Quotes from Participants
"Our children have been part of the San Jose Youth Shakespeare for nearly a decade. The group has enriched both their lives and ours in numerous ways. The young thespians learn full-length Shakespeare plays and have a tremendous amount of fun while they're doing it. It's quite a joy to have your kids walking through the house and quoting lines they've delivered from past plays in their everyday discussions. Under Bob Rumsby's tutelage, they have blossomed from inexperience and awkwardness to being able to play lead roles with poise and confidence. We are fortunate to be part of this energetic and vibrant group of people and to have made some wonderful friends along the way."
- Joanne T.
"I would like to thank everyone in San Jose Youth Shakespeare for giving me a chance in the last play."
- Dominic Zeitz
"San Jose Youth Shakespeare has been an amazing group for me to be involved in. I have immensely enjoyed every play I have acted, stage managed or played music in. I love to come to rehearsal and hang out with all my "Shakespeare friends" as my sister and I call them. No one is as quirky and fun to chat with as everyone in San Jose Youth Shakespeare. I love how I always look forward to rehearsal on Saturdays and can't wait 'till theatre week. San Jose Youth Shakespeare is now a huge part of my family's life and I LOVE it!"
"The two and a half years we have been involved with Youth Shakespeare have led to an extended turning point in the life of our family. Our participation has spawned huge growth in our relationships and skills. Our children thrive in the Youth Shakespeare community, and are becoming ever more confident. I used to think that Shakespeare was completely inaccessible, but in fact it pours into us a richness that helps us to reflect on the nature of life, even in the midst of the challenges we face. During a time which could have been dragged us down, we have been lifted up by the community we have found at Youth Shakes."
"Acting in full-length Shakespeare plays with San Jose Youth Shakespeare has been one of the best things I've done. Studying, memorizing, discussing, rehearsing, performing, watching over and over again, – in a word, living – these masterpieces has been an experience like no other. They have given me a lasting love and appreciation of Shakespeare's beautiful language and compelling plots. I have never had a large role, but I have learned that, though the play is carried by the lead characters, it is when each part, down to the smallest servant, is acted with great care and concentration that a performance becomes great and memorable."
- Jeannette Richard
"When I first joined Youth Shakespeare, at twelve-years-old, all I wanted to do was sit in the corner and play harp. That was basically all I did; play a few songs and help out backstage. Oh, and I moved a bench to the middle of the stage. Now, at fourteen, I have had much more experience on the stage. I've had so much fun in Youth Shakespeare over the two-and-a-half years-almost-three I have been in it. (Wow, has it really been that long?) It's literally my favorite "social activity" of the week. In this group, everybody feels like family. I've met some really amazing people here. Now I am interested in a bigger part, which I wasn't before (hint, hint). Thank you, Mr. Rumsby, for making this group happen. And thanks Audrey Rumsby for becoming interested in Shakespeare in the first place. I can't imagine what my life would have been like without it."
– Sharon Macauley
"I don't think I'll ever meet a group quite like Youth Shakes. Everyone here is unabashedly enthusiastic about doing Shakespeare and coming together to produce plays that are truly extraordinary. Youth Shakespeare has been a place of laughter and love and I will always cherish the friendships and experiences I've had because of Youth Shakes."
"I remember when Scott Handy of the Royal Shakespeare Company came to mentor and work with us in Spring 2012. He was amazed by our company's history, and the length of time we'd been working together. He said that when he shows up to an acting job, he is often expected to play the love interest of someone he met on that same day! That observation really stuck with me. I've enjoyed being in this group so much over the years. Exploring Shakespeare with these kids has truly been a highlight of my childhood. We don't perform to be individual stars. We perform because we love Shakespeare and we love working with each other."
"Yesterday I went to a production of Frankenstein. At the end of the play, I saw just how impressive and professional Mr. Rumsby's productions were in comparison to popular theatre groups in the Bay Area. Being a part of Youth Shakespeare has really had an impact on me as an individual and actress. I was accepted into the circle of Shakespeare lovers, and my appreciation for Shakespeare has grown as I delved into his plays and really became a part of them. This company is a place where I can share my love for Shakespeare with others who appreciate it as much as I do. My love for Shakespeare propels me to perform in a way I never thought was possible. Mr. Rumsby's patience, creativity, hard work, and kindness that he puts into his productions helps us members of the group grow into budding young actors and actresses in only a few months. His guidance and the time I spent in the company for just a few years has already brought forth huge results. My time management skills, diction, projection, stage presence, and acting skills have improved as a result of my time spent in the company. It has been a commitment that I will never regret. The plays performed will cause your inner Shakespeare to stir."
"As a teacher, I was looking for a way to make literature come alive for my students. As a parent, I was looking for an activity that my children could participate in that was both educational and socially healthy. San Jose Youth Shakespeare has provided both, and much more, for the last eight years. The bonus for me is the friends I made. Thank you San Jose Youth Shakespeare."
-Mary Ann Shapiro
Educator and professional Mom