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Shakespeare Alive!, summer theater program for teens

Danny Reyes of Hartford in the May, 2021 Oddfellows production of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Courtesy of William De Kine

Registration is now open for Shakespeare Alive!, a three week summer theater academy for ages 14 -20. The program runs July 12 - 31 in Middletown and will culminate in outdoor performances on July 30 & 31.

Run by Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater and ARTFARM, Shakespeare Alive! is part of the City of Middletown’s Kids Arts program. The program will run Monday through Friday, 10 am to 3 pm, and is directed by ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge.

Shakespeare Alive! is open to any young people between the ages of 14 and 20 who are ready to commit to rigorous theater training and the entire three week schedule, including the performances at 5 pm on July 30 and 31. Middletown residency is not a requirement - young people from anywhere in Connecticut are invited to register, and a free bus service will be provided from Platt and Maloney High Schools in Meriden.

Students will get three weeks of professional training in acting, voice, movement, text analysis and stage combat, leading up to two live outdoor performances of a dynamic collection of scenes and monologs designed to bring Shakespeare to life for contemporary teen performers. The program will take place at Oddfellows Playhouse at 128 Washington Street in Middletown, as well as nearby outdoor locations.

Program director Marcella Trowbridge is a professional performer, teacher and theater director. She specializes in making classic work immediate and contemporary. She has directed dozens of plays, including many original, classic and contemporary works, as well as Shakespeare’s King Lear, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and others. Some of the favorite roles that she has played include Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Titania, and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew. She holds an MFA in Theater from Rose Bruford College in London.

Tuition for the 3 week program is $300 for Middletown residents or $600 for students from other towns. Financial aid is available for anyone who needs it - inability to pay does not make you ineligible.

For more information, or to register, call (860) 347-6143, email, or go to

Shakespeare Alive! Is made possible by a grant from the Connecticut Department of Education through the Accelerate CT program, as well as the Middletown Arts and Culture Office.

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