Shakespeare Festival St Louis - Shakespeare Squadron

Shakespeare Squadron

The Shakespeare Squadron offers advanced acting and Shakespeare training for young artists ages 11-18. Fall and spring semester classes provide instruction in text, poetry, acting technique, movement, voice, creating a character, and ensemble theater, with a culminating spring performance. Our students not only train in the craft of acting, but are also part of a teen ensemble that has opportunities to perform during the year—at the Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park as part of the Green Show, and at special events throughout St. Louis. Saturday Master Classes are also open to students not currently enrolled in Shakespeare Squadron.


Students aged 11-18 who are interested in advanced, college-level training are eligible for admission to the Shakespeare Squadron. Students commit to weekly sessions (Thursdays, 5:30-8:30) that meet throughout the school year (October-March). Three Saturday master classes featuring guest artists will be offered as an optional, but encouraged, addition to the training.

The Squadron trains weekly with intensive classical language and acting work, and learns various modes of creating devised theater. Lessons include cutting scripts, viewpoints, playwriting, myth, stage combat, directing, movement and dance work, script analysis for actors, breathwork, and more. Students will work in small groups to create 5-10 minute devised pieces based on the themes of the Festival’s upcoming mainstage production. Our culminating March showcase will feature these devised pieces, as well as a 60-minute Shakespeare play adaptation chosen by the students. Shakespeare Squadron instructors include experienced Festival Teaching Artists and guest instructors from distinguished theatre programs including Webster University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Saint Louis University.

NOTE: Shakespeare Squadron’s success depends upon a commitment from each student to regular attendance and completion of class work. Members should expect to commit at least one hour a week outside of class to projects and assignments. At the end of the training course, students in good standing will be eligible to audition for the abridged production of the Festival Mainstage play during the Green Show in Shakespeare Glen, Forest Park.

The Instructors


Delaney Piggins is a recent grad of the acting program at the Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts where she appeared in many productions and served as president of Webster’s Artists Striving to End Poverty chapter. Delaney was seen in the Festival’s 2017 mainstage production of The Winter’s Tale.  She has also worked as a director and producer for SFSTL’s SHAKE 38 festival, and assistant producer on the 2018 Shakespeare in Streets production, Blow, Winds. As an actor Delaney has worked with St. Louis theatre companies including The New Jewish Theatre, ANNONYarts, That Uppity Theatre Company and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. She is currently touring with the Rep’s Imaginary Theatre Company. Delaney’s specific interests include voice, movement, and devising as well as community outreach and body diversity in theatre.



If you have any questions, please email Delaney at


Shakespeare Squadron performance of The Winter’s Tale– 2017

Shakespeare Squadon -- The Winter's Tale