The Shakespeare Academy logoAntonioMalvolioSecond Officer1st Officer with SwordMariaSir AndrewViola
kids. costumes. fun. learning through performance.
San Diego County classes forming now. Call (619) 376-‍6340 or sign up today!

News & Updates

Academy Students Featured in KPBS Video

San Diego Student Shakespeare Festival Showcased Young Talent Over Weekend

“Over the weekend hundreds of students from kindergarten through high school performed scenes from Shakespeare in Balboa Park as part of the San Diego Student Shakespeare Festival.”

Festival Judges’ Comments

“Excellent ensemble work. Terrific selection of material. Superior staging."

“Great job by the ensemble. They captured the essence of the scene and distilled it well for the audience."

“An excellent scene that captured the core of the relationships and the spine of the characters."

“Each character had a true physical life that matched station and role."

“Excellent work. The understanding and comfort with the text was of very high value."

“Really channeled Romeo."

“Very promising young actress. Expect great things from her."

“Text was clearly understood and well contextualized."

“Dexterity with language (with Hal, Poins, and Falstaff being outstanding)."

“Gestures were clear and committed to fully."

“Physicalization was very good throughout, and well-matched to each character."

“Nice staging and ensemble work."

Command Performance

Academy students entertain members and guests of the San Diego Shakespeare Society at their annual Barb Birthday Bash at the Munk residence in La Jolla.

See gallery.

Explore King Lear:

Shakespeare & Tea is planning to tackle King Lear!

For those of you who are ready to sink your teeth in Shakespeare:

We will spend three sessions exploring the Bard's (arguably) most important play. Rather than focusing on the staged reading/acting, we will focus on the text itself. We will read the entire play, out-loud, together, stopping wherever you want, for questions and observations.

We will explore questions like these:

What does it mean to be a king (in a position of political authority)? What is a ruler's relationship with those he rules? What can he reasonably demand? What obedience do the ruled owe him? Is our obedience dependent on the ruler's virtues? If so, how do we determine those? If not, what is it that compels our obedience?

What does it mean to be human? What is left of a person after fortune takes away every earthly good?

What is law? Which laws are just? On what standards is the lawmaker to be judged? On what standards is the lawbreaker to be judged?

What is love? How do we recognize it? How do we know if it is requited?

Regret, repentance, forgiveness: Responding to the past.

Open to absolutely everyone! No previous knowledge of Shakespeare required.

(Due to the subject matter of this play, not recommended for young children. Please contact me with any questions about suitability.)

Two locations/opportunities:

La Jolla Riford Library, first Sundays, 2-4 p.m.
Oct 2: King Lear, part 1
Nov 6: King Lear, part 2
Dec 4: King Lear, part 3
Jan 1: holiday break
Library hours

Central Library, third Sundays, 2-4pm
Oct 16: King Lear, part 1
Nov 20: King Lear, part 2
Dec 18: holiday break
Jan 15: King Lear, part 3

Fall 2016 Classes are Underway:

LITTLE ITALY
Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-12 noon

RANCHO PENASQUITOS
Wednesdays, 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

After-school class being formed:

MISSION VALLEY
Contact director if interested in enrolling.

NEW! Shakespeare & Tea

Please join The Shakespeare Academy for a reading of The Winter's Tale (part 1*).

Sunday, March 6, 2-4pm (and every 1st Sunday thereafter).

La Jolla Library

Tea, scones, and coffee generously provided by Brick & Bell Cafe.
Come at 1pm to enjoy the Open Rehearsal of the San Diego Early Music Society.

*Part 2 of The Winter's Tale will be April 3.

SPRING 2016 Classes begin the week of Monday, February 29!

New option: Private Coaching.
Cost of 9-week session: $270.
Cost of 9-week session plus 2 hours of private coaching: $300.
Please RSVP ASAP so I can start casting!!!!

index-MaureentakeschargeLOCATIONS:

LITTLE ITALY
Tuesdays, 10:00–12:00, elementary and middle school grades

LA MESA
Monday evenings, details TBD, middle and high school grades

POTENTIAL CLASSES:

Oceanside
Carmel Mountain
Encinitas
Temecula

Please let us know if want a class in your area.

Classes are ten weeks and culminate in a performance on November 21. 

Age categories are flexible. 

Please fill out the sign up form if you would like to have a class in your area. There are interested families in Encinitas, Ramona, Chula Vista, and Carmel Mountain. 

The first annual Shakespeare Camp was fun, fun, fun!

