Shakespeare Academy At Stratford Kicks Off Fifth Season

Shakespeare Academy At Stratford Kicks Off Fifth Season

On June 21st, the Shakespeare Academy at Stratford kicked off its fifth season by welcoming fourteen young actors to Stratford. Coming from as close as New York City and as far as Singapore and Mexico, the group was selected from a record number of applicants to spend six weeks training and performing on the property that once housed the American Shakespeare Festival Theater.

A project of the Mighty Quinn Foundation, a Stratford-based non-profit, the Shakespeare Academy at Stratford provides rigorous theater training, ensemble collaboration, and the opportunity to rehearse and perform two of Shakespeare plays in repertory.

Living and working side by side, as an ensemble, is a hallmark of the SA@S experience. Mornings are spent studying with prominent instructors and masterclass teachers from programs such as the Juilliard School and Yale School of Drama, including two Stratford residents: Joan Frost and Ted Van Griethuysen.

Afternoons and evenings are devoted to rehearsal for two Shakespeare productions, to be performed for the public in a rotating repertory festival during the final ten days of the program.

The 2018 season will include productions of Romeo and Juliet and Pericles. All fourteen members of the company will perform in both shows. Brooklyn-based Guest Director Emily Mendelsohn will direct Pericles and SA@S Artistic Director Brian McManamon will direct Romeo and Juliet.

McManamon invites the public to attend these site-specific productions on the theater grounds from July 28th-August 5th. Performances are free and open to the public.

The Stratford community is also encouraged to visit the Academy on the evenings of July 14 and July 21 when the ensemble will informally present a selection of their creative work including songs, poetry and spoken word; these events are free and open to the public.

The 14 students of the "Violent Delights" 2018 ensemble are: Fatima Anaza (Houston, TX), Daniel Arguello Elias (Mexico City, Mexico), Annie Fang (Potomac, MD), Christine Liu (Fresh Meadows, NY), Mason Forringer (Flemington, NJ), Naomi Goodheart (Brookline, MA), Cooper Jennings (New York, NY), Travoye Joyner (Baltimore, MD), Daniel Kreizberg (New York, NY), Seth Kruger (London, England), Michael Mazzone (Winthrop, MA), Kela Sachs (Malibu, CA), Annie Saenger (New York, NY), Khin Thazin (Singapore).

Building on creative relationships formed while working on The Tempest and Measure for Measure last summer, four members of the 2017 ensemble have returned to Stratford this summer to form the 2018 Alumni Company. During their residency, they will create and produce a four-actor version of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, culminating in a two-week performance tour throughout Connecticut and as far as Chicago, including performances in Stratford.

The four-member 2018 Alumni Company are Shana Laski (Wesleyan University), William Chen (Pomona College), Oliver Shoulson (Yale University), and Meaghan Johnson (SUNY Purchase).

The Mighty Quinn Foundation is a Stratford-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to enhancing the experiences of young people in education and the arts. The Foundation honors the passion for learning and love of theater of Quinn Rooney, a Stratford resident who passed away from a rare form of brain cancer in 2012 at age 19.

For more information on Shakespeare Academy at Stratford, including forthcoming performance dates and the Alumni Company's tour visit

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