Our Summer Schedule - Registering Now
YSP has a splendid summer ahead! First, we'll produce the magnificent two-day full Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.In the second, later-summer slot will be a full-length, uncut version of Shakespeare's sparkling comedy, As You Like It!
- Introduction: Wednesday, April 20, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
- Regular rehearsals
- BEFORE MADISON SCHOOLS CLOSE: Saturdays, 1:00-4:00; Sundays, 11:00-4:00; (optional) Wednesdays, 5:00-7:00
- AFTER MADISON SCHOOLS CLOSE: Mondays-Fridays, 9:00-1:00 with occasional special rehearsals in the afternoons
- Performances end: 8/07
- This is a mixed production, and YSP Veterans and adults are welcome to take part!
As You Like It
Many people have called As You Like It the most musical of all Shakespeare plays. It is also, quite simply, one of the most lively and sparkling. Did Shakespeare ever have more FUN (!!) writing anything? Consider just a few points: This play is filled with songs, including a procession of singing hunters! There’s a wedding masque led by the Roman god of marriage, Hymen. And, there’s an onstage wrestling match! As You Like It brings the highest of society’s nobility into the forest — where nobles and courtiers mix (and match!) with country folk. There are young lovers and older (sometimes troublemaking) lords, there are shepherds, dukes (two), and a wrestler! There are all kinds of very different clowns — an irreverently energetic one (Touchstone), a hopelessly melancholic one (Jaques), a wisely rustic one, and a country couple.
- Introduction: Thursday, May 26, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
- Intro Readings: Sunday, May 29, 12:00 noon.-finish.
- First blocking rehearsal: Saturday, June 25, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
- Regular rehearsals
- Start June 27 Mondays-Fridays, 1:00-4:00; AND, if enough actors take part, ALSO a morning session, 9:00 a.m.-noon.
- Performances end: 8/28
Registration forms available for download for all productions here
Nicholas Nickleby Worskhop Performances
- Workshop Part One - April 14 @ 6:00 p.m.
- Workshop Part Two - April 15 @ 6:00 p.m.
- Workshop Part One - April 16 @ 6:00 p.m.
- Workshop Part Two - April 17 @ 1:00 p.m.
- Madison Magazine has named The Young Shakespeare Players as 2015's Gold Winner in two "Madison's Best" categories: Best Youth Performing Arts Group and Best Kids Entertainment. The Young Shakespeare Players were previously voted Madison's Favorite Theater Troupe and Madison's Favorite After-School Program in the 2014-2015 Isthmus Annual Manual survey.
- YSP's most recent publication is now available. More Things in Heaven and Earth: What the Young Shakespeare Players Have Taught Us All About Human Potential explores the YSP experience in relation to such topics as brain neuroplasticity, development of empathy, the critical role of language in complex thinking, memorization, and allowing young people executive responsibility in pursuing a worthwhile superordinate goal. Order yours today at our publications page.
- The funeral scene from a production of Julius Caesar:
- Interested in becoming a costume apprentice at YSP? Download the application.
- Listen to actors & directors talk to Radio Lit about their busy summer at YSP, or read about a production of As You Like It in Square 77!
- We are proud to announce the opening of our very first YSP chapter outside Madison, in Brattleboro, VT. YSP East–New England will inspire young people in the region to fall in love with the works of Shakespeare! Read more & register. Read about YSP East in Vermont's Commons Online.
- What does an original YSP production look like? Here's a short discussion and footage of "Shakespeare's Show of Shows: Great Comic Scenes from Shakespeare and Sid Caesar."
- And here's a scene from the workshop, the popular "Beethoven's Fifth," in which a married couple argues to music!
- Read theater critic Damien Jacques' "My most inspirational theater person."
- The Actor's (and Intelligent Reader's) Guide to the Language of Shakespeare, by Richard DiPrima, was developed out of YSP's series of focused workshops on the language of Shakespeare. Read more about that book and all the others that have followed.
- YSP performed an original production of a project of similar scope to the Royal Shakespeare Company's 10-hour Nicholas Nickleby—this one bringing to life Dickens’s great final completed novel, Our Mutual Friend. Link to the Directors' Blog for Our Mutual Friend, read more about Dickens at YSP, and watch clips from the productions. Listen to directors & actors discuss Our Mutual Friend (& perform scenes!) on WORT's Radio Literature. Read about the play in the Wisconsin State Journal.