in their own words
As a member of the Youth Ensemble, my knowledge of Shakespeare, theatre, acting, myself, and the world we live in grew drastically! I learned more than I could have ever imagined.
They give students a place to be who they truly are in a world where teens are rarely encouraged to be themselves. CYS allowed me to love myself again.
CYS has changed my life. I have never grown and learned so much in so little time. The only negative thing about the program is that it ended.
I was able to take risks in a place where I felt comfortable and supported. I was able to explore what I was capable of. I now walk a little taller and with more confidence, everyday.
I was really pushed, and I loved it. I feel so lucky as a high school student to get to work in such a professional yet nurturing environment.
Acting in such a safe environment has taught me that there is not such thing as acting, there is only telling the truth under imaginary circumstances. To be able to tell the truth, to be able to tell YOUR truth, takes a lot of courage and trust in yourself and the people around you. I will forever know what it feels like to be brave enough to do that.
I have learned so much about Shakespeare, about theatre, and about myself—like finding the truth, being open to change, and taking risks.
This group has become a second home for me. I've met so many amazing people, and I've grown so much. I feel super proud of the challenges I was able to take on and accomplish.
I felt like I was always being pushed artistically in ways that would improve me as an actor. And, if no one was around to push me personally, I learned through this program to be the person to push myself.
Learning to be reactive and responsive and to live the scene in the moment has been so amazing. This is something I couldn’t do months ago. Now in my acting I can go to this place of truth instead of faking it. It feels so much better!
"[Our daughter’s] experience with CYS was a revelation. She has become a completely different person – confident, outgoing, and receptive to the possibilities that her education and potential can bring her." [CYS parent]
My son's time with CYS set him on a path which is leading him to be a more open and grounded young man. In so many ways, CYS widened his horizons. He's more confident and shows more of his true personality to the outside world. [CYS parent]
"My daughter gained a greater appreciation of Shakespeare's work without a doubt, but the community outreach was equally, if not more, impactful. Having an opportunity to visit schools where kids have little or no exposure to Shakespeare and perform gave her a new level of appreciation for both the universality of his work and the way it can connect to anybody or everybody. Moreover, the professional environment at CYS forced my daughter to challenge herself as an actor, both individually and as part of an ensemble. The staff is dedicated to excellence and especially passionate about the teaching process." [CYS parent]
"The diverse and professional quality of the material being taught at CYS makes this program stand out. I know my daughter will be able to use what she has learned at CYS in real life." [CYS parent]
"There is one big difference between this program and any other program my child has participated in. CYS provided my child with actual, meaningful instruction, above and beyond just "putting on a play". Other programs feel like they succeed because the play went on and went well. CYS succeeds because of the level and quality of instruction. My child is a much better actor, and a much better person, because of CYS. Thank you!" [CYS parent]