Camp Shakespeare

Join professional actors in the long-standing tradition of creating new worlds

and making new friends through the words and works of Shakespeare!

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Camp Shakespeare 2021

At Camp Shakespeare 2021, we had 15 students with ages ranging from Elementary to High School. This year, Camp Shakespeare 2021 was held at the Scottish Rite in Omaha, and was in-person once again! The students were divided into two age groups which were led by D. Kevin Williams and Michael Judah. During the two weeks of camp, they studied Shakespeare's text, explored characters, learned about stage combat, and combined it all in a culminating performance at the end of the second week on a full sized, theatrical stage. The students performed live with an audience of 50-60 people on July 1st, and finished off the week with a final "theatrical fun" day at UNO and Elmwood Park on July 2nd.

 

This year, Nebraska Shakespeare partnered with the Food Bank of the Heartland. Patrons of the performance contributed 50 cans of food. We appreciate our audience participation in providing for others in a time of need.

Thank you to all of the participants and guardians of the students for participating in this year's Camp Shakespeare!

Thank you to Barb Coonce and the Scottish Rite for hosting our rehearsals and performance!

Finally, thank you to our Camp Shakespeare 2021 educators!

 

Keep scrolling to meet one of the students, learn more about the educators & classes, and read past testimonials.

Stay tuned for more information about Camp Shakespeare 2022!  

 
Meet Federico
Federico Lesmes
High School division, 16
Elkhorn South High School

What were you hoping to get out of camp as both a student and assistant?

I was hoping to experience both worlds of directing and acting in a Shakespearean performance. Michael was able to deliver that experience by letting me be an assistant director and also in being a great acting coach. As a whole I have gained a lot of knowledge during my time and it was all worth it!
I learned different warm ups for vocals and also about using your body and emotions to the max on stage, in other words being open and free on stage with nothing to hide. I was also able to see the different aspects of directing, by giving advice and helping block different scenes, and also about what looks good on stage and what can be better.

What did you learn?

What are some things that you learned that surprised you?

I learned about my voice. I know that doesn't sound too impressive but originally I would use more body language to convey my feelings and emotions, but I learned in the camp that sometimes movement is not necessary when you use your voice to your full potential. With this advice I felt a lot more confidence on stage and it's advice that I will carry with me forever.
I learned about iambic poetry. I have never had experience with Shakespeare so this camp taught me the ins and outs of Shakespeare, the language and its meaning, and also the little secrets that shine in the scripts. A mixture of all these factors made for compelling and interesting classes.

What did you learn about Shakespearean language?

Which was your favorite character that you played?

I played Lysander and I felt the rage and fury of the character on stage. I have to say I did not necessarily like the character but playing him put me in a place where any struggles or nuances could easily be vented through the character. An added bonus is that these struggles were fuel to the energy of the character, so it was a great character to play. 
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What was it like working with your brother?

 I didn't work with my brother a lot during the time of the theater, but the few times that I did were great. My brother has a lot of energy and that energy is very contagious, and I was also able to teach him a couple things along the way as well.

How do you think this training at Camp Shakespeare will help you in the future?

The training I received in Shakespeare camp will help me tremendously as I continue working and developing as an actor. This year for my school plays I would love to break into more deeper and serious characters instead of the more comical ones that I usually play, and the advice I have been given in this camp will help me achieve that goal. 
 
Meet the 2021 Instructors
D. Kevin Williams

Elementary & Middle School Educator

D. Kevin Williams is a seasoned actor of over 25 years. His credits are local and regional, including NS and the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival. D. Kevin has an extensive history in leading drama workshops around Nebraska.

D. Kevin Williams
(scroll over photo and watch video to learn more)
Michael Judah
(scroll over photo and watch video to learn more)
Michael Judah

High School Educator

Michael Judah is a teaching artist currently based in Omaha, NE. He has taught classes and led workshops with NE Shakespeare, the Omaha Community Playhouse, and the Asolo Rep. He received his MFA from the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training and has appeared in work at the Asolo Rep, NE Shakespeare and Okoboji Summer Theatre.

 
General Structure

Campers are given the tools to understand Shakespeare's language and to analyze his broad array of dynamic and complex plots and characters.
 

    - Work with the professional artists of Nebraska Shakespeare!

    - All participants receive a souvenir t-shirt!

    - A commemorative certificate

Classes:
Taking the first steps into a life-long love of Shakespeare, the Jesters explore plots and themes of Shakespeare plays, as well as develop an understanding of characters and story through live performance and narrative.

Furthering their education of Shakespeare, the Apprentices explore the characters of Shakespeare, beginnings of textual understanding and establish the basics of theatrical production to create a performance experience which brings the plots, character struggles, and universal themes to life.

Diving Deeper into Shakespeare’s text and stories, the Players discover the power of his words and how it translates to live performances, exposing the students to basic training of a Classical Actor, including vocal and physical exercises, stage movement, and combat.​

 

TESTIMONIALS

"Again, thanks for what you do. Your efforts give my children a much richer life experience than I had growing up and I truly believe this program (and others) has helped them develop confidence and grown their ability and desire to share joy with others. In a summer that has cancelled most all of their plans -- vacation, camps, sleepovers -- we are SO thankful there is something they can look forward to!"

— Past Camp Parent