Bard Youth Fest

Bard Youth Fest is all about young people making Shakespeare their own.

It transcends geographical boundaries to bring together a community of young performers and educators to celebrate different ways to think about Shakespeare. Create a short Shakespearean piece with your Bard Youth Fest Troupe with the support of a Bard Coach, and come together to perform at the Bard Youth Fest finale!

Photo by Joe Biegel

Bard Youth Fest Launch Event

Sunday June 24, 2018 from 10am – FULLY BOOKED, check back next year for updates on Bard Youth Fest 2019!

Join us to celebrate the launch of the first Bard Youth Fest! Get a taste of Bard Education workshops, and learn more about becoming part of Bard Youth Fest 2018, then enjoy one of our Festival performances.

  • Take up to 13 students (plus two chaperones) to a morning of interactive and fun theatre workshops at the BMO Theatre Centre
  • Watch a matinee performance of As You Like It in the Mainstage Theatre with your group

Bard Youth Fest 2018

Bard Youth Fest 2018 is now fully subscribed! Check back later this year for information on Bard Youth Fest 2019. Questions? Email our Education Assistant, Katie Johnstone at kjohnstone@bardonthebeach.org.

Bring young people together to embark on a creative journey and work on a short Shakespearean performance. Present your performance at the Bard Youth Fest finale alongside other groups in our professional theatre space.

How does it work?

  • Now – September: Bring together a Bard Youth Fest Troupe, guided by a Troupe Mentor (a teacher, club leader, or any dedicated adult).
  • September – November: Rehearse with your Troupe to create a unique Shakespearean performance (max 30 minutes). We can provide abridged scripts, but what you do with your performances is up to you! Be creative and use your Troupe’s passions and talents.
  • September-November: Host your Bard Coach (a professional theatre artist) for select rehearsals to take your Shakespearean performance to the next level.
  • October 19: Attend our Pro-D day for school teachers for an interactive and playful workshop. Learn how to unlock Shakespeare’s texts with your Troupe in dynamic ways.
  • November 24 & 25, 2018: Bring your Troupe to our professional theatre space to perform alongside other participating Troupes at the celebratory Bard Youth Fest finale!

More Information on Bard Youth Fest

What is Bard Youth Fest?

A community of young performers and educators who come together to celebrate different ways to think about and perform Shakespeare. It is a journey of creativity and discovery, an opportunity for young people to make Shakespeare their own.

What's a Troupe Mentor?

A teacher, other staff member, or any dedicated adult who acts as an advisor to the Troupe, and liaison with your Bard Coach and the Bard Education team. The Troupe Mentor can take a directing role, or support their Troupe of young performers in directing the Shakespeare piece themselves.

What's a Bard Youth Fest Troupe?

A group of young performers, supported by a Troupe Mentor and a Bard Coach, who meet to create their own interpretation of a Shakespeare piece to share at the Bard Youth Fest event. We welcome everyone; no matter their experience with Shakespeare and performance. Bard Youth Fest will be an inclusive journey that empowers young people of all needs and abilities to make Shakespeare their own, and celebrate their creativity.

What's a Bard Coach?

A professional theatre artist contracted by Bard Education to provide advice, supporting, and coaching to your Bard Youth Fest Troupe. They will visit your school and run workshops to help you along the way.

How much does it cost?

For our pilot year, participating is FREE. We are not able to offer financial support for travel costs, or any props and costumes you may wish to use.

What will your Bard Youth Fest Troupe perform?

Working towards your Bard Youth Fest performance will be a student-led journey, inspired and driven by their own passions, talents, and interests. We can provide schools with abridged scripts of Shakespeare plays (approx. 30 mins) which you can work with as you please. Your Troupe may choose to perform the whole thing, or to focus in on selected scenes and speeches. It may be an ensemble piece with movement and music which incorporates language from the play. It is up to you and your Troupe to get creative!

Our suggestions:

Become the set. We won’t have capacity for Troupes to bring their own set pieces, but you can use your bodies to create settings, or props to indicate location and character (consider keeping things lightweight and easy to transport)

Keep it simple. Focus on exploring the text and enjoying the creative journey. Your Troupe's performance should be centre stage; no need to spend time and money finding costumes. Use what the actors have, or choose something easy to source.

Create the mood. Use performance techniques, space, and language to transport your audience – we won’t have a lighting and tech crew to do that for you!

Discover your talents. Do you have students who play instruments? Who love telling jokes? Your Shakespearean performance will come together beautifully if the performers are engaged and take creative ownership. Remember: this is all about young people making Shakespeare their own! There is no right or wrong way to do it.

Keep it short and sweet. Remember there are other Bard Youth Fest Troupes with work to show, so performances can run for up to 30 mins. You do not need to use all of that time and are welcome to prepare something much shorter.