Shakespeare in Action was established in 1988 by Artistic Director, Michael Kelly. We continue to bring Shakespeare to young people across Ontario through innovative programs and critically acclaimed theatre productions.
Shakespeare in Action is a diverse theatre company that aspires to enhance the arts and education through exploring and performing Shakespeare’s plays. We are dedicated to fostering literacy, enhancing creativity and promoting speech arts by making the language and stories of Shakespeare accessible and relevant to young audiences, their families, and the community. Shakespeare in Action seeks to inspire audiences of all ages to discover Shakespeare’s universal truths in our everyday world, showing the influence classical theatre has within our communities. We accomplish this by:
Shakespeare in Action is a not-for-profit organization registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency: Charity Registration Number: 12721 1571 RR0001
Shakespeare in Action operates under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Actors Equity Association, and is proudly a member of many professional organizations including TAPA and Theatre Ontario.
Initiated Performing Arts Network (PAN) delivering free workshops to over 1,500 Northwest Toronto school-aged children and youth. Moved into new studio-home at ARTSCAPE WESTON COMMON and delivered inaugural performance in their Rockport Performance hall with a four DORA nominated production of “Suddenly Shakespeare.” Presented A Midsummer Night’s Dream for inaugural year of SHAKESPEARE IN THE SHELL at Little Avenue Memorial Park in Weston.
MACBETH IN ACTION launches new interactive Guerilla Shakespeare Series
SHAKESPEARE FOR KIDS SUMMER CAMP IN HIGH PARK in partnership with Canadian Stage and Shakespeare in High Park
Shakespeare in Action leaves Central Toronto Academy
SHAKESPEARE MEETS HIP-HOP tours innovative presentation across GTA and SIA performs Mainstage production of HAMLET at Central Toronto Academy
The first annual SHAKESPEARE CHALLENGE fundraiser and SIA performs Mainstage ROMEO AND JULIET at CTA
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK: Mainstage production at JCC Miles Nadal Theatre
Shakespeare in Action becomes an Artist Company in Residence at Central Toronto Academy (CTA) in the Toronto District School Board. Performs remounted production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and launches Shakespeare Family Series production at Lillian H. Smith Library
“The eye catching production shines a gaudy and sometimes revealing new light on Macbeth”
Jon Kaplan, Now Magazine
“The kids really enjoyed the library program. It really helped our son to be more literate and increased his speech arts.”
Beth Gibson, Parent
“This production of The Tempest gave all the children at Givins/Shaw a chance to participate regardless of background and religion.”
Karen Mackenna, Parent
EMPOWERING KIDS WITH SHAKESPEARE: Experiencing the creative process.
“Shakespeare is ‘a great point of departure that crosses over to dance, history, art and music, kids begin to fall in love with the language,’ says Kelly, ‘Romantic, invigorating, its empowering for kids of any age.’”
Annemarie Brissenden, The Village Gleaner, Toronto
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM: Hit production critically acclaimed.
“A combination of clever staging and an inventive use of shadow play and puppets make it all possible.”
Richard Ouzounian,The Toronto Star
SHAKESPEARE FOR KIDZ SUMMER PROGRAM: Summer program for children from 7-12
Critically acclaimed “innovative and fun” by C.B.C. As It Happens. “Your camp topped the charts, Jessie rated it 110 out of 100.”
Marie Sheppard, Parent C.B.C
INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS DOWN UNDER: Behold, a changed Bard
“Learning about the Bard was never this much fun. Michael Kelly uses repetition, encouragement, pace and limitless energy, the end result after half an hour’s intensive workout: well, dramatic. This is how the director of Canadian-based Shakespeare in Action has passed his love of Shakespeare onto thousands of people around the world.”
Lynn Freeman The Herald, NZ
LEARNING TO LOVE SHAKESPEARE: Interesting Canadians we’re glad we’ve met
“Michael Kelly, founder of Toronto’s Shakespeare in Action, believes that by experiencing Shakespeare kids learn some history while they design sets and costumes, some music while they figure out how to accompany their own performance and a whole lot of self-confidence when they realize they’ve tackled a playwright who has been known to terrify teachers.”
Cate Cochran, Canadian Living Magazine
TEACHING SHAKESPEARE SUMMER INSTITUTE: Established at York University.
“I gained new strategies and maybe even more important, renewed enthusiasm for teaching Shakespeare. Thank you.”
Denise Graves, Teacher
MAIN STAGE PROGRAM SIA: Innovative production of Romeo & Juliet.
“Why has this company been kept away from the public for so long when they do such interesting work?’’
Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star
DEMYSTIFYING THE BARD: Learn Shakespeare by doing Shakespeare.
“Student actors are cracking the language barrier to see how he uses it to address important human questions”
Bill Henry, The Sun Times
SHAKESPEARE GOES TO KINDERGARTEN: A program for K-6.
“At schools all across Southern Ontario something special is happening. Shakespeare is coming to class in a way he never did before.”
Rita Tonnelli Global TV, Kids Beat
SHAKESPEARE MODERNIZED FOR NEW AUDIENCES: Impacts upon young offenders.
“Smart actors have found a way to teach Shakespeare with action.”
Eric Malling, W5
Shakespeare in Action is founded by Artistic Director Michael Kelly
“The program is innovative, improvisational, flexible.”
Bill Taylor, The Toronto Star