A vital part of SIR’s mandate is to foster a life-long love of theatre (especially Shakespeare), particularly among youth. To that end we have developed a youth and community program which focuses on students that are at risk of not attaining a high school level education: Shakespeare in the City (SITC).
This program takes young people from the inner-city (Winnipeg’s CEDA Pathways to Education North-End Campus) and gives them the opportunity to experience first-hand the transformative power of theatre, and Shakespeare in particular. By working with them throughout the school year toward a final presentation, this program has changed the way young people look at their lives, suggesting the possibility of escaping challenging circumstances and increasing their chances for a positive, productive future. For 2014/2015, we have expanded the SITC program to include a fall term (September – November) focusing on theory and skills development, and a winter term (February – May) which will be dedicated to rehearsing the final presentation of Stripped-Down Romeo & Juliet.
Our goal is to encourage young people who are unfamiliar with theatre and acting to embrace the spirit of personal discovery through an active study of Shakespeare. These workshops are aimed at overcoming the students’ existing prejudices surrounding the text, while building their self-confidence and ability to work as a team.
Live theatre has the power to inspire people to dream bigger, and to be more open to expressing who they are as individuals. It has the power to broaden their empathy while expanding their horizons. Distilled to its essence, we see the program as a model for breaking free of limitations that can seemingly be imposed by peers or life circumstances.
Click here to read more about our previous SITC program in: