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 About the Work

Shakespeare for the Young was designed and built by Annie Houston, supported by Cam Magee and Dawn Thomas with the text and workshops, to bring Shakespeare to young audiences.  
The target ages are 2 to10.
Shakespeare for the Young has chosen the medium of puppetry in combination with the artists voices to present to children the stories and poetry of Shakespeare.


Midsummer Magic takes the characters of Titania and Oberon, Puck and Fairy, and Bottom the Weaver from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  
Three Puppeteers bring the characters of Puck, Oberon, Titania, Fairy, and Bottom to life with their story of love, mischief, and forgiveness in the woods. Children are introduced to a puppet William Shakespeare, who helps tell the story. The puppeteers make the fairy story comprehensible for young children through soft body puppetry with movement
and interactive play with the audience.

Based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, The Tiniest Tempest has been created by Shakespeare For The Young as an interactive show for 4 to 10 year olds. Four Puppeteers bring the characters of Miranda and Prospero, Antonio and Alonso, and Caliban and Ariel to life with their story of hurt and love as well as revenge and forgiveness on an island. The puppets are both large-bodied and shadow puppets. Children are introduced to a stick puppet of William Shakespeare, who helps start the story. Aided by interactive play with the audience, the actors engage children's imaginations through Shakespeare's words, using music as an additional medium. Prospero’s questions invite children and their families to think about empathy, inclusion, and forgiveness. 

Adventures in Arden been created as an interactive show for 3 to 10 year olds. It is based on Shakespeare’s As You Like It.  Children are introduced to a puppet of William Shakespeare, who helps start the story. Large bodied puppets, small hand-held puppets, and shadow puppets help tell the story of unkindness turned to love. Set in Africa, the story takes place in both city and country, in particular in the healing forest of Arden where love between two people blossoms and forgiveness between two sets of brothers takes place. Aided by interactive play with the audience, the actors engage children's imaginations through Shakespeare's words, using music of many African instruments as an additional medium. A short workshop for the children follows the play. Children use their bodies and voices to explore the rhythms and beats they heard in Shakespeare’s language during the play.



Shakespeare for The Young provides a workshop after each performance that
is designed to stretch the children's imaginations through physical engagement with Shakespeare's words.  
The puppeteers use the language and actions of the puppets from the performance to engage the children during the workshop, helping them make
active choices with their imaginations and their bodies.
From the minute I walked into the theater I was transported!  The sounds -the set-the lighting all set the scene beautifully!  And then once the show began it was pure magic which thrilled all.  The very impressive turnout comprised of a surprising range of ages in the children. It really worked for all of them as well as for us adults!
The ensemble also really worked with each person's particular talent, complementing the others.                                          
                                                                         Nancy Broers, Event Planner and Musician 

My granddaughter and I really enjoyed the show and she has been talking about it since as well as making fairy puppets out of paper.                              
                                                                                                         Barbara Keeling, Teacher

Midsummer Magic presents a gentle and inclusive journey for children under eight to enter the rich world of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy.  Audiences at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival were so delighted that we are including it in our fifth anniversary season of Theatre for the Very Young at the Atlas.
                                  Mary Hall Surface, Artistic Director of Theatre for the Very Young

Midsummer Magic was a delight, both for my 4-year-old and for me. As a Shakespeare fan, I really appreciated the pared-down adaptation, so accessible and appropriate for my preschooler. Also, months later, she still enjoys singing the song we learned, complete with her own made-up gestures, as encouraged by the warm and winning cast. We can't wait to see what's next!
                                                                                                               Colleen Delany, Actor

Midsummer Magic was absolutely captivating! The beautifully crafted puppets, set, music and interactive nature of the performance enabled my young children to enter the magical world of Titania, Oberon and Puck. It's so exciting that the world of Shakespeare has been made accessible for young children. We can't wait to see what Shakespeare for the Young has in store for us next!
                                                                                             Jill Brandenburg, Music Teacher

It was a delight to see so many young children engaged and participating in the production. From the beginning, the kids are transported into the world of Shakespeare and joyfully they become part of the magic.
                                                                                                                       Tati Kaupp, Artist

Audience Reviews