A Midsummer Night's Dream:
Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble Season Seventeen
Acting Up (in Acadiana) announces Year 17 of The Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble and its production of MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. The 16-day intensive performing arts camp culminates with performances on July 25, 26, 27, 2019 at 7:30 pm & 28, 2019 at 2 PM at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
Students ages 10-Senior in high school take on the roles of royalty, fools and fairies as three different worlds over-lap and collide in fun-filled comedy. 50 students ages 10-senior in high school perform the roles. Professional staff includes Hector LaSala, set design; Shane Courville and Josh Allen music; Chad Trahan and Olivia Johnson costume design; Sarah Mikayla Brown and Joseph Lymous movement and dance, Destin Briant, graphic design and Amy Waguespack, acting and directing, and numerous members of Acting Up (in Acadiana)’s family: Hannah Briggs, Sarah Cook, Dana Gourrier, Christy Leichty, Samantha Lokey, Mackenzie McAnally, Cameron Metrejean, George Saucier, and Cathy Wagnon. Acting Up (in Acadiana) welcomes Gourrier and Lymous as our guest acting and movement instructors and coaches from Los Angeles and New York City respectively. The Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble is sustained by the generosity of Creative Spaces Gallery and Studio.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students high school aged and under. Note: the AcA will charge additional facility fees for ticket purchases. For more information call (337) 739-4273 or visit www.actingupinacadiana.com. For tickets call (337) 233-7060 or see below.
Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble was founded in 2003 by Acting Up (In Acadiana)'s director Amy Waguespack. The camp takes place for two weeks every July at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Children and youth ages 10 through High School Senior put on an entire Shakespeare production in only eleven days. Students go through rotations of Acting, Music, and Movement classes every morning, followed by intense rehearsals in the afternoon. They are immersed in Shakespeare's language and in the world of a well rounded performer; learning about all of the pieces that come together in making an excellent show: actors, dancers, musicians, lighting, costume design, set design, graphic design, and stage management. SYSE culminates in a weekend of shows performed at the James Devin Moncus Theatre. The company members of Acting Up, together with many of our collaborators, and SYSE Alumni comprise the camp's staff. Now going on its 16th year, Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble has fostered several "generations" of young performers who live, work, and study all over the country and abroad.
SYSE grew out of my frustration with college aged students who thought that Shakespeare’s plays were written in a foreign language. I wanted to catch students young and teach them to savor that language. That happens by making Shakespeare’s plays relevant, approachable, interesting and dynamic. By bringing action to those words. By playing with the brilliantly written heightened English language with themes that are as true today as they were when they were written.
Students ages 10 through senior in high school immerse themselves in Shakespeare and the Performing Arts in this 16-day program. I compare it to a language immersion program. With an extensive professional staff, students take classes in Music, Dance, Acting and Design in the morning. Following a one hour lunch, students apply what they’ve learned in those classes in acting, music and dance rehearsals for the actual play. The program ends with four public performances of a full length Shakespeare.
Amy Waguespack, Founder & Director
From the 2011 production of As You Like It:
"It doesn't feel like work at all," said Destin Briant, 17, a sixth-year member, who played Touchstone. "It feels like just perfecting your craft and doing the best job you can at the play."
"These kids do amazing things," said Brooke LeBleu, administrative assistant and alumna of SYSE. "They really put forth the effort because they're having fun while they do it. I think that that's really the most inspiring part. You see them work so hard and not complain and put everything they have into this because they really want to do it and they really want to be here."
"I really love acting and I'm very serious about it," said Sophia Brazda, 10, a third-year member, who played Hymen. "I know that seems kind of funny, I guess, to some people because I'm, like, so little, but I really am passionate about it. Whenever you feel really good about something, really succeed in it, it's just kind of raising that bar because you know you wanna do it. And then, if you just work hard enough, you can."
"I decide to come back every year because this is the highlight of my year," said Chance Briant, 17, a sixth-year member, who played Orlando. "I can't think of any two weeks where I have more fun or where I'm in better company because I love everyone and we're all very close. Just doing the play and performing is one of my passions. I love to entertain and there's no better opportunity to get to do it, especially with people that you love."