Shakespeare on Wheels
In this fully subsidized outreach program, a team of Stratford Festival artists (a director, a musician, a choreographer and a designer) works with students to put together a 10-minute scene from one of Shakespeare's plays.
The team of artists is in residence at the school for a two-week period during which they teach classes every day and work collaboratively with the teachers on integrating the arts into the curriculum. The artists travel to and from the school each day (hence "On Wheels") in a van loaded with supplies from the Festival's vast costume and props warehouse to support the students in the creation of their performance in their own space. The residency culminates in a public performance of the scene the students have been working on. Each year the Festival invites two elementary schools within driving distance of Stratford to participate.
Five schools from different school boards participate in a unique three-day immersion into the arts. Drama, music and art teachers select the students who will participate. Most participants will have demonstrated an interest in the arts at school. On days one and two, on site at the Festival, music students compose, select, perform and/or record the music; drama and dance students are the actors and dancers; and visual arts and/or technology students select, design and build the costumes, props, lighting and scenic elements. On day three, artists travel to the school (hence "On Wheels") in a van loaded with the set and costumes the students have created for a fully realized performance at the school.
In addition to becoming intimately familiar with a section of Shakespearean text, the students learn about all the aspects of producing a play and the intense collaboration required to make it come together. Shakespeare on Wheels is free to schools – all costs are covered by the Festival.
Shakespeare on Wheels is available to schools within an hour's driving distance of Stratford. Spots are typically filled a year to 18 months in advance. If you would like to be considered for the program, please contact the Festival's Education Department at 1.800.561.1233, ext. 2450, or by e-mail.