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June 11, 2008 > Shakespeare in Fremont

Shakespeare in Fremont

By Brittney Hansen
Photos By courtesy of John Western

"To be, or not to be; that is the question!" If your child loves to act and perform on stage, then Shakespeare Camp in Fremont is the place to be! During August 4-15, children ages seven to thirteen will learn to speak clearly, act confidently, and have fun exploring the world of William Shakespeare.

The Bay Area Shakespeare Camp began sixteen years ago in San Francisco, created by the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, the same group behind the well-known, "Shakespeare in the Park" event. Since the day camp's beginning, it has grown to over 30 locations in the Bay Area, and serves over 800 enthusiastic campers every year. This year is the first in which a camp has been organized in Fremont.

Every weekday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., campers will meet at the Azevada Elementary School in Fremont where they will develop vocal projection techniques, design and create their own props and costumes and at the end of the two weeks, put on a final performance for family members and friends. The camp is for seasoned young actors as well as those new to the stage, so that all children can have a great time performing, no matter their skill level.

The purpose of the camp, according to the marketing director John Western, is to "help kids in Fremont become familiar with the works of Shakespeare," and "learn about Shakespearean history and what life was like in those days." Campers will discover how to "become" their character, develop stage presence relationships and find out about the technical aspects of a production, from costumes and props to set design.

Camp activities are divided into three categories, based on the camper's age. The maximum number of children is 40 in order to maintain a good teacher/student ratio. Younger thespians (ages 7-8) will learn a 15-minute, abridged version of the second act in Shakespeare's production, "Adventure of Pericles," and the middle group (ages 9-10) will perform a 30-minute version of the comedy "Twelve Nights." The oldest children (ages 11-13) will act out "A Winter's Tale" for their final 30-minute performance.

Between one third and one half of the campers that attend each year have previously participated and are eager to perform again. One enthusiastic parent stated, "This was my son's third year at Shakespeare Camp and he had a blast! He keeps wanting to go back each year." Another declared, "My children didn't know what to expect, but on the first day they came home excited. By the end of the first week, my son told me he's having the most fun he's ever had in his life!"

Camp enrollment fee is $420 per child, and includes two weeks of teaching and a performance, the camper's script, costume and props, as well as other materials and supplies. Food is not provided at the camp due to food allergies, so campers should bring along a bag lunch each day. Scholarship assistance is available. To learn more about the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival as well as the Shakespeare Camps see the website for more information, or call (800) 978-7529.

Shakespeare Camp
Monday, August 4 - Friday, August 15
9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Joseph Azevada Elementary School
39450 Royal Palm Drive, Fremont
(800) 978-7529

$420 per child (scholarships available)

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