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Camp Shakespeare

Camp Shakespeare

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Overview

Camp Shakespeare is a two-week University of Texas residential summer camp for young people, ages 11-17,* 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, 2023.)

All 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 and playing with others is. Each session will be composed of 14 students.

 

Details for Summer 2023

Two sessions: 

Session I:  Sunday, June 11 – Sunday, June 25

Session II: Sunday, July 2 – Sunday, July 16

 

Camp Site: 

The site of Camp Shakespeare 2023 will be Farmstead B & B in Round Top, Texas.  Farmstead 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. We are looking forward to returning in 2023. 

https://www.farmsteadatroundtop.com/

219 FM954, Round Top, Texas

 

Camp Fee:

$1,700.00

The cost of Camp Shakespeare 2023 is $1,700. Some scholarships are available. Please contact Robin Grace Soto to learn more about our tuition support. robingracesoto@utexas.edu

 

Deadline for applications: 

March 1, 2023

 

Plays:

Plays will be announced in March 2023. 

 

Three public performances of each play:

Session One:

Friday       June 23          3:30pm          Crystal Theatre, Gonzales, TX

Saturday  June 24          3:00pm          Performing Arts Center, La Grange, TX

Sunday     June 25          2:00pm          Winedale Barn, Winedale, TX

 

Session Two:

Friday       July 14           3:30pm          Crystal Theatre, Gonzales, TX

Saturday  July 15           3:00pm          Performing Arts Center, La Grange, TX

Sunday     July 16           2:00pm          Winedale Barn, Winedale, TX

 

Daily Schedule and Activity  

 

Campers begin their day quite early, at 6:30am with cabin-cleaning and other assigned duties before meeting in groups or with the staff to work on lines, characterization, or a scene at 7:00am.  A brief period of physical and vocal exercise follows. Then breakfast. Morning and afternoon work/play sessions (from 8:15am - 4:00pm) take place in the Theater Barn at Winedale or in air-conditioned performance space in Round Top.  Every lunch is a picnic, prepared and set out by campers. Late afternoon sessions (4:00pm - 6:00pm) 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.  

For a full description of Camp Shakespeare's staff, daily schedule, application process, and more, please download the full Camp Shakespeare 2023 Information Packet.

 

Application Procedure

 

Each session will be composed of 14 students. The application process requires prospective campers to send:

  1. The completed Registration Form

  2. The completed Application with an essay by the applicant
    (a) introducing themselves and
    (b) explaining why they wish to participate in Camp Shakespeare 2023, exploring expectations/hopes/goals

  3. Two letters of recommendation from teachers. Applications from former campers do not require teachers' letters.

 

Please email all application materials, including letters of recommendation for new campers, to Robin Grace Soto at robingracesoto@utexas.edu and Doc Ayres at jayres@cvctx.com.

 

We will no longer be accepting applications that have been mailed to the PO Box. All applications must be received electronically.

 

 

Application process for NEW CAMPERS

  • Part One: Registration Form
    Due: ASAP to register your intent to apply. 
    Must be received by March 1, 2023.

 

New Camper Registration Form
 

  • Part Two: Application and Essay
    Due: March 1, 2023
    (Plus 2 Letters of Recommendation)
     

New Camper Application and Essay Form

  • Part Three: Phone or Zoom Interview
    between February 1 and February 28.
     

  • Final selections will be announced on or around March 4, 2023.  

 

NOTE: Applicants cannot be considered for acceptance unless all application materials have been submitted before the deadlines listed above. We strongly encourage applicants to get their materials in as early as possible. Please email all application materials, including letters of recommendation for new campers, to Robin Grace Soto at robingracesoto@utexas.edu and Doc Ayres at jayres@cvctx.com.

 

Application Process for FORMER CAMPERS

  • Part One: Registration Form
    Due: ASAP to register your intent to apply.
    Must be received by March 1, 2023
     

Former Camper Registration Form
 

  • Part Two: Essay
    Due: March 1st, 2023  
    Final selections will be announced on or around March 4, 2023. 

            

Former Camper Application and Essay Form

 

NOTE: Applicants cannot be considered for acceptance unless all application materials have been submitted before the deadlines listed above. We strongly encourage applicants to get their materials in as early as possible. Please email all application materials, including letters of recommendation for new campers, to Robin Grace Soto at robingracesoto@utexas.edu and Doc Ayres at jayres@cvctx.com.

 

Further Information

Our website carries up-to-date information about the summer camp.  Parents and candidates are urged to check the site weekly for new information and possible changes. Questions of any kind about Camp Shakespeare 2023 should be directed to Robin Grace Soto at robingracesoto@utexas.edu and Doc Ayres at jayres@cvctx.com.

 

For a full description of Camp Shakespeare's staff, daily schedule, application process, and more, please download the full Camp Shakespeare 2023 Information Packet. 

 

Camp Shakespeare Performance of As You Like It

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Parent and Camper Observations 

The following observations by a former (1980) Shakespeare at Winedale student whose daughter (age 12) attended Camp Shakespeare, and the parent of a recent camper (age 13), say quite a bit about what happens at Camp Shakespeare:

 

“Their accomplishment [at Camp] is the more remarkable when we consider that none of these students are theater or drama students but only kids interested in working together to explore a play through performance. In the process, their play becomes a vehicle for their exploration of language, of social encounter and problem-solving, for developing self-confidence and self-esteem, verbal and written expression, and, through Shakespeare, for gaining insight into the human condition.”

 

“Since the day we left the Forest of Arden to return home, I have been watching my child assimilate his experiences at camp and express them in words, photos and art.  As a therapist, I am flooded with requests for referrals for child and adolescent therapists from worried parents….so many kids are in therapy right now!  I can’t help but wish that many of these kids (and parents!) who struggle with anxiety, depression and loneliness could experience Camp Shakespeare instead of the weekly hour.  I think Camp Shakespeare is therapeutic on so many levels.  

For my child, this summer was therapeutic because it helped him know himself deeply, connect with others deeply and gave him a profound experience of challenge, acceptance and belonging.  I imagine you hear this all the time, but Camp Shakespeare grew him up in ways that I couldn’t have dreamed possible for a 13-year-old!  And it was therapeutic for me too—to feel how you really saw him and his potential, were invested in helping him to become the brightest and truest version of himself through an exploration of the play.  What a relief and a blessing for a weary parent of teens during a pandemic!

It is no exaggeration to say that we feel like we are seeing his soul come into focus as he metabolizes his Camp Shakespeare experience and we have had that feeling since the application process.  He has always been confident in his choices, disciplined in his pursuits and an enthusiastic learner.  But his experience at Shakespeare brought these traits into a loving, challenging and playful community.  It couldn’t have been a more perfect fit and therapeutic for all of us during heavy times.

So thank you, thank you thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.  The work you do is essential and profoundly good.”