Members of the 2019 Shakespeare’s Apprentices Camp perform their final showcase onstage at the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts.

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival (ISF) has announced its 2021 summer camps and classes! This year kicks off with both in-person and virtual opportunities. Youth entering third through 12th grades will have their choice of five summer camp experiences including acting, filmmaking, theatrical design, and storytelling. Virtual adult classes are also available, with opportunities to study Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Measure for Measure before the Festival’s main-stage performances open this summer.

Summer 2021 is all about safety and small class sizes. Campers attending in-person camps will be required to follow all coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols set by Illinois State University and the state of Illinois. Extra cleaning, masks, and physical distancing will ensure that all students can participate safely in-person. For more information, please visit the ISF website.

“Every year it is amazing to watch the students grow and discover Shakespeare in a whole new way,” says ISF Education Coordinator Cristen Monson. “Last summer our teachers created some wonderful virtual camps which we have adapted to in-person offerings this summer. I believe there is something for everyone this year.”

Registration is now open!

Questions should be directed to Cristen Monson at (309) 438-3936 or cbmonso@IllinoisState.edu.

Summer 2021 offerings

Youth

Bard Buddies: Elementary

Attention adventurers! Join us on a trek through the magical worlds of William Shakespeare. Discover who William Shakespeare was and meet fairies, ghosts, witches, bears, and more. Students will create and explore the power of storytelling through crafts and activities, and Mr. Shakespeare will make a special appearance! Registration fee includes supplies in an “adventure pack.” (Mailed to the student’s address for virtual sessions.)

Session 1 – Virtual

Dates: July 12-16, Monday-Friday, 1-2 p.m. 
Location/Modality: Virtual
Who: Students entering third-fifth grades
Capacity: Max 10 students
Cost: $60

Session 2 – In-Person

Dates: July 19-23, Monday-Friday, 1-2:15 p.m. 
Location/Modality: In-person at Illinois State University
Who: Students entering third-fifth grades
Capacity: Max 10 students
Cost: $70

Shakespeare’s Apprentices: Middle School

Don’t let Shakespeare and his plays intimidate you! Join us for this three-week emersion into all things “The Bard.” This camp allows students to gain more focused experience in a variety of theatre skills (such as character work, stage combat, movement, and voice) while collaborating as a company to produce scenes, monologues, sonnets, and songs from Shakespeare’s famous works. The final week of camp and showcase will be performed at the Ewing Cultural Center on the Illinois Shakespeare Festival stage! (Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the theatre, tickets will be limited to five per family and will be purchased and assigned the first week of camp.)

Dates: July 12-30, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon 
Location/Modality: In-person at Illinois State University (final week at Ewing Cultural Center) 
Who: Students entering sixth-eighth grades
Capacity: Max 12 students
Cost: $300

Project Design: Shakespeare Edition

Do you have what it takes to be the next design star? Would you love to create beautiful costumes, set designs, and more? Can you wow an audience with your individuality, creativity, and talent? Then sign up for Project Design! In true reality competition series format, students will participate in mini challenges and a final showcase of their designs. Participants will meet with professional production designers to receive feedback on their work and learn some of the tricks of the trade! (All supplies provided.)

Dates: June 21-July 2, Monday-Friday, 1-3 p.m. 
Location/Modality: In-person at Illinois State University
Who: Students entering seventh-12th grades
Capacity: Max 10 students
Cost: $200

“It is a great opportunity for those interested in the technical aspects of theatre to shine, be creative, and use their imaginations to create a design. There are not a lot of other camps out there that focus on the design elements of theatre, and would love to see this one extended into the future.”

– 2020 review

All the World’s a Movie! Filmmaking

If you enjoy writing, directing, and making videos, you will love working with your peers and teachers in the creation of short films. In the first week of camp, participants will learn how to create the narrative for a short film, story board, and set up a filming/shot list. During the second week, students will film and edit on the Illinois State University campus. Families will view final projects via a YouTube link.

Dates: June 21-July 2, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon
Location/Modality: In-person at Illinois State University
Who: Students entering seventh-12th grades
Capacity: Max 6 students
Cost: $200

Shakespeare’s Players: High School

2018 Campers rehearse their final showcase performance on the set of Shakespeare in Love.

This theatre intensive allows high school students to hone and work on theatre skills (such as Shakespeare’s text, physical character work, stage combat, movement, and voice). Participants will collaborate as a company to produce an original collection of famous scenes and monologues from Measure for MeasureThe Winter’s TaleA Midsummer Night’s DreamRomeo and JulietAs You Like it, and many more. This collection will be adapted especially for ISF camps. The last week of camp and final performance take place at the Ewing Cultural Center on the Illinois Shakespeare Festival stage! (Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the theatre, tickets will be limited to five per family and will be purchased and assigned the first week of camp.)

Dates: July 12-30, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon 
Location/Modality: In-person at Illinois State University (final week at Ewing Cultural Center) 
Who: Students entering ninth-12th grades 
Capacity: Max 12 students
Cost: $300

Adult Classes

Shakespeare’s Problem Play: Discovering Measure for Measure through the Modern Lens

Uncover the reasons why Measure for Measure has been labeled a problem play and the implications for contemporary audiences. We will explore issues of gender, political power, leadership, and genre through an analysis of the text as well as through 20th- and 21st-century productions and adaptations. One of the adaptations we will focus on is German playwright Bertolt Brecht’s Roundheads and Peakheads, which uses Shakespeare’s play to dramatize the Third Reich’s early attacks on Jews.

The course will be taught by Dr. Al Goldfarb, who served as professor and chair of theatre, dean of fine arts, and provost and academic vice president at Illinois State, and then as president at Western Illinois University. Goldfarb also served twice as managing director of ISF. He is the co-author of leading theatre textbooks and co-edited Theatrical Performance During the Holocaust.

Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 7-8:15 p.m. 
Location/Modality: Virtual 
Who: Adults 21 and older
Capacity: Max 10 participants
Cost: $70

Once Upon The Winter’s Tale: Shakespeare’s Tragicomedy

Young Prince Mamillius tells us, “a sad tale’s best for winter,” yet this winter’s tale moves from sadness and conflict to lovely pastoral romance, making it in many ways a perfect Elizabethan tragicomedy. Tyrannical leaders, young lovers, a few shepherds, and yes, even a bear share the stage in this 16-year journey from Sicilia to Bohemia and back. We will read and analyze the text, discuss some of Shakespeare’s sources and contemporaries, and examine why this lovely play remains relevant and controversial nearly 400 years later.

This course will be taught by Dr. Ann Haugo, current producer of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and director of the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State. Haugo holds a Ph.D. in theatre history from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a graduate minor in gender and women’s studies. Her teaching and research focus on American Indian and First Nations theatre and performance and gender in U.S. theatre and performance. She is the co-editor of Querying Difference in Theatre History.

Dates: Mondays and Wednesdays, June 28, 30, July 5, 7, 12, 14, 7-8:15 p.m. 
Location/Modality: Virtual 
Who: Adults 21 and
Capacity: Max 10 participants
Cost: $70