencies include an introduction to Shakespeare’s world, customs of the Queen’s Court and the raucous country dances;  an actor’s approach through text and scene analysis and an opportunity to hone and shape presentational skills through acting exercises based in movement, voice and character development – all in a hands on, fun environment. Residencies can also include topics such as stage combat or “Shakespeare and film”.

The SITS arts education team is comprised of Great River Shakespeare Festival professional actors and arts educators who will work directly with the classroom teachers to design the residency. Exercises will be tailored to the classroom teacher’s desired outcomes. All residencies are designed to meet State and National standards. Length and cost are based on residency structure determined in the initial planning session.

Want to know more? Contact GRSF Education Director, Carrie Nath, at 507.474.9375 or email carrien@grsf.org.

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