(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – June 23, 2020) When COVID-19 prompted the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company to cancel its 2020 festival on the California Lutheran University campus, the professional troupe moved its 35-year-old summer workshops to the virtual world and expanded the target audience to include preschoolers and adults.
“We care a lot about having the entire family attending theater and engaging in learning about Shakespeare. We didn’t want to lose that educational feel this summer so we decided to invest in camps and expand our age range,” said Caitlin Arndt, in her third year as camp director.
The Summer Shakespeare Camps debuted a Groundlings Camp for 4- to 7-year-olds. Campers will participate in games, activities and exercises designed to introduce them to Shakespeare and live theater. They will learn to act and create productions in their homes.
The new Globe Package for adults is designed to fill the void left by the temporary suspension of the company’s apprentice programs by providing aspiring actors with classes and coaching from professionals, including members of the company. The package features a mix of virtual sessions with pre-recorded instruction, interactive live workshops and personal monologue coaching. Participants can choose between a package with meetings over a two-week period and an intensive option that condenses instruction into a single week.
Having learned how to create her own theater works as a student in the Master of Fine Arts program at Rose Bruford College in London, Arndt added Beginning Acting and Theatre-Making for 8- to 13-year-olds and Advanced Acting and Theatre-Making for 14- to 17-year-olds to help young people build on their natural creativity. In the beginning workshop, campers will explore acting techniques, exercises, improvisation, musical theater, puppetry and producing. They will perform contemporary texts and learn to make their own works. The workshop for older children will cover more advanced techniques and provide monologue coaching.
The traditional Kingsmen workshops in Beginning Shakespeare and Advanced Shakespeare also will be offered virtually. In the beginning workshop, campers aged 8 to 13 will explore Shakespeare’s life and acting styles and apply this knowledge as they work on scenes. Participants will learn the Bard’s poetry, vocabulary, stage movement and combat techniques as well as play games. Training for 14- to 17-year-olds in the advanced workshop will cover scenes, stage combat and acting techniques in more depth and concludes with the virtual closing performance.