Friday, March 13, 2015

2015 Performing Arts Camp and New High School Production

Water Works Theatre Company is proud to announce the return of Award-winning director and Water Works veteran Frannie Shepherd-Bates as Education Director for KidsAct! and Water Works Academy in 2015. With a select team of professionals, Frannie has big plans for our popular outdoor youth programs. Read on to learn more about our programs for grade and junior high students as well as the "3rd Show" for high school students this year or visit our website to learn more and register.


It’s time to start thinking about summer, and that means KidsAct! This six-day learning experience for students entering grades 1-8 offers instruction in Shakespeare, stage combat, dance, and comedic improvisation from highly qualified, professional teaching artists. Students will have the opportunity to perform in an hour-long showcase to be presented for friends and family in Starr Jaycee Park.

Healthy snacks and water are provided daily, however KidsAct! will not provide lunch.  Be advised that this summer’s KidsAct! Program will be nut free.  It is suggested that each student bring a lunch packed with a beverage, insect repellent, and sun block.  Loose, comfortable clothing appropriate to the weather, including a hat, is also recommended.  For the comfort and safety of your student, we ask that NO Crocs, clogs or flip-flops be worn.  Sturdy shoes that buckle or tie are required.

For the final performance the students will be asked to wear black or navy blue pants, shorts, or skirts (no jeans, please!)  Also, each student should wear a bright, solid-colored shirt with no logos or designs, along with dark colored, laced or buckled soft-soled shoes.

KidsAct! will be held Monday, August 3, through Friday, August 7, 2015 with the final performance at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 8 (students must be at the park at 10:00 a.m.). Drop off during the week begins at 8:30 a.m.; classes begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. and pick up will be at 3:00 p.m.

Class size is limited to 65, so sign up early! The registration fee of $225 can be paid on our website. Please visit our website to learn more and register.

We are so thrilled to work with your young performers this summer!  Please feel free to email us at with any and all questions.


Now entering its 5th year, Water Works Academy, our extraordinary high school-age outdoor workshop, is taking on a new challenge. For the first time, our high school students will audition for, perform, and produce a full-fledged production of Romeo and Juliet in the Park: what we proudly call our '3rd Show'

Under the direction of professional Frannie Shepard-Bates (with assistance from selected professional coaches), the high school-aged ensemble will work together during an intensive five-day rehearsal process (July 27 – July 31, 2015) culminating in two live performances of Romeo and Juliet on our Shakespeare in the Park stage. Shows will be at 11:00 a.m. on August 1 and 2, 2015.  Admission is free! 

Students who wish to attend '3rd Show' audition workshop with me may do so on June 13 beginning at 10 a.m. at Starr Presbyterian Church located on the corner of 13 Mile Road and Crooks Road.  Auditions for Romeo and Juliet will be held June 20, beginning at 10 a.m. at the same location.  Students must be registered to be cast in the show.  If you are unable to audition, you will still receive a role if you wish join the ensemble later. Registration is only $225 per student, and available now on our website; space is limited and our registration deadline is June 25.

We are also excited to welcome, for the first time, students with targeted interests in directing, stage managing and design (costumes, props, sound) skills; these students need only register, and may attend auditions as an interview process, although this is not required.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you tell me more about the “3rd Show” and Academy Program?

While our Romeo and Juliet will be somewhat abridged, it will keep all of its comedy, action, drama, and the beautiful poetry. Students will be expected to arrive on the first day of rehearsal with their lines memorized, ready to dive into learning advanced acting techniques and immediately begin staging the show. We’ll work hard even as we’re having tons of fun!

What will rehearsals be like?

On the first day, we’ll spend some time getting to know each other and the script in the morning, and we’ll begin staging it in the afternoon. For the next four days, our days will be structured so that we neither burn out nor get bored – we’ll do advanced scene work as we put our show together, taking it scene by scene and building it into a full production. Time will be set aside for both dance and fight choreography. By Friday, we’ll be able to run our show all the way through at least twice with all technical elements so that students are prepared for their performances. In an ensemble approach, even students who are not in a given scene will have ample input into its staging, and there are virtually limitless possibilities in terms of casting and stage time for everyone.

What will non-actors be doing during this program?

Students interested in directing, stage managing, and design (costumes, props, sound) will have opportunities not only to shadow professionals as they work, but will be asked to take initiative in their area of interest to actively contribute to the process and production. 

What do we need to bring to rehearsals?

Healthy snacks and water are provided daily, however Water Works Academy will not provide lunch.  Be advised that this summer’s program will be nut free.  It is suggested that each student bring a lunch packed with a beverage, insect repellent, and sun block.  Loose, comfortable clothing appropriate to the weather, including a hat, is also recommended.  For the comfort and safety of your student, we ask that NO Crocs, clogs or flip-flops be worn.  Sturdy shoes that buckle or tie are required.

What times of day will we be rehearsing?

Actors are expected to arrive between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m., ready to begin warm ups promptly. Rehearsal will be dismissed at 3:00 p.m. Rest assured that we will take plenty of breaks throughout the day to eat, rest, and hydrate!

What are the requirements for auditions?

Students are asked to memorize one Shakespearean monologue (1-2 minutes long) for their auditions. I’ve included suggested pieces, as well as audition tips and etiquette, with this letter. As noted above, there will also be a free audition workshop on June 13, 2015 with me that students are welcome to attend. No headshots or resumes are required! To schedule an audition, email: If you can’t make the audition, don’t worry – everyone who registers by June 25 will be cast in the show!

Please note: students who are interested in design and wish to attend auditions to as part of their process need not perform a monologue. Please contact us for more information!

What happens if it rains?

We have an alternate location in case of rain, details of which will be shared with students after they register.

Will there be costumes? What will they be like?

The ensemble will determine what costumes are necessary for our telling of this story, and parents/guardians should rest assured that they will not need to be anything that cannot be pulled from closets