What a rollercoaster the last year has been! Theatres may have been shut, but QSE took the unexpected twists and turns with as much aplomb as we could muster; while our intended mainstage production became nothing of Much Ado, we did manage to whip up an exciting audio-play version of Macbeth for your listening pleasure. The silver lining: MACBETH IN THE DARK continues to be available for download throughout 2021.
And the good times don’t stop there! In 2021, the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble celebrates 20 years of sharing energetic, accessible, and unique productions, world-class training, and community building projects. It’s our party, and you’re invited!
The bite-sized entrée of our metaphorical dinner party is our SHAKESPEARE’S SHORTS program. Shakespeare’s Shorts will continue to tour on-demand throughout the school year so that you can continue to introduce your English and Drama classes to the plot, characters, and language of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies in hilarious shortened form. You can even now add a side – our new Shakespeare Seminar, available with Shorts bookings, for in-depth analysis, discussion, and demonstration of the conventions, themes, and textual features of Elizabethan theatre.
The main-course of 2021 is our mainstage season, offering two separate excursion opportunities to immerse your students in classic theatre delivered in QSE’s accessible, energetic and engaging style. In spring, we will present ROMEO & JULIET followed by a season of Aphra Behn’s, THE ROVER in November. Both productions will have mid-week twilight performances, each followed by a Q & A session for students.
For dessert, our workshop and residency program is open for bookings throughout 2021, with core workshops offered in our specialty areas of voice, classical text, and forum theatre. If you’re looking for professional development, we are offering our full suite of training courses throughout 2021, including Linklater Voice weekends in February, Theatre of the Oppressed intensive in the mid-year school holidays, and Shakespeare Scene Study in the September school holidays. And for your students looking for drama extension outside school, our Young Actors Shakespeare Intensive will be offered in January next year – a fantastic opportunity to break up the school holidays, build skills and work with professional QSE actors.
Up for a nightcap? Look out for our ‘Students of Shakespeare’ forum series, held half-yearly. Initiated in 2020 and facilitated by QSE’s artistic director Rob Pensalfini, these online round-tables provide a space for discussion and knowledge-sharing between teachers and facilitators on everything Shakespeare.
Whether we meet again in the theatre, through training, workshops, or community initiatives, QSE is so grateful for your ongoing support. We continue to be inspired by all the students, teachers, and groups that we work with. We are both proud and humbled to share our 2021 Season with you – and we look forward very much to playing with you!