2021: Virtual Apprentice Program

The CSC Apprentice Program is an intensive summer training program for early-career actors who are actively pursuing a career in theatre.  Building off of the success of CSC’s 2020 Virtual Apprentice Program, students who train with CSC have the option to attend a Fast-Track version of our in-person Apprentice Program in a future summer. Begin your training journey with CSC this year and prepare yourself for the opportunities ahead! All events held on Zoom for Summer 2021

The apprenticeship offers a robust Shakespearean performance focus through text and voice classes, monologue and scene coaching and masterclasses. All events held on Zoom for Summer 2021

The 2021 Virtual Apprentice Program* will be offered in two sessions this year:

  • Session 1: Monday, June 14 to Saturday, July 10.
  • Session 2: Monday, July 12 to Saturday August 7

We will work from roughly 11a-5p EST (with breaks) on Monday, Wednesday & Friday ONLY for four weeks, with a final Friday and Saturday evening showcase in the last week of the program. 

Virtual Information Sessions:

We will be holding a number of upcoming Zoom information sessions about this year’s program. Each session lasts approximately a half hour. To attend one of these sessions, please email us at apprentice@commshakes.org.

  • Monday, March 29th 4:30PM EST
  • Thursday, April 8th 6:30PM EST
  • Thursday, April 15th 6:30PM EST
  • More sessions TBA

Questions? Contact us at apprentice@commshakes.org

What do you look for in an apprentice? Is this program right for me?

We consider a variety of factors when selecting members of our Apprentice Company.  First and foremost, we are looking for actors who have demonstrated a serious commitment to the study of acting and are interested in pursuing theater-arts as a career.

Apprentices must be 18 years of age and completed at least one year of undergraduate (or equivalent) training or have similar pre-professional/professional experience. While there is no age limit on the program, the majority of Apprentices fall between 18-25 years of age.  Actors of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to audition.

We are equipped to respond to disability-related accommodation requests. If you have questions, please get in touch with us at apprentice@commshakes.org

Our program is built upon our company’s mission. We encourage you to learn more about our core values at this webpage.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) is dedicated to artistic excellence, accessibility, and education. We present plays of the highest artistic caliber that celebrate ideas and language to create dialogue around compelling issues of our time.  We eliminate barriers – physical, economic, and cultural – to bring live theater to audiences throughout Greater Boston.  We cultivate in young artists the value of community engagement, and collaborate with educators to bring literature to life in the classroom.

What will my experience be like?

Here’s a look at our 2020 Virtual Program!

Training

Core classes for Apprentices include training in Text Analysis and Voice. Instructors will independently teach fundamentals crucial to unlocking Shakespeare’s language.

Shakespeare’s Text

The class will focus on textual conventions used in Shakespeare’s plays, including meter, punctuation and rhetoric, with a strong focus on speaking Shakespeare’s language for maximum clarity and connection within the body. This work (drawn from Cicely Berry, Giles Block, Laban and others) will help students to see these conventions not as rules that dictate how Shakespeare should be performed, but rather as opportunities for experimentation and play.

Voice

Following Kristin Linklater’s method of “Freeing the Natural Voice, “ students are guided through a progression of exercises designed to free, strengthen, and develop their whole vocal range.  The majority of classroom focus explores physical awareness, breathing, resonance, and the connection of voice to emotional and imaginative impulse.  Additional coursework addresses vocal health, building a reliable and personal warm-up, and applications of the technique to Shakespeare’s text.

Scene Coaching

Building on the lessons from our core classes, Apprentices will be paired with a partner to engage in self-directed scene work. Scenes will be coached by the program’s directing staff and be presented at a live virtual showcase at the program’s end.

Monologue Coaching

Apprentices will also select one Shakespeare monologue to be coached by a near-peer CSC-affiliated coach. Our coaches are all working actors trained by and/or performing with CSC.

Masterclasses

Finally, our program will include three masterclass/Q&A sessions with professional artists. Last year’s guest speakers included: Anthony Rapp, Seth Gilliam, Flora Diaz, Jason Butler Harner and Faran Tahir. Stay tuned for more information about guests for the 2021 program.

Faculty and Staff Bios

Bryn Boice

Associate Artistic Director of CSC/Academy Director/Text Instructor/Scene Coach

Bryn (she/her) is an award-winning director, actor, educator and producer. Recent work includes: Universe Rushing Apart: Blue Kettle Here We Go, two one-act plays by Caryl Churchill for CSC (Elliot Norton Award, Outstanding Director, Large Theater); Admissions by Joshua Harmon (The Gamm Theatre, Providence); The Children by Lucy Kirkwood (Speakeasy Stage); an all-female production of Julius Caesar for Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (CSC2). New York and Regional credits as actor and/or director include work with Asolo Repertory Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theater, InProximity Theatre Company, Theatre Row, Rebellious Subjects, Monomoy Theatre, Caroline’s on Broadway, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Bryn holds an MFA in Directing from Boston University and an MFA in Acting from the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training (FSU). Proud member of Actor’s Equity Association since 2002. She is a Visiting Lecturer at Salem State University who teaches Acting, Voice for the Actor, Applied Movement, and Directing, among others. 

Victoria Townsend

CSC Artistic Programs Manager/Academy Coordinator/Scene Coach

Victoria (she/her) is a Boston-based director, teaching-artist and occasional performer. In addition to her work on artistic programing for CSC, she also serves as the Academy Coordinator for the Apprentice Program and CSC2 as well as work on many other educational programs. Directing Credits: Emerging Playwright’s Festival (Wheelock Family Theater), Cosi Fan Tutte New England Conservatory’s UGOS Program, The Memorandum (Flat Earth Theater). Assistant Directing Credits: Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, Kiss me Kate, Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare and Leadership (CSC) and L’Egisto (NEC/UGOS). She has also served as a teaching-artist for Watertown Children’s Theater and Live Arts Education. A Massachusetts native, Victoria currently resides in Woburn and is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with degrees in Theatre and English Literature.

Paul D’Agostino

Voice Teacher

Paul D’Agostino (he/him) joined Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2014, and currently serves as an assistant professor of theater, specializing in voice & speech and The Alexander Technique. Designated to teach by world-renowned voice pedagogue and theater artist Kristin Linklater, he has taught on the faculties of Emerson College, Gordon College, and Boston University – where he taught in the Summer Theatre Institute for six years. Since 2013, D’Agostino has been the resident voice instructor for Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, which has afforded him the opportunity to teach in the Summer Apprentice Program, coach mainstage actors, and offer workshops on the intersection of actor training and public speaking for M.B.A. candidates at Babson College. A longtime member of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts, he directed the youth training program Riotous Youth, taught in the Month-long Intensive, and acted in numerous productions on the main stage and on tour. He’s also taught workshops at Brandeis University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Extension School, MIT, Wheelock Family Theatre, and the ReachArts Center in Swampscott, Massachusetts.

His acting credits include work with acclaimed director Irina Brook, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Hanover Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Gloucester Stage Company, The Devanaughn Theatre, and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.

D’Agostino holds an M.F.A. in theater education (with a concentration in voice and speech) from Boston University, an M.M. in musical theater from The Boston Conservatory, and a B.A. in theater arts from Gordon College. Additional training includes seminars on vocal health and rehabilitation at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary; extensive study at Shakespeare & Company with Kevin Coleman, Tina Packer, and Dennis Krausnick; Alexander Technique with Debra Adams, Jamee Culbertson, Tommy Thompson, Bob Lada, and Betsy Polatin; and Linklater apprenticeship under master teacher Paula Langton at Boston University. In 2019, he graduated from The Boston Conservatory Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course — a three-year, 1600-hour teacher training program.

He currently resides in Swampscott, Massachusetts, where he maintains a private studio for voice & acting coaching, Alexander Technique, and public speaking.

Regine Vital

Scene Coach/Masterclass Teacher

Regine (she/her/hers) is an actor, dramaturg, director, writer, educator, scholar, and storyteller from Somerville, MA. She has worked with several Boston area theatre companies, including ArtsEmerson, Company One, Central Square Theatre, HUB Theatre Company of Boston, Flat Earth Theatre, and Open Theatre Project. Regine received her BA in English and History from Boston University and her MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from UMass Boston. Recently, she spent time in London studying Shakespeare at Shakespeare’s Globe and King’s College, London. She has taught First Year Composition and Introductory Literature at the college level; text and performance at the high school level; and continuing adult education classes in Literature. Currently, Regine is the Manager of Curriculum and Instruction in the Huntington Theatre Company’s Education department.

