Shakespearience is a charitable, non-profit organization which seeks to empower young people between the ages of 8 and 18 in Grades 3-12 with character, confidence, communication and various other invaluable soft skills by demonstrating to students that they can overcome any challenge, including the one the language in the works of Shakespeare's plays present. This is done with the generous participation of over a hundred of this country's most experienced, celebrated professional actors including many Stratford and Shaw Festival veterans. Workshops approach scenes the way an actor would prepare for a performance and, in this way, make any text accessible, understandable, relevant -- and fun. Selected scenes from the play being studied in class are brought to life by the students who work with the professionals in an interactive environment of exploration and discovery.
Launched more than twenty years ago as a pilot program with funding from the Toronto District School Board, the workshop has expanded to reach more than a hundred schools a year in more than two dozen boards of education all over the province and, in addition to its in-class sessions, offers a summer program for under-resourced youth and an after-hours program for at risk youth...with a number of other initiatives in development.