Thank you for visiting our Festival Page dedicated to teachers.
- Teacher packet with application form (pdf)
- Scene ideas (pdf)
- Parent Release Form (doc)
- Videos from past festivals
NOTE: The timeline in the teacher packet will say Feb 9 is the deadline and that Feb 9 was our Mandatory school orientation. Please note that we are extending the registration deadline so if you hurry, you can still apply. While we would hope all schools would do the orientation, this year it was schedule early in the year and you can still apply even if you missed the orientation.
SPECIAL NEWS: 2 schools from Moscow (yes, Russia!) are arranging to come to San Diego for the festival. They will participate in the activities. What a great opportunity for them and for your students! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to interact with students from Russia.
Q: What and when is it?
A: You are invited to participate in the annual San Diego Student Shakespeare Festival sponsored by the San Diego Shakespeare Society. It is designed to make Shakespeare come alive for students by giving them the opportunity to become doers rather than observers. The festival is held in Balboa Park on a Saturday in April from noon to about 4pm.
Students perform 10-minute scenes and sonnets from the works of Shakespeare as well as demonstrate dance, vocal and instrumental music, juggling, puppetry, etc. The Festival begins with a procession from the Organ Pavilion to the multiple 16′w x 12′d stages along the Prado. Performances begin immediately following the opening ceremonies and concluding with an awards ceremony.
“I would like to thank you all so very much for your help and allowing us to participate in this year’s Shakespeare Festival. We had so much fun! We are already planning for next year’s festival, from costumes to script.”
Encanto Boys and Girls Club
Q: What sort of scenes are done?
A: A scene could be a cutting from Act I, sc. 1 or cuttings from Act I, sc. 1 and Act I, sc. 3, etc. with an optional original introduction and narrative bridge. The Shakespearean text must be as written, not modernized or simplified, on competitive stages, but the presentation style could be Elizabethan, Victorian, contemporary, space-age, or wherever your muse takes you.
An example of a collage might be “Shakespeare in Love Sonnets” with an English folk song and dance opening, then several Shakespearean sonnets with tableaux, and a concluding song and dance. It must contain substantial Shakespearean text.
Please observe the 10-minute scene limit: try not to go under or over. For competitive scenes, one point is deducted for scenes under 9 or over 11 minutes.
“Balboa Park is a beautiful setting! Even though it was extremely warm, sitting in the shade with the breeze blowing and hearing Shakespeare and seeing the beautiful grounds was thrilling.”
Q: What is the time commitment/assessment process?
A: Many schools begin in February to allow adequate time to prepare performances before the March/April assessments. While parts need not be fully memorized, auditors should see polished staging with blocking, props, and costumes. Our assessors will also work with groups after the assessment as requested. Auditors include directors and actors with extensive classic acting experience.
“The students had a great time! Thanks again for the wonderful opportunity!”
High Tech Middle Media Arts
Q: Who can participate?
A: All San Diego City and County public and independent schools are invited to participate: elementary, middle, and high schools. Participation is qualified by an informal evaluation of progress in mid-March through early April. A school may have 2 entries.
“Many many thanks to all who made this day possible. It’s such a fantastic experience and I appreciate every year that we get to participate.”
La Jolla Country Day
Q: What are the logistics?
A: Each participating school will be assigned a 15-minute time slot that includes a 10 minute scene and 5 minutes to set-up and strike. Groups may select scenes from any Shakespearean play; they may do an entire scene, splice together several cuttings, or create a theatrical collage of music, dance, sonnets, scenes, etc. Schools can participate on competitive or non-competitive stages. Judges at competitive stages give awards for best scenes and outstanding performers at elementary, middle, and high school levels. All students receive certificates of participation.
Q: How is it coached?
A: Each school designates one person as the coordinator through whom all Festival information is disseminated. Language arts, drama, and music teachers are most often the primary coaches, although some solicit the help of parents and other volunteers for rehearsals, costuming, and supervision on the day of the Festival. Preparation for assessment and the Festival are often tied to a Shakespeare unit taught in the classroom. In addition, many teachers meet with students before or after school or during lunch in a systematic rehearsal process to prepare for the Festival.
“We had a great time at the festival. We’re looking forward to next year! Thank you to the Society for putting this wonderful festival together.“ Chula Vista High School
Q: What resources are available?
A: Our February teachers’ workshop will provide information and techniques. We will provide an in-class workshop for your students in the spring. Our assessors will also work with your cast upon request. Click here for suggested scenes and photos and videos of past festivals.
Q: Is there a cost?
There is no cost to participate in the Festival itself. Individual schools are financially responsible for costuming, props, a school banner on a pole for the parade, and transportation the day of the festival.
You can call Mike Auer (858) 467-0836 with Festival questions.