The CYS Summer Shakes Intensive is a rigorous, six-week-long acting and Shakespeare training program open to high school students across the Chicago metropolitan area and beyond!
Summer Shakes students study advanced acting techniques as they discover how to “unpack” and personalize Shakespeare's words to make them their own. The creative process is driven by ensemble collaboration, and encourages "play," or being present and reactive in the moment, while letting the text guide us to the heart of the story. The program culminates in an exciting week of Shakespeare performances throughout the city.
CYS is the absolute best training in theatre I have ever received, without fail. - summer student, 2019
Visiting Artists & Field Trips
CYS welcomes visiting artists from Chicago's professional theatre community to lead masterclasses in a variety of performance techniques, including clown, stage combat, improv, devised theatre, Commedia dell' Arte, and more. Summer students travel off-site to explore some of the city's best cultural resources and participate in artistic exchanges with other Chicago-based summer youth programs.
2020 Program Dates: June 26 - August 2
The program meets every weekday, M-F from10:30am-4:30pm
Program Location: The Literacenter, 641 W Lake Street, Chicago
CYS Summer Shakes admission are need-blind and based on audition only. No student can be turned away based on their ability to pay the program fee, and CYS offers need-based program scholarships to all students requiring financial assistance.
2020 Auditions* at The Chicago Literacy Alliance
*Auditions have been postponed at this time to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and the greater community. Please contact Evey Reidy to be added to the Summer Shakes mailing list for updates. Thank you and be well!
What to prepare for your audition:
A monologue from any Shakespeare play, (approximately 20-30 lines of text, ideally memorized, but not a deal-breaker).
This program helped me build strong integrity in my work as an actor and confidence in my ability to succeed. - summer student, 2019
SUMMER SHAKES 2019 PRESENTS...
Doing CYS was an amazing experience unlike anything I'd done before. I learned so much! - summer student, 2019
Visit us on FACEBOOK for photos from Twelfth Night!
Here's a look back at some photos from Summer Shakes 2018, and our first devised production, Uneasy Lies the Head, a mash-up of texts from 15 Shakespeare plays.
Anyone who does this program will come out of it a better person." - summer student, 2018