Shakespeare at Winedale

Camp Shakespeare 2017

Camp Shakespeare is a two-week University of Texas residential summer camp for young people, ages 11-16,* dedicated to exploring Shakespeare through performance.  “Exploring” and “performance” are key words here.  They suggest that we are finding our way not through rehearsals but performances.  Every moment is performance.  Campers are challenged to play out their interpretative discoveries on stage.  

 (*The younger applicants must have reached 11 by January 1, 2017. )

All of the elements of the program are intended to promote an understanding and appreciation of the works of Shakespeare, and of their extraordinarily complex and penetrating vision of human life. Campers develop, test and transcend their sense of self through their exploration of Shakespearean characters. What we pursue here is the conviction that anyone can live life more fully through a personal encounter with Shakespeare’s art.

Camp Shakespeare seeks kids who work well with others, who are inventive, elastic, eager to play, explore and take risks, and are ready to rumble when they arrive.  

Camp Shakespeare accepts applications from candidates anywhere, in public, private, or home schools.  Experience with theater or with Shakespeare is not necessary. Commitment to working long hours daily at play with others is. Each session will be composed of 14 students.

Daily Schedule and Activity  

Campers begin their day quite early, at 6:30 with cabin-cleaning and other assigned duties before meeting in groups or one-on-one with the staff to work on lines, characterization, or a scene at 7:00.  A brief period of physical and vocal exercise follows. Then breakfast. Morning and afternoon work/play sessions (from 8:15- 4:00) take place in the Theater Barn at Winedale and the air-conditioned Henkel Hall in Round Top.  Every lunch is a picnic, prepared and set out by campers. Late afternoon sessions (4:00-6:00) are busy with Journal writing, relaxation exercises, quiet time, painting, mask- making, lines, and preparing for the evening.  Improvised “problem-solving” exercises, singing, dancing, and free improvisational play follow supper. The day concludes with film sequences of Shakespeare’s plays and Cabin Time, wherein campers “unwind” and exchange responses to accomplishments of the day. 
Lights out : 9:15 p.m.  

Camp Dates

Camp Shakespeare will offer two sessions for Summer 2017:

         Session #1:  Sunday, June  11-- Saturday, June 24  

         Session #2:  Sunday, July 2 – Saturday, July 15

Performance Schedule

Campers will be performing at the following dates and venues:

Session 1: Love's Labor's Lost. 

Thursday, June 22 at the Crystal Theater in Gonzales, Tx

Friday, June 23, at Henkel Hall in Round Top, Tx

Saturday, June 24, at the Winedale Historical Center’s Theater Barn

Session 2: A Winter's Tale.

Thursday, July 13, at the Crystal Theater in Gonzales, Tx

Friday, July 14, at Henkel Hall in Round Top, Tx

Saturday, July 15, at The Winedale Historical Center’s Theater Barn

For ticket reservations, please email Doc Ayres at

Camp Fee

The cost of Camp Shakespeare ’17 is $1,100.00. Some scholarships are available.

Questions of any kind should be directed to Doc Ayres at Students wishing to learn more about the process of Camp Shakespeare may wish to participate in the Spring activities of the Outreach to Schools Programs or "Saturday Shakespeare" workshops at The University of Texas directed by Clayton Stromberger,

For a full description of Camp Shakespeare's staff, daily schedule, application process, and more, please download the full information guide (pdf)

Camp Site

The site of Camp Shakespeare ’17 is Briarfield B & B Retreat & Conference Center, near Round Top, Texas.  The Inn provides a comfortable country and historical setting for the experience: students enjoy the privilege of using and the responsibility of caring for these beautifully-restored 19th century Texas buildings which serve as dormitories, dining, and gathering spaces.  See

Camp Applications

Each session will be composed of 14 students. The application process requires prospective campers to send (1) the completed Application Form; (2) an essay by the applicant (a) introducing herself/himself and (b) explaining why he or she wishes to participate in Camp Shakespeare '16, exploring expectations/hopes/goals; and (3) two letters of recommendation from teachers. Applications from former campers do not require teachers' letters.

Application Procedure

Candidates should register their interest in attending Camp Shakespeare by sending the completed application form, by e-mail to or by post. They may then send the essay and teacher recommendations at a later time but no later than April 15, 2017.

Doc Ayres, Camp Shakespeare
P.O. Box 202,
Round Top, Tx, 78954.

Please note: applications are due April 15th, 2017.

Application for former camp students (pdf).

Application for new students (pdf).