Alicia Hartz

Academy Casting and Recruitment Assistant

Alicia (she/her) is a stage, screen and voice over actor based in New York City. She graduated from NYU’s Stella Adler Studio of Acting and spent the summer after college in London at RADA performing as Viola in Twelfth Night. In addition to performing, she is also a screenwriter and producer with three projects currently in development. At CSC, she has acted as an Apprentice, served as a Marketing Intern for the work study program, and been a member of CSC2. She has worked both a summer in person on The Boston Common as well as participated in a summer of entirely virtual programming. As Academy Casting and Recruitment Assistant, she is the main point of contact for interested applicants, feel free to get in touch with her at academy@commshakes.org with any questions!

 

Tuition

Tuition for the 2021 Virtual Apprentice Program is $750.

Students who apply and are accepted for our early bird deadline (March 31, 2021) will be given a $200 credit towards their attendance at a future in person program. 

All tuition payments are non-refundable (barring extenuating circumstances, especially those related to Covid19.)

Marketing Work-study

The Apprentice Marketing Workstudy will be responsible for creating content for CSC’s Apprentice Program social media throughout the program. Primarily, this will be through creating dynamic postings for the Apprentice Program Facebook page and other outlets. In addition, the Marketing Workstudy may work with CSC’s Sales and Marketing Manager to create 1-2 short videos about the Apprentice Program. Additional ideas or projects may arise during the program depending on the candidate’s skill set and bandwidth. This position will require a few additional meetings/calls with the Marketing Manager throughout the four weeks. Familiarity with video creation and editing a plus. This work-study awards a $125 tuition credit. Application Deadline: April 19th. 

The Application for this opportunity is now closed.

New in 2021!: Spark Scholarships for BIPOC Actors

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is actively seeking nominations for CSC’s Spark Scholarships for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Actors for our 2021 summer Apprentice Program. Receipt of a Spark Scholarship includes the full $750 tuition for participation in the Virtual Apprentice Program as well as covering the cost of your tuition for returning to a future in person program should you choose. This year we have five (5) full- tuition scholarships available (a $3000 value) for actors with an aptitude for, interest in, or angst for Shakespeare and performance.

We are seeking nominations for CSC’s Spark Scholarships from Professors, mentors, coaches, and other professionals in the field so that we might meet fantastic BIPOC Apprentice candidates from all across the country. We will be closing applications for this opportunity on April 19th. 

The Application for this opportunity is now closed. 

Apply

Questions about applying? Email us at apprentice@commshakes.org 

The application and audition process for our 2021 Program is entirely virtual this year!

Deadlines: We will be accepting students on a rolling basis until we fill our program. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure priority consideration.

Interested Applicants must submit:

  • APPLICATION FORM
  • RECOMMENDATION FORM Please share this form with a teacher, director, mentor, coach etc. who knows you well. (N/A for Spark Scholarship nominees. Please use the nomination form below instead.)
  • APPLICATION FEE  Password: Apprentice2021 $35.00- non-refundable. N/A for Spark Scholarship Nominees. If this Application Fee presents a particular hardship for you, please write to us at apprentice@commshakes.org

All Applicants must provide an audition:

CSC will be participating in several virtual audition opportunities this year including:

If you are planning on participating in one of these opportunities and would like to be considered for our program, give us a heads up at apprentice@commshakes.org so we can be sure to keep any eye out for you!

Otherwise, interested applicants may send a video audition to apprentice@commshakes.org. We ask to see one Shakespeare monologue and one contemporary monologue each approximately two minutes in length (Don’t worry we don’t use a timer!). If you have a verse Shakespeare monologue that’s what we’d like to see but don’t worry if your prose one is your favorite-do that! We are very happy to see monologues of any gender and type on any actor though we ask you to be mindful of things like a character’s race, etc. (example a white actor playing Othello) when making your selection. Please share the work that you are most interested in! If you are participating in one of the above opportunities but don’t plan to show a Shakespeare there, that’s ok, you can send it to us as a separate video later. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.


Featured Photo: Members of Summer 2020 Virtual Apprentice Program

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