Junior Shakespeare Academy

Richard  II


Shakespeare on Main Street's Junior Shakespeare Academy is for teens (ages 12-18) to whet their ability, and to nurture their talent and sense of responsibility, so that they may step into challenging adult theatrical roles and explore the complexities of human nature. 

This five-week experience of intense coaching comprises acting; voice development including articulations, enunciation, and vocal production; and understanding how to work with Shakespeare’s text.  The program also makes use of Comedia dell’arte, a theatrical form characterized by improvised dialogue and working within a genre of colorful, stylized characters that emerged in northern Italy in the fifteenth century. It allows the actor to evolve a distinct set of attributes — characteristic speech, gestures, and individual body movement. The Academy is purposely geared to take youth into an arena where they see, feel, and physically take on adult roles with all its strengths, vigor, its deceptions and failures.

Auditions for the Academy will be on March 29, 10am-12pm, at the Inn at Willow Pond, 74 Willow Pond Road, Manchester; and March 30, 1-3pm, at Rhythm Hall, 2nd Floor, Building 5, Howe Center (1 Scale Ave) in Rutland.  Young women and young men should come prepared with a short monologue of their choice from Richard II.

The Academy program begins June 23, Monday thru Friday, 2pm to 5pm, at the Inn at Willow Pond.  Tuition for the five weeks is $195: scholarships and multiple enrollment discounts may be available. Performances will be in Poultney, July 26 & 27; Manchester, August 2 & 3; and Brandon, August 9.

Artistic Director Gary Meitrott is a former Broadway actor and has more than 10 years of experience teaching and directing Shakespeare. His unique style of directing brings out the authentic self of the actors resulting in a more intimate connection between the actors themselves, and between the actors and the audience. Meitrott’s aim is to help actors plumb the depths of Shakespeare's work to bring out the deeper meaning of the Bard's words and how they relate to our modern era.  His way of teaching and directing enhances imagination, the lost art of elocution, and creates community.  

Shakespeare’s Richard II examines the conflict between the legal and divine right to rule, and the effectiveness of the ruler, political ambition, and noble intentions. Themes include the semblance of knighthood, the tangibility of honor, the coming to grips with one’s shortcomings, and living a life as an authentic self, for however a brief time. Through their downfall, the characters in the play find grace and acceptance of their responsibility for their own lives.

For further information, or if unable to attend any of the audition dates, please contact Artistic Director-Gary Meitrott, at 802-282-2581, or info@ShakespeareOnMainStreet.org.

Shakespeare on Main Street is a non-profit (501-C) organization dedicated to bringing the elevated vivaciousness of Shakespeare to Vermont audiences.  We depend largely on public donations to stage our productions. www.ShakespeareOnMainStreet.org.