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The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

Academy Sets Weekend Intensives, Book Club

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey logoThe Shakespeare Theatre Academy at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison offers youth and adult classes in a wide range of disciplines connected with classic theater. Each series of classes meets once a week in one of the theater's facilities and gives participants the opportunity to work under the instruction of The Shakespeare Theatre's renowned artistic and educational staff as well as guest teaching artists.

Whether a student is taking his or her “first theater class or this is just one step on an ever-evolving theatrical journey, The Shakespeare Theatre Academy provides compelling, enriching, and fun opportunities for the artist in everyone.

Several classes are already under way, but some singular specialty courses are scheduled through the fall.

For a pair of "Shakespeare Weekend Intensives," Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte along with special guest artists will take actors through a detailed approach to bringing Shakespeare's work to life. An insistence on an intense level of commitment to a highly specific exploration and analysis of the text, an engagement in the “deliciousness” of the language, and an emphasis on constructing behavior as complex as Shakespeare's writing are all key to Monte's process. The first of these Weekend Intensives, scheduled for Shakespeare's birthday weekend of April 23–24, will take place in midtown Manhattan. The fall intensive, Oct. 15–16, will be held at the Shakespeare Theatre in Madison. Enrollment is limited to 20 participants, and all participants must be at least 21 years of age with some previous professional experience or training. Fee is $270, ($250 for Actors Equity Association and Equity Membership Candidates, as well as STNJ alumni).

Speaking of the fall, what better time to take a course in make-up than right before Halloween. In "Stage Make-Up: Just In Time For Halloween" on the Monday evenings of Oct. 10 and 17, guest artist Stephen Davis of Centenary College will take students through the fascinating world of stage make-up. The first day covers the basics and how stage make-up differs from traditional techniques, while also exploring some tried-and-true theatrical tricks of the trade. On the second day, students will transform themselves under Davis's mentorship into a variety of fantastic creatures of their own. A Ben Nye Theatrical Make-Up Kit is required for the class, which will be ordered through The Shakespeare Theatre at a special industry discount—a perfect take-away from the class so that you can continue to explore your own mad-cap make-up creations in the future. Classes will be held in the Theatre's Behind-the-Scenes Headquarters, 3 Vreeland Road, Florham Park. Fee is $150 ($130 for subscribers and past students) plus $80 for the Ben Nye make-up kit (a $375 value).

The Shakespeare Book Club, ideal for both Bard-ophiles and Shakespeare novices alike, are read-aloud sessions that delve into the characters, conflicts, and universal truths that have made Shakespeare the object of global fascination for over four centuries. Enjoy libations and snacks with fellow readers in this fun, casual, and social atmosphere, while you explore four different plays. Two sessions are devoted to each play. The first evening is a guided reading through the first two acts; with insights, anecdotal information, historical references, and fun facts provided by a member of The Shakespeare Theatre staff. Students complete the play on their own, prior to the second session, during which they will discuss the play as a whole: its challenges, key scenes, characters, and questions.

The fall session Sept. 6–Oct. 25, lead by Brian B. Crowe, STNJ's director of education, will include an in-depth look into one of Shakespeare's most beloved villains, Richard III. Plays will include Henry VI: Part 2, Henry VI: Part 3, and Richard III, and a comparison between the historical figure and Shakespeare's more popular depiction. This session is timed to coincide with STNJ's production of Richard III, Oct. 5–Nov. 6, 2016. Classes will be held in the Theatre's Behind-the-Scenes Headquarters, 3 Vreeland Road, Florham Park. Fee is $400 ($380 for subscribers and past students) and includes scripts.

For a full list of the Shakespeare Theatre Institute's offerings and to enroll in these programs, visit

April 6, 2016

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