The New York Teen Shakespeare Intensive delves deeply into Shakespeare’s works, characters, and language through a progressive program of physical movement training and character development techniques to prepare young actors with the fundamentals required for university and the professional acting arena.



The Shakespeare text and scene progression is team taught by NYTSI's founders Elke Van Dyke and Katie McHugh. Participants will discover their personal connection to the text and then build upon that with the use of Shakespeare's rhetoric and poetry as an actor's tool to unlock new meaning within the text. First Folio Text work and script analysis is based on Patrick Tucker's First Folio technique, which involves finding the acting clues in the Folio text (the First Folio is the first printing of Shakespeare's plays, as compared to the later Quarto Texts). First Folio Text work will be applied to Monologues, Sonnets, and Scenes.

Week 1
Day 1: Shakespeare Monologues; Initial Text Analysis
Day 2: Monologues Continued; The Actor's Personal Connection to the Text
Day 3: Monologues Continued
Day 4: The Sonnets; Communicating a Four-Lined Thought
Day 5: The Sonnets & The First Folio as an Actor's Tool

Week 2 & 3
Day 7: Mock Auditions: Using Shakespeare's Monologues for Audition
Day 8: Dropping-In Session for Duet Scenes
Day 9-17: Continued exploration Duet Scenes through text, character, and personal connection to the text and scene partner.
Day 18-19: Dress and Final Performance


This course will teach the basics of Viewpoints, through a series of exercises that train the actor's ability to listen and communicate with the whole body while developing a stronger awareness of stage space, a sense of spontaneity, and the ability to excel as part of an ensemble. Through the exploration of structured Viewpoint improvisations (Jam Sessions) and the use of specific compositional tools, students will learn how to transform an idea, a few props, and a bit of dialogue into a theatrical event and create original theatre pieces from source materials which integrate text, story, movement and music. The class will cover:

Anne Bogart's Nine Viewpoints

  • Tempo

  • Duration

  • Repetition

  • Shape

  • Gesture

  • Kinesthetic Response

  • Spatial Relationships

  • Architecture

  • Topography



Chekhov developed an approach to acting that affords the actor access to creative resources within himself--feelings, will impulses, character choices--that are based not merely in personal experience, but in the actor's Imagination and physical life.

"The idea of the play produced on the the stage is its spirit; it's atmosphere is its soul, and all that is visible and audible is its body" - Michael Chekhov

Students will explore Michael Chekhov's "psycho-physical" approach to acting, through the basic principles and exercises outlined in Chekhov's book "To the Actor," including psycho/physical exercises, character work and ensemble improvisation. Each class begins with a warm-up specifically designed to develop the organic connection between the actor's inner life, creative imagination and expressive body. Through the rigorous practice of Chekhov's core exercises students will explore: Archetypes, Imaginary Centers, Imaginary Body, Character Atmospheres, Overall Scenic Atmospheres, Qualities of Movement, Imaginary Place and Psychological Gesture, along with on camera adjustments, and more. The Chekhov principles will be explored through the means of psycho/physical exercises, character work and ensemble creation.

Basic Exercises: Expanding/contracting, staccato/legato, radiating/receiving, ease, form, beauty and in a sense of the whole molding, floating, flying, radiating
Character Work: Imaginary center, imaginary body, psychological gesture, quality and sensation
Ensemble Creation: Atmosphere and Improvisation


Over the past 50 years, Kristin Linklater has revolutionized voice training for actors. Her approach is based on freeing the actor’s natural voice, thereby restoring for them a voice capable of communicating universal human experiences.

“The human voice is remarkable, complex, and delicate. It is capable of conveying not only sophisticated intellectual concepts, but also subtle emotional nuances.” Robert Sataloff

Students will be taken through a progression of exercises that will give them an experience of their vocal range and power. They’ll learn that the real power of their voice comes from a relaxed body and a commitment to speaking truthfully. Vocal and physical exercises will be used to develop the actor’s sensory awareness, their imagination, and their emotional intelligence.

Classes will cover the following areas of focus:

  • Physical awareness and postural alignment

  • Breath awareness and the impulsive breath

  • Connecting to vibrations, energizing and freeing vibrations freeing the vocal channel developing and strengthening vocal range articulation

The goal of this class is to provide students with the means by which they can speak Shakespeare’s language intelligently, emotionally, and truthfully. 




The Goal:
This portion of the intensive is designed as an exploration of stage combat movement concepts in general and unarmed combat in specific.  The body is the actor’s instrument and this sequence in the workshop intends to heighten the actor’s awareness of several stage combat specific movement principles.

The Structure of the Class:
Each class is divided into three parts: Warm-up, Movement Concepts, and Stage Combat techniques.

A relaxed and flexible instrument is essential for the actor.  Warming-up prepares the body for strenuous movement and reduces the risk of injury.  

Movement Concepts:  
We will review and explore several broad movement concepts such as Breath, Centers, Chi, Isolation, and Energy as they relate to stage combat training techniques.

Stage Combat:  
Theatrical violence is a strictly choreographed expression of characters in conflict.  The goal is the safe and effective performance of that conflict. This phase of the class explores the techniques of the specialized movements of unarmed stage combat as taught by combat professionals generally and the Society of American Fight Directors specifically.  It is a valuable skill to be able to effectively communicate an aggressive intent without risking danger to yourself or your partner.


The clown is a beautiful and poetic creature that comes from deep within our imagination (stage right) out into the light to share something super funny and super special with us, the audience.  This offering of tremendous generosity is either a triumph of epic proportions or a horrible disaster, and both circumstances provide us with a wonderful theatrical experience.  When you, the performer, stand before an audience, we see everything; all the lies, the desires, the courage, the delight, and the despair.  We see where your body wants to go, even if the well-constructed architecture of your ego resists. The places we avoid hold the most creative dynamo.  When you avoid these soft places we see it even more clearly.  We see the dynamic performer underneath peaking out to see if it's safe to play.  The clown provokes the performer into the uncharted waters of the deepest sweetest springs of the soul and uncovers a surprising and astonishing human.   It stretches the creative imagination and promotes an emotional elasticity while developing a body that can support this elasticity.  In short, it cultivates a virtuosic performer who is more capable of illuminating the great texts of the theatre.  So… jump into your body and discover your own unique relationship to the comic world.  Lead with your curiosity, pursue your pleasure, and uncover the mystery of what makes you funny- not him, or her, but you.  Yes, YOU- the beautiful creature that you are.  Celebrate your triumph, embrace your disaster, and delight in all the big stupid that leaks out in between.  Access the source of your playfulness and chase the creative possibilities that spring from that.  Uncover and set free those diminished parts of your self that hold the most surprising and potent ingredients for creation.  Through a series of solo and group games and exercises, based in Classical Clown Training, we will provoke and stoke the dynamo that makes you compelling, beautiful, astounding, and clarifies why the performer stands on the stage and the audience sits in the dark.



This course will teach the basics of Williamson Technique, through a series of exercises that train the actor's ability to listen and communicate with the whole body while developing a stronger awareness of their own experience and the experience of being part of an ensemble. Two major aspects of the work are freedom and connection. Total physical freedom in the actor's behavior leads to his or her complete connection with the relationships and circumstances of the imaginary world.

Exercises Include: Open Phrase Choreography: A sequence of "open" movement or vocabulary that expands the body and frees the voice and is designed to enhance the actor's ability to process their experience into expressive physical movement sound and gesture. The Open Choreography leads to movement improvisation that can flow in any sequence, in any rhythm that rises out of the connection that the actor has with their inner and outer experience, their connection to the ensemble and the freedom of expression.