Adult acting at YSP began with the Adult Shakespeare Circle, a small group of parents gathering and performing “readings” of plays. From readings, the adults progressed to performing Shakespeare Workshop Scenes, and finally, in 2006, their first full-length play, Twelfth Night. In 2008, during a full-length King Lear, they were joined on stage by several veteran YSP actors from the “youth” program. Since that time, YSP has added more mixed-age productions to its calendar, including works by Dickens and G.B. Shaw. An original adaptation of Our Mutual Friend, modeled after the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Nicholas Nickleby and written by Richard DiPrima, was staged at YSP in 2011 with younger actors as well as adults.
YSP has several ways for adults to participate:
- The Dickens Dramatic Reading Society, which began in 2008 in order to give staged readings of selections from Dickens’ novels and stories, includes veteran and adult actors.
- YSP’s seminars or Focused Workshops on critical, literary, and dramatic aspects of Shakespeare’s works, are available to both veteran actors and adults.
- Summer Shakespeare Veteran’s Challenge Projects are open to actors 14–26 who have been in at least two previous productions at YSP. These Challenge Projects occur based on interest.