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 culminating performances at the end of each semester. Our students not only train in the craft of acting, but are also part of a teen ensemble that performs 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.


Shakespeare Squadron performance of The Winter’s Tale– 2017

Shakespeare Squadon -- The Winter's Tale


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-April). Two Saturday morning rehearsals (9:30-12:30) will be held in in the spring to aid in a successful production week. Two 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 (new this year!) learns various modes of creating devised theater. Lessons include cutting scripts, viewpoints, Suzuki, 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 April showcase will feature these devised pieces, as well as a 50-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.

Pricing and Payment

Shakespeare Squadron is $560 for 20 weeks of regular sessions, including an extensive tech/dress week for performance and two Saturday morning rehearsals.  Master Classes may be purchased as drop-ins for $50 a class. Click here to pay now.

The Festival offers a limited amount of tuition assistance for its classes and camps. Please contact Brianna Owens at or (314) 531-9800 ext 110 for more information about pricing and payment.

2018 Schedule

Shakespeare Squadron

Classes start October 5, 2017
Thursdays, 5:30 – 8:30 PM
(plus tech rehearsals Saturday 3/3/18
and Saturday 3/10/18; 9:30AM-12:30PM)
Master classes on Saturday 11/18/17 and Saturday 2/10/18; 9AM-12PM
Drop-in Rehearsal Showcase: December 14, 2017, 5:30-8:30PM
Spring Showcase: April 6, 2018 at 7PM and April 7 at 2PM

The Instructors

Brianna Owens is returning to Shakespeare Festival St. Louis in her fourth year as lead instructor for Shakespeare Squadron and Camp Shakespeare. She holds a BA and MA in English Literature from California State University Sacramento. As a part of the Festival’s education programs Camp Shakespeare and the Shakespeare Squadron, she has directed Twelfth Night, Love’s Labours Lost, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Troilus and Cressida, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, and The Winter’s Tale. Owens is also a certified yoga instructor. Her teaching is influenced by her knowledge of breath and movement work, and her passion for language, poetry, and social justice.

Kristin Rion is a local producer, director, and teaching artist committed to serving and collaborating with women and underrepresented communities.  Recent credits include The Lion King Jr. (director, COCA), The Music of the Goddess (director, SATE), Every 28 Hours play festival, (director, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis), and Arcadia (Thomasina, West End Players Guild), for which she received a St. Louis Theater Circle Award for best ensemble and a nomination for best supporting actress in a drama.  Kristin is a proud Presidential Scholar of Saint Louis University, having graduated summa cum laude with honors in 2014.



If you have any questions, please email Brianna Owens at