Shakespeare Summer Camp

The Winter’s Tale

Spend your July outdoors on the beautiful grounds of the Billings Estate Museum.

For young people ages 10 to 18.

 

Young actors will perform Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. The camp is centred on acting skills, including stage combat (with swords), voice work, singing, using the acting clues in Shakespeare's first folio, commedia dell'arte and more!

No acting or Shakespeare experience is necessary. This play is a great introduction for beginners.

For those with experience, this is a chance to be challenged and to bring your work to the next level, while having a lot of fun.

 

Hi Rosemary… You do not know me, but I had the pleasure of meeting you briefly on Thursday afternoon during the dress rehearsal of your Shakespeare Performance…. I am Will’s uncle. I have heard so much about the camp and the plays over the past 3 years and this time I got to see it live. I am a teacher in Burlington for almost 30 years and I must say that I was completely blown away by the calibre of this performance. I cannot even imagine how you are capable of pulling of such a polished performance in 3 short weeks… It completely blew my mind!! I was so impressed that I am telling everyone about it already. . You are so talented and I wanted you to know I know the work that goes into something like this. My nephew is so lucky to have worked with you and I was honestly in tears watching parts of this performance. On top of it, I never been a fan of Shakespeare in my life. Your performance changed me. I was captivated, intrigued, on the edge of my seat and left me wanting more.. You made it real and alive. Thank you so much for all of your hard work. I also believe you are making a lifetime difference in the lives of these young people.. I could feel and sense it. Enjoy the rest of your summer—Sincerely, John Highley

My daughter had a wonderful time at Shakespeare camp. She was intimidated at first, and a bit daunted by the memorization, but she persevered and ended up having a great time. She made some new friends and enjoyed the teamwork, and learned that it’s worth it to keep trying. Such a confidence builder and the performances were amazingly polished given the short time they had to pull it together. I’m proud of my daughter and all the kids in the group, and really grateful to the camp directors for believing that kids between age 10 and 16 can learn difficult material and work together to make something lovely. Summer camps like this one are so valuable for exposing kids to new things and challenging them to find their inner resources. —Janice Schroeder, Associate Professor, Carleton University

and, from the campers:

Thank you for an amazing time at camp. It was a blast— Gloria

Thank you for giving us an amazing time—Anousha

Thank you for all you do for us, as well as everything you put up with. Look forward to these three weeks all year—Naomi

This is honestly the best three weeks of my year. I’ve honestly learned so much and met so many friends. Thank you so much—Rowan

I have enjoyed the summer and every hour spent at Billings Estate and will always treasure these memories. Thanks for two wonderful years—Gabe

Thank you for giving us all such an amazing experience here. It’s been so special and I’ve learned so much and had so much fun—Adira

Thanks for organizing this. It’s been fun—Sarah

Best performance experience I’ve ever had—Benson

Thanks for a great first year—Neil

What an amazing camp—Hugo

Thanks for all your help and support—Will

Thank you so much! This was an amazing camp and I will definitely be back—Anna

Seriously, this camp has changed my life for the better in too many ways. I wouldn’t be able to fit them all here, even on this giant card. I hope I’ll be back. Love you all—Isabelle

Thank you for everything. My first year was amazing!!! And I am going to come back here next year—Katia

Thank you for two great years of three great weeks of fun. I have learned a lot, Thank you for two great years of three great weeks of fun. I have learned a lot, eaten many scones and am very thankful—Lukas

July 6 to 24, Mondays to Fridays.

From 9 am to 4 pm each day.

  • On Thursday, July 23 there will be an open dress rehearsal at 1 pm, and a show at 7 pm.
  • On Friday, July 24 there will be a show at 2 pm and at 7 pm.

Use the right arrow to scroll to July to see the camp days...

The Billings Estate Museum

The grounds of the Billings Estate

The camp is held outside, on the beautiful grounds of the Billings Estate Museum, Ottawa. We do have access to some indoor space in case of rain, but the majority of camp is outside in the fresh air among the trees.

It's at 2100 Cabot Street Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K1.

Read more about the Estate here.

Lead by artist Rosemary Nolan

Rosemary NolanRosemary Nolan is a teacher, director, actor and playwright. She has a BA in Theatre and Mathematics from Queen's University, and a Bachelor of Education.

Her play Transcript has toured the Ottawa area, and she directed Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde.

This will be her sixth year as leader at Summer Shakespeare Camp.


A sad tale's best for winter...

Jealousy and reconciliation, exile and reunion. From tragedy to slapstick, this is a great opportunity for young actors to explore a full range of dramatic possibilities.

And it contains one the greatest stage directions in literature: “Exit, Pursued By A Bear”. (Listen to David Tennant, of Doctor Who fame, talk about that direction here.)

You can read more about the play here:

Full text here:

Modern spelling

Original spelling and punctuation

Cost: $800 per camper. Sibling discount available.

Click here to request more information, or to ask a question about the camp.

Download a registration form here.

Here’s a bit more background from Rosemary:

  • The camp will run with anywhere from 15 to 25 participants, depending on enrollment. Everyone gets a part. We try to make sure everyone gets a part that will challenge them appropriately i.e. it feels like a big part but is not overwhelming. Usually, some characters are played by more than one actor, in different scenes. So we might have 3 people playing one character for the beginning, middle, and end. Other actors might get to play more than one character. If we have fewer campers, we cut the text down a bit but still play the whole story.
     
  • The show is at the Billings Estate, outside or under the tent, depending on weather. We rehearse in the same place we perform. It's a Shakespeare in the Park sort of feel, like what the profession actors in Bear and Company and A Company of Fools do in parks around the city.
     
  • In the first week, everyone is given a bit to work on; either a monologue or a scene with one other person. We don't expect anyone to be able to perform it on the first read through; and we teach them different techniques for building character and approaching text. We perform these on the first Friday and then "show parts" are given out on the Monday of the second week.
What to bring:

• A healthy lunch to get you though an active day. Probably more food than you pack for a regular school day.

• Sunscreen and a hat.

• Extra layers in case of rain or cold.

• Your script (which you will get on the first day of camp) No acting or Shakespeare experience is necessary.


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