During the day at Bard on the Beach there is a presence that takes over the entire Vanier Park site. Mostly it moves in packs and sometimes alone, with an insatiable hunger for all things Shakespearean. This presence is commonly known as “The Young Shakespearean.” Over the last 19 years, Bard has seen over 2000 Young Shakespeareans walk through our gates and come out the other side as changed individuals. A now 14-year-old Marlee Spicer gave us her account of what it’s like to take part in our annual summer workshops

“This year has been my 7th Bard on the Beach Young Shakespeareans workshop and I’m happy to say that every year I’ve had so much fun. I was introduced into the whole Shakespearean gig when I was eight and ever since then I’ve been signing up year after year.  I’ve been doing Bard for a while and I have never lost interest. I learn something new every year and thanks to the amazing teachers I’ve had over the years, I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.Marlee's first year at Bard doing 'The Comedy of Errors' with her teacher Luisa Jojic

I used to be a more reserved person who kept to herself but the teachers brought me out of my shell and have made me who I am today. At school, I have excelled in public speaking courses and that’s all thanks to what I’ve learned on the stage. Over the years I have done a wide variety of plays from tragedies, to romances, to comedies. Every play I have enjoyed to the fullest. Not only from the thrill and pure enjoyment of performing on stage but also the language.

Shakespeare had a phenomenal vocabulary and he played so well into the Elizabethan era.  He put underlying meaning in every one of his plays. In Macbeth the play I have just completed, Banquo one of the main characters had ties within Queen Elizabeth’s family. 

We get to explore the language while having fun laying out the play. Though the plays are abbreviated, the language and plot are never lost.  Every person gets equal opportunity and we all have fun. This is why year after year I can’t wait for the Bard letter to reach my mailbox.” 

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