Bay Area Shakespeare Camps

Virtual Shakespeare Camps 2021 are now enrolling!

After careful consideration, we have decided to keep our Shakespeare Camps virtual this summer, and return to in-person programming in Fall 2021.

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Our Virtual Shakespeare Camps provide a mixture of live online instruction and offline projects for a fun and flexible Shakespeare Camp experience! Campers enrolled in Shakespeare Players Camp (7-12-year-olds) or Upstart Crows Camp (13-18-year-olds) enjoy tailored and carefully crafted programs to move their bodies, challenge their minds, and ignite their imaginations. As always, camps end with a performance on the final day - using the magic of virtual theatre.

We’ve created a new updated schedule that will make Virtual Shakespeare Camp even better than last year! Along with input from our experienced Teaching Artists, we incorporated helpful parent feedback to make the best use of the virtual format. We are adjusting the hours of this year’s virtual camps to include fewer synchronous Zoom class hours per day, more independent projects, more individual attention, longer breaks and more flexibility. We recognize that the final performance of a full Shakespeare play is an important part of the experience, so we have extended our virtual camps to 3 weeks in order to allow for enough virtual rehearsal time. Campers will have plenty of time to explore acting and movement techniques, Shakespeare’s language, and set and costume design in a way that allows maximum fun, time off-screen, and the sense of ownership of the play that actors are able to develop over a longer rehearsal period.

SF Shakes’ educational values center social-emotional development, community-building, and better understanding of our shared humanity. The focus of our education programs is less on training actors, more on encouraging self-expression, ownership, and interrogation of classical texts. As we continue to navigate the pandemic, we have chosen to explore plays with themes of loss and reconciliation, travel, and reunion with loved ones - Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Twelfth Night.

Our price is $750 for the three weeks of instruction: only $50/day. (Scholarship assistance is available for those with financial need.)

Amy Lizardo - headshot Want more information about why your kids will have more fun than they ever imagined at Shakespeare Camp? Check out text and video commentary by teaching artist Amy Lizardo on our blog post!

Virtual Camps include:
- Camp Kit including materials (available for pick-up in central locations throughout the Bay Area; can be mailed for those living outside the Bay Area)
- Daily interactive, synchronous Zoom classes with our teaching artists
- Pre-recorded asynchronous videos for additional enrichment (craft activities for Players, further language and theme exploration for Upstart Crows)

See our FAQ page for additional information. Please contact us (email or 415-558-0888) if you have questions about Shakespeare Camps or any of our programs.

Shakespeare Players (7-12 years old, rising 2nd-7th graders)
[June 7 Players session no longer accepting enrollments!
Ages 11 & 12 may enroll in June 7 Upstart Crows session.

June 28 - July 16 (M-F)
July 19 - Aug 6 (M-F)

A sample camp day for 7-12-year-olds could look like this:
9-9:30 am - Individual and small-group time with teaching artist (by appointment, on Zoom)
9:30-10:15 am - Warm-up, voice, and movement (on Zoom)
10:15-10:30 am - Snack break
10:30-11:30 am - Shakespeare acting class or rehearsal (on Zoom)
11:30 am-12 pm - Rehearsal (on Zoom)
12 pm - Lunch break
Afternoon any time - Asynchronous craft activity, Shakespeare videos, learn lines, etc - these optional enrichment activities are designed to take about 1-2 hours to do.

The Plays:

The Adventures of Pericles (7-8 year olds)
Based on the second act of Pericles, this short play follows our hero as he washes up on the shore of Pentapolis as a refugee from a shipwreck - and is rescued by a friendly group of local fishermen. He competes in a jousting tournament, wins the heart of a princess, and befriends a king… a wonderful fairy tale story for our youngest campers, with lots of opportunities for movement, costume and prop-making, and comedy.

Twelfth Night (9-12 year olds) This classic comedy about the many forms and fashions of love, Twelfth Night cushions relevant content, such as loss and bullying, in an uproarious farce featuring love triangles, hidden identities, and mischievous clowns. With a wide range of roles for actors at any level of experience, Twelfth Night invites us into a world where the improbable is possible, chaos begets connection, and love transcends shipwrecks. 

Enrollment Button - Players

 Upstart Crows - portraits
Upstart Crows (13-18 year olds, rising 8th-12th graders)

June 7 - 25 (M-F)

June 28 - July 16 (M-F)
July 19 - Aug 6 (M-F)

Our Upstart Crows teaching artists recognize that teens can handle a longer day on Zoom but are also at their best later in the morning.
Our sample schedule for 13-18-year-olds looks like this:
10-10:50 am - Warm-up, Voice & Movement
10:50-11 am - Break
11 am -12 pm - Acting Shakespeare (on Zoom)
12-1 pm - Lunch break
1-3 pm - Monologue work and rehearsal (with 10-minute break)
Crows also benefit from visiting guest instructors and asynchronous videos to further challenge and enhance their experience.

The Play:
Pericles (13-18 year olds)
Pericles, Prince of Tyre leaves home and embarks on an epic journey filled with jousting competitions, pirates and the wild watery seas. Pericles embarks on his own hero's journey, finding love and family along the way! An epic tale, written later in Shakespeare’s life, about family, loss, shipwrecks and most importantly…...PIRATES!
Enroll now button - Crows

Advanced Shakespeare Workshop actors

Advanced Shakespeare Workshop (4-week advanced program, audition required to enroll):
July 5-July 30, M-F, 10am-3pm

Advanced Shakespeare Workshop is designed for teens who have already attended at least one Upstart Crows session. This year ASW returns with a new 4-week program that includes performing a modern verse translation of Timon of Athens as well as extensive scene and monologue work. 

This conservatory-style program requires previous acting experience and an audition (note: returning ASW actors do not need to audition again; please email for enrollment information). Audition submissions are due no later than June 25. Please email a 60-90 memorized Shakespeare speech, filmed against a clean background. Please check the video for visual and audio clarity before sending. Audition videos will be considered in the order they are received.

The fee for this 4-week conservatory style program is $1095. (Scholarship assistance is available for those with financial need.)