More than 40 students enjoyed Shakespeare Camp sponsored by Our Lady of the Rosary in Little Italy. On Monday morning when they arrived, many students had never encountered Shakespeare before. By Friday, they had read Macbeth in its entirety and performed scenes from the play for their parents and friends. The scenes were student-directed, and included fight choreography, sound and light effects, costumes, and scenery. Sandwiched in between were lots of Shakespeare tag, games, puzzles, and art. 

NEW! Shakespeare for Grownups!

Did you miss out on Shakespeare as a kid? Or would you simply enjoy spending time with the Bard and some of his fans?

If so, why not join a Shakespeare Academy Reading Group! It’s never too late! In a small (4-8 people), informal group we will read a play aloud together, stopping for any and all questions and comments along the way. No experience necessary. The reading group will meet 2 or 3 times (depending on the play) for a 2-hour session in a coffee house or someone’s home. Director Cherie Peacock will facilitate, providing background, context, translations, and encouragement.

$25 per session ($50 for a 2-session play).
Please contact us if you are interested. Reading groups forming now.

SHAKESPEARE PLAYERS: Spring 2014

index-DirectorsAbbyValGabeShakespeare Club students: This is your opportunity to take your acting to the next level!

If you performed As You Like It in 2013, this class will prepare you to compete with an ensemble in the San Diego Shake­speare Society Student Festival in Balboa Park on May 3, 2014.

Shakespeare Players will explore with Miss Peacock how Shakespeare uses heightened language, meter, caesura, punctuation, and antithesis to embody the range of human thought and emotion. They will explore with Mr. DiSilva blocking (self-awareness, courtesy, and thoughtfulness), motivation (how others perceive you, memory, charity), vocal technique (self-giving, self-knowledge), and stage terminology (virtuosity).

Open to 5th-12th grades.

NEW CLASS: Sonnets and Soliloquies

index-LevinLoveIf you didn’t perform As You Like It in 2013 but would like to perform in the Student Festival, you still can! The Student Festival is adding a new stage this year for solo performances of sonnets and soliloquies, so The Shakespeare Academy has developed a new class.

Sonnets and Soliloquies will explore with Miss Peacock how Shakespeare uses heightened language, meter, caesura, punctuation, and antithesis to embody the range of human thought and emotion. They will explore with Mr. DiSilva blocking (self-awareness), motivation (how others perceive you, memory, charity), vocal technique (self-giving, self-knowledge), and stage terminology (virtuosity)—all in the context of solo performance.

SHAKESPEARE CLUB: Spring 2014

index-JonahpumpingNotice: 4th-8th Grade Shakespeare Club will be changed to a 10-week session to give us time to prepare for the performance.

The play for this semester is The Tempest!

The Tempest has something for everyone: A storm at sea. A shipwreck. A magical island. A plot for revenge. Love at first sight. It is also (arguably) Shakespeare’s very last play—the one in which he says goodbye to the stage (“This rough magic I here abjure.”) and returns to his family in Stratford-upon-Avon.

index-Maureentakeschargetentative schedule:

LITTLE ITALY
4th-8th grades, Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am, 10 weeks starting January 26, 2014. $100.

LA MESA
8th-12th grades, Mondays 1-2:30pm, 15 weeks starting January 22, 2014. $225.

LOGAN HEIGHTS
4th-8th grades, Wednesday mornings.
(Enrollment restricted to members of St. Anne’s Homeschool Cooperative.)

OCEANSIDE
8th-12th grades, Wednesday afternoons, beginning March 2014.
Further details to come.

More classes to come. Please call if you would like to have a class in your area.

After-school programs forming now. Would you like one at your school?

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

What Kids Learn

How to “Play the Play”

Actors in Shakespeare’s time were called players, and like them, we “play the play.” Kids already know how to play, of course, but self-consciousness can creep in as they get older, andsword play often nerves kick in when they’re on stage. So we work at playing with exuberance and fearlessness.

Our play-acting is both make-believe and an intense game with rules—where Will’s words are the rules. Acting is very physical, so we’ll be working on vocal projection, breathing, diction, comportment, movement, and blocking. Some scenes require swordplay, wrestling, or physical comedy.

Sir Toby How to Speak Shakespeare ~ Fluently!

William Shakespeare invented some 1,700 words and introduced or popularized many of our common phrases, such as “make a virtue out of necessity” and “one fell swoop.” That means learning his language takes time and effort. But it’s actually easier for kids than for adults! They soak up knowledge like sponges, especially when it comes to language.

We learn through games and small bits memorization, and working up to whole scenes. As they “play the play,” they come to understand exactly what they are saying, become more and more fluent in this “foreign” language. Along the way, they learn things that might sound boring in a textbook: how to read iambic pentameter, how rhyming can add meaning to a text, how to recognize irony.

