Shakespeare Summer Camp

As You Like It

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 comedy As You Like It. 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.


Comments from last year:

Hello Rosemary, this is Abbie from camp. I got your email from my mom.

I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful camp and great experience. I had an amazing time learning stage fighting, performing, making friends that like acting just like me, and overall having a great summer!! I found it incredible that you could direct a play (and actually make it good) in only three weeks, as well as learning some things that we didn’t even need to learn for the show. You even found time for auditions, which is always a great experience, no matter if you have done it 100 or 0 times. I enjoyed it so much and learned a lot.

Expect to see me next year…

Dear Ms. Nolan (Rosemary)

We want to thank you for providing Braeden and all the other campers with a superb experience. What you were able to accomplish in 3 weeks was amazing, especially given that many of your campers had little or no experience. It is hard to believe that you could keep campers ranging from age 10 to 18 interested in Shakespearean Theatre for 3 weeks, and yet you did!

What impressed me most was how quickly you got to know each camper and built on their strengths while making adjustments for individual differences. You were very insightful in knowing when someone needed a little more encouragement or individual attention.

Three weeks of a child’s summer is a long time for them and we were not sure if this was going to be for Braeden. We are glad that we decided to give it a try.

We are so pleased with all that you exposed Braeden to, poetry, song, Shakespearean Theatre, history, and of course, sword fighting. Another aspect of your camp we appreciated was the development of a team spirit with everyone working toward a common goal.

You have done a wonderful job making sure each camper felt appreciated, successful, and that they had all made a significant contribution to the success of your camp.

Well done, Rosemary. We hope you run a similar camp next year.

With thanks
Braeden's mother and grandmother

July 8 to 26, Mondays to Fridays.

From 9 am to 4 pm each day.


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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 fifth year as leader at Summer Shakespeare Camp.

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Runaways in the forest, girls disguised as boys, a sad jester, and weddings (yes, weddings!) to wrap it all up.

We won't get lost in the Forest of Arden—we'll find ourselves under the Greenwood trees at the Billings Estate.

You can read more about the play here:

Full text here:

Modern spelling

Original spelling and punctuation

The Billings Estate Museum

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.

Cost: $800 per camper. (+ 13% HST for campers over 15 years only) 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.

Scroll to July. Start date is July 8...