Camp Shakespeare returns to Crystal Theatre stage this week


For the past 12 years, Camp Shakespeare at Winedale campers have taken pains to be perfect on the stage at The Crystal Theatre as part of a partnership between the two organizations.

Camp Shakespeare will again tread the boards of the venerable downtown venue when they perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 3 p.m. Friday, June 21. And, for the first time ever, a longtime member of the Crystal Theatre Young Program and Shakespeare Ninjas will be a UT staff intern involved in the production’s development.

Recent Shiner Catholic School graduate Julia Barecky was offered the intern position earlier this year and eagerly jumped at the chance to help infuse her energy and enthusiasm into the project. She credited the Crystal Theatre and its leadership for encouraging her to “try new things and grow as a person.”

“I’m so grateful to the Crystal Theatre,” Barecky said. “I have been a part of the Crystal Youth Workshop since I was nine and truly wouldn’t be who I am today without this program. The Crystal Theatre encouraged me to attend Camp Shakespeare, and without them I wouldn’t be a part of the staff this year!

“Getting to be a part of the Camp Shakespeare staff has been incredible. I loved coming as a camper because of the positive and magical environment they created, and it has been so special to share that with this years students while still learning from the amazing teaching staff around me. I’m so thankful for the Camp Shakespeare team and the opportunity they have given me!”

Barecky said this Friday will mark the debut performance for this year’s crop of Camp Shakespeare campers.

“The students and staff have been working so hard on this show, and I cannot wait for everyone to see their beautiful performance of A Midsummer Nights Dream on Friday for their debut performance!” Barecky said.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream is an enchanting odyssey filled with playfulness and determination,” Camp Shakespeare director Robin Grace Soto said. “This tale truly has something for everyone, and we are honored to watch these young Shakespeareans bring it to life. This would not be possible without the steadfast dedication and boundless creativity of our Crystal Theatre Workshop students!”

Tickets for the production are $10 per person with youth 12 years of age and under free. For convenience, tickets are now available online at the, but walk-ins are always available at the door.  Light refreshments and chance to visit with the cast and Winedale staff immediately follow the production.

Camp Shakespeare at Winedale only takes 14 campers per two-week session at a cost of $1,700 per student. The youth stay at the Farmstead B&B in nearby Round Top and spend their day working on lines and characterizations, going through physical and vocal exercises, working on scenes, doing journal writing, relaxation exercises, making masks, taking part in problem solving, singing, dancing and even watching film sequences of Shakespeare’s plays. Everything is done as a community.

The Crystal Theatre has been hosting Camp Shakespeare since 2012 when two of the campers were some of the original Shakespeare Ninjas from Gonzales. Since then, Gonzales has always had at least one camper taking part in the program.

The Crystal Theatre Young Program may be the only one of its kind in Texas as it is dedicated to providing “arts-in-education opportunities for young people from all backgrounds” from the year-round Shakespeare Ninja Project to the Crystal Summer Youth Workshop as well as the Young Texians Troupe, which performs original Texas history ballads about the founding of Gonzales, the “Lexington of Texas.”