About Us

The Young Shakespeare Players (YSP), a non-profit theater program founded in 1980 by touchstoneRichard DiPrima, invites youth, ages 7–18, to perform full-length, original works of Shakespeare, G.B. Shaw, and Charles Dickens. There are no auditions or rejections. Any young person who registers will receive one or more substantial speaking roles.

Designed to show participants, their families, and the community that these plays are delightful, accessible, and fun, YSP is the only year-round program of its kind. Actors learn to appreciate both the language and the drama in these great works as well as the technical aspects of acting and stagecraft. Special programs are also available for veteran actors, ages 14–26, and adult actors, ages 18 and up.

Our Directors

Richard DiPrima, Psy.D., Director, founded The Young Shakespeare Players in 1980 in Madison, Wisconsin. Since then, he has directed thousands of actors (from six to eighty-six years of age) in Madison and Chicago, in full-length productions of Shakespeare plays. He has taught scores of seminars on the technical aspects of Shakespeare’s language to students of all ages, as well as to seasoned doctoral-level scholars. Richard is a clinical psychologist and, formerly, a business owner and editor and publisher of educational materials. He is author of The Actor’s and Intelligent Reader’s Guide to the Language of Shakespeare: A Complete Handbook, and Our Mutual Friend (a four-act stage play adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens). He and his family live in Madison, next door to the YSP Playhouse.

Anne DiPrima, Psy.D., Co-Director of The Young Shakespeare Players, has beeninstrumental in the conception and production of all YSP projects, in both Madison and Chicago, since 1984. As Costumer, she designs and constructs original costumes for all YSP productions. She also manages the complex task of casting the young actors in each production. Anne is a clinical psychologist and maintains a full-time psychology practice in Madison. She was a teacher, graphic designer, journalist, and editor before becoming a psychologist and joining YSP.