Shakespeare Academy at Stratford Kicks Off Its 6th Season
On June 20th, Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford kicked off its sixth season by welcoming fourteen young actors to Stratford, CT. Coming from as close as New York City and as far as the UK and Mexico, the group will 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, Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford is a unique summer theater program for actors that combines 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. Joining SA@S this summer are Steven Eng (Voice), John Dias & Michael Cumpsty (Towards the Profession), Joan Frost (Alexander Technique), Rachel Jett (Droznin), Annelise Lawson (Clowning & Etudes), Diana Oh (The Dope North Star Workshop), Fay Simpson (Lucid Body), Avery Wigglesworth (Viewpoints & Suzuki), Nora Woolley (Embodied Performance), Sara Holdren (Ensemble Workshop & Shakespeare's Text), and Benjamin Curns (Shakespeare's Text & Stage Combat). 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 2019 season will include productions of The Winter's Tale and Coriolanus. All fourteen members of the company will perform in both shows. SA@S Artistic Director Sara Holdren will direct The Winter's Tale, and Resident Director Benjamin Curns will direct Coriolanus. SA@S is thrilled to be working with such an incredible production team, which consists of Stephanie Osin Cohen (Scenic Designer), Mika Eubanks (Costume Designer), Emma Deane (Lighting Design Consultant), Mike Best (Production Manager/ Technical Director), Ashley Sweet (Stage Manager), Cameron Britt (Assistant Stage Manager), and Romanya Joseph (Costume Design Assistant).
SA@S invites the public to attend these site-specific outdoor productions on the grounds that once housed the legendary American Shakespeare Festival Theater from July 27th-August 4th. Performances are free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved online at http://www.shakpeseareacademystratford.org.
The 14 students of the "Pursued by a Bear" 2019 ensemble are: Sean Gassaway (Freehold, NJ), Lainey Helmers (Gladwyne, PA), Eddie Hood (Oak Lawn, IL), Kotaro Horiuchi (Hanover, NH), Mishy Jacobson (Betheseda, MD), Anna Lewis (Birmingham, UK), Sofía Mayorga (Texcoco, Mexico), Katharine Means (Santa Clarita, CA), Hallie Perlman (Houston, TX), Jill Phillips (San Antonio, TX), Rebecca Salzhauer (Bronx, NY), Ash Visker (Schenectady, NY) Justin Von Stein (Memphis, TN), and Genevieve Wisdom (Iowa City, IA).
Building on creative relationships formed while working at SA@S, three members of the 2017 and 2018 ensembles have returned to Stratford this summer to form the 2019 Alumni Company. During their residency, they will create and produce a three-actor version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, culminating in a two-week performance tour throughout the east coast, including performances in Stratford. The 2019 Alumni Company members are Annie Saenger (Yale University), Ellis Sargent (University of Notre Dame), and Robert Solomon (Georgia Tech).
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 www.shakespeareacademystratford.org.