Bay Area Shakespeare Camps to go virtual

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Shakespeare Festival's Facebook page.Photo courtesy of San Francisco Shakespeare Festival's Facebook page.

COVID-19 has shuttered schools, pushing students and families to adapt to distance learning. Now, it seems that summer camps are the next to face the challenge of our socially distant reality.

The Bay Area’s Shakespeare Camps are getting set up to move into a virtual setting this summer. That is, at least until in-person camps can reconvene.

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, which organizes the camps, will have two age groups: 7-13 and 12-18. According to organizers, the program will utilize the same project-based learning of traditional camps. That will include active components, with tactile production and design projects.

The groups spring camps, which were underway when shelter-at-home orders came down, have adapted to virtual learning already, which gives organizers experience heading into summer programs.

“Our talented teaching artists and staff quickly adjusted to provide an online experience that included online virtual rehearsals with real-time feedback and activities that enabled the students to comfortably and safely finish the program from their homes,” said Phil Lowery, the group’s education director.

Still, leaders admit that the programs will not be quite the same without in-person instruction.

“While theatre will always be best as an in-person experience, the value of theatre education should not be delayed until our physical venues can re-open,” said artistic director Rebecca Ennals.

“Storytelling in community is the kind of healing emotional release our children need right now,” Ennals continued.

Two-week summer sessions begin starting June 8, running through August 7. Each two-week session is $695 per student. See more information on the programs at the Shakespeare Festival website here.