Great Stories

Sir Toby and Sir Andrew in the boxtreeShakespeare is the best storyteller of all time. Kids (and grown-ups, too) are touched by the rich human moments in both tragic and comic scenes. As Hamlet says, he holds a “mirror up to nature,” showing the world and its people as they really are. Shakespeare’s characters show us the profound dignity of every human being: No matter how wicked, ridiculous, or shallow a person might be, in Shakespeare’s “mirror” we see whatever is admirable, lovable, or pitiable in them. These stories and characters will remain with the students forever, giving them a lifetime to plumb their depths.

Relaxed momentTeam Work

Teamwork is the key to success on the stage. By “playing the play,” we encourage generosity, selflessness, and team spirit. The smallest role is as important as the largest, and everyone must pitch in together to achieve excellence. We use team-building games, but the greatest team builder is the play itself. The students will become confident interpreters of Shakespeare by working together, giving and receiving feedback, and sharing ideas.

Shakespeare and His Times

Will in ShadesAs we explore a play, we’ll address questions such as: Who was Shakespeare? How did people dress in his time? How were their lives different from ours? How were they alike? What music was popular? How did the political situation affect his writing?

Thou speakest wiser than thou art ware of.

Faculty

Cherie PeacockCherie Peacock, Director

Ms. Peacock is a writer, editor, and educator with a life-long love of all things Shake­spearean. She fell in love with Shakespeare when as a 7th-grader her awesome teacher asked her to memorize the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.

She fulfilled her Anglophilia by living in England for three years in her early 20s.

She went on to study English at the University of Dallas, and taught Shakespeare as the Academic Director of UD’s Shakespeare in Italy program, a college-credit, study-abroad program for high school students. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Dallas in English with a specialty in Shakespeare.

She has hosted an annual Shakespeare Party nearly every year since 1994. She has sewn and/or collected an enormous costume collection, which is available to students of The Shakespeare Academy.

She coordinates the Shakespeare Open Readings at the San Diego Central Library for the San Diego Shakespeare Society and is a frequent director for them.

She can be reached at misspeacock@theshakespeareacademy.com.

Powered By Varsity Tutors

photo of Daniel DiSilvaDaniel DiSilva, Acting Coach

Mr. DiSilva has 25 years of experience in the entertainment business. He played roles with touring companies of West Side Story, Grease, Romeo and Juliet, and A Chorus Line. An accomplished singer-songwriter and proficient on several instruments, he is best known for his work as an Afro-Cuban percussionist. He toured for more than 20 years with acts including James Taylor, Alison Krauss, The Chieftains, Natalie Mac­Master, Bernard Wright, and Joseph Vincelli.

Having made San Diego his home in 2012, Mr. DiSilva now works in the film industry for Allied Faith & Family, a movie marketing agency based in Hollywood.

He can be reached at mrdisilva@­theshakespeareacademy.com.

Advisory Board

Alex SandieAlex Sandie

Mr. Sandie is President of the San Diego Shakespeare Society and a professional member of Actors Alliance of San Diego and founding president of several local Scottish organizations including San Diego-Edinburgh Sister City Society.

Mr. Sandie has acted in more than 40 productions in local theatres, including Lawrence Welk Resort Theatre. His contributions to the the arts in San Diego have been recognized with the Spirit of Bravissimo Award from the City of San Diego and by the Pillar of Leith (Edinburgh) Medal from the San Diego County Office of Education.

Dr. Theresa KenneyDr. Theresa Kenney

Dr. Kenney is Associate Professor of English at the University of Dallas. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her research interests include Shakespeare, Medieval literature, Dante, and Nineteenth-Century novels, especially Jane Austen. She is the former director of Shakespeare in Italy, a program of the University of Dallas.

O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping!

Classes

How do you bring a character to life, beginning with only language, simple props, and a bare stage? How do you create a world out of words? How do you forge a true ensemble, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts? Learning through performance: That is Shakespeare Club.

4th~8th Grade Shakespeare Club

young actors

The Shakespeare Acad­emy uses an approach called Learning through Performance. This approach has been used with great success by The Folger Library in Washington, D.C., Shakespeare Kids at UT-Austen, and The Old Globe in London.

We start with fun activities, games, and acting exercises. We will learn about rhyme and meter — and that Shakespeare wrote in iambic pentameter, which is also called Blank Verse. Then we’ll read select scenes and from one of the plays, using Shakespeare’s own words — which the kids will really come to understand! Using their voices, their facial expressions, and their movements, they will learn to interpret Shakespeare. They will learn to ask themselves, “Why am I using these words right now?”

To demonstrate their new-found knowledge and to celebrate their accomplishments, the 10-week session will culminate with a performance for parents, in full costume.

Malvolio and Maria9th~12th Grade Shakespeare Club

We will read aloud one of Shakespeare’s plays: all of it, aloud, and taking turns reading different parts. Anyone can stop the action at any time to ask a question or make an observation. There will be discussion and exploration of the major themes of Shakespeare: love, death, time, fate, nature, character, fatherhood, motherhood, friendship, leadership, forgiveness, and mercy. Along with reading, there will be acting exercises.

To demonstrate their new-found knowledge and to celebrate their accomplishments, the 15-week session will culminate with a performance for parents, in full costume.

Shakespeare Players

Shakespeare Club students: this is your opportunity to take your acting to the next level! If you performed As You Like It in 2013, this class will prepare you to compete with an ensemble in the San Diego Shakespeare Society Student Festival in Balboa Park on May 3, 2014.

Shakespeare Players will explore with Miss Peacock how Shakespeare uses heightened language, meter, caesura, punctuation, and antithesis to embody the range of human thought and emotion. They will explore with Mr. DiSilva blocking (self-awareness, courtesy, and thoughtfulness), motivation (how others perceive you, memory, charity), vocal technique (self-giving, self-knowledge), and stage terminology (virtuosity).

Open to 5th-12th grades.

Sonnets and Soliloquies

Sonnets and Soliloquies will explore with Miss Peacock how Shakespeare uses heightened language, meter, caesura, punctuation, and antithesis to embody the range of human thought and emotion. They will explore with Mr. DiSilva blocking (self-awareness), motivation (how others perceive you, memory, charity), vocal technique (self-giving, self-knowledge), and stage terminology (virtuosity)—all in the context of solo performance.

Open to 7th-12th grades.

Reading Group for Adults

In a small (4-8 people), informal group we will read a play aloud together, stopping for any and all questions and comments along the way. No experience necessary. The reading group will meet two or three times (depending on the play) for a 2-hour session in a coffee house or someone’s home. Director Cherie Peacock will facilitate, providing background, context, translations, and encouragement.

$25 per session ($50 for a 2-session play).

Please contact us if you are interested. Reading groups forming now.

Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.

Resources

Learn about Shakespeare Online:

Shakespeare Kids (UT Austin)

Shakespeare Kids is a program of The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts.

Do Your Own Shakespeare pages allow students to imagine that they are playing one of six roles in the opening scenes of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They are given a text, and questions and suggestions to ponder as they prepare to perform a role.

The Teachers page has lesson plans, guides to the plays, texts for classroom use, and an extensive list of on-line resources.

Their Guide for Parents has useful information and lots of encouragement.

Shakespeare for Kids (Folger Library)

The Shakespeare for Kids site at the Folger Library has games, challenges, puzzles, coloring, mazes, word jumbles, and animated adventures.

BBC Shakespeare for Primary Grades

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/famouspeople/william_shakespeare/

Charter School Partners:

Julian Charter School

Let me be better acquainted with thee.

Sign Up!

Sign up to be added to our mailing list.

You may email us for more information, or fill out the sign-up form below.

MAILING ADDRESS:
The Shakespeare Academy
4588 68th Street
La Mesa, CA 91942
PHONE: (619) 376-6340

SIGN-UP FORM

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.

Thanks!

Thank you for signing up with The Shakespeare Academy. A confirmation email has been sent to the address you provided (you may need to check your spam folder).

We will contact you shortly with details.

Back to the Shakespeare Academy.

Answer me in one word.

F.A.Q.

Q. How do I sign up?

A. Just fill out the form on the Sign Up page. We will contact you with details.

Q. What does it cost?

$15/hr per student.

Q. Is there a family discount?

A. Yes. For two children: 20% discount; for three: 30%.

Q. Are there scholarships?

A. Yes, there are a limited number of need-based scholarships. Contact the director for details.

Q. Are you working with any of the charter schools to receive EUs through the State of California?

A. Yes, you can request our classes from Julian Charter School.

Q. What about costumes?

A. The Shakespeare Academy has a large costume collection which is available to students.

Q. Do we have to pay for the costumes?

A. No. But to preserve the costumes for further students, there is a refundable deposit and a cleaning fee.

Q. Will my child be required to perform?

A. Not at all. Shy is okay. The Shakespeare Academy provides a safe environment where the less extroverted and the more extroverted learn to work together, building on each other’s strengths.