Summer with SYF FAQ

O brave new world!!

We are looking forward to you joining us on this new adventure! We’ve gotten a lot of questions about how we intend to do a Shakespeare Camp entirely online, and we hope that some of them are answered here. If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out – please email us at

What does my child need to participate in Summer with SYF this year?

FREE ZOOM ACCOUNT – We encourage all participants (and parents) to spend a little time familiarizing themselves with the platform, and experimenting with computer audio vs. phone audio, computer placement, etc. to ensure the best connection.

SCREEN – If possible, we recommend a laptop, desktop, TV screen or iPad. An iPad will need to be propped up in such a way that the participant can stand and move and still see the screen. If it’s necessary to use a phone, please make sure that it, too, can be secured in such a way that the participants have their hands free, and that they can see the screen without leaning over … and that the screen can see them.

SPACE – Participants will need a small space where they can move freely.

QUIET ENVIRONMENT – It is very helpful to the participant, and to the other campers if you can establish a space without background noise (conversation, music playing, vacuuming, etc). We know that can be a huge challenge when family is sheltering together. We ask that, when there is background noise, the participant remain muted, and we will note on the schedule which modules will absolutely require that a participant is not muted, so that families can coordinate activities.

What will a typical camp day look like?

10:00 – 10:30

We will begin each day with a welcome, followed by a physical/vocal warmup session led by one of our teaching artists. While campers will need to be able to hear the teaching artist (and ideally see him/her), the focus will be on some form of creative movement.

10:30 – 10:45
Morning break

10:45 – 12:15

Each morning will consist of two to three modules focusing on some aspect of Shakespeare and Theater – voice, mask work, stage combat, the World of Shakespeare, storytelling, etc. Some modules will require that participants be focused on the leader and the class, some will be more audio-based, requiring listening, but not watching, and some will present a challenge or task that will require the participant to get away from the computer screen completely, then report back!

12:15 – 1:00
At lunch, we will have an optional “hangout” room, where participants can freely socialize with one another, but will also encourage them to step away from their computers.

1:00 – 2:00

After lunch, we will break into scene groups. Participants will be assigned a scene and a character, and will be put in a breakout room with their director and fellow cast members. This is the time of day when it will be most important that the participant have a quiet environment.

2:00 – 2:15
Afternoon break

2:15 – 2:50
Improvisation / Theater Games – each day, we will play a different group improv or theater game, adapted for use in the Zoom environment

2:50 – 3:00
Closing “circle”

Will there be a final performance?

Yes!! We will be doing a live Zoom performance each Friday at 2 pm. Please feel free to invite friends and relatives from all over the country – we will provide you with access instructions.

We are looking forward to being creative with our use of the Zoom medium, and have been inspired by the work being done with The Show Must Go Online, a London-based group that is committed to performing the entire Shakespeare canon on Zoom. Throughout the week, participants will be given simple challenges to create costumes and props and environments using readily available household items.

Will my child be online all day?!?

We’ve gotten a lot of concerns expressed about too much screen time, and we share your concerns! We are working on a variety of ways that we will encourage our Players to get away from their screens and into the world!

Here are some of our strategies:

Real World Challenges
In many of our modules, we will be presenting tasks to the Players that can only be achieved away from the computer. In addition, we will have a morning and afternoon break where we will require them to step away from their screens (and provide proof that they did so).

Production Values
We’re going all out with our Friday performance – we want costumes, props and sets!! Don’t worry – you won’t need to purchase any materials, or oversee any complicated craft projects. But our Players and their directors will get creative, and explore their closets, backyards, kitchens, etc. to make this happen!

Getting Physical
Every morning, we will do a different theater movement module – stage combat, yoga, creative movement, etc. While our Players will need to be able to see/hear their devices, they will actually be working up a sweat!

Listening vs. Watching
A few of our modules will not require that our Players are focused on their screens. We will encourage drawing, Origami, knitting, Legos, or whatever non-electronic task they prefer, as they listen to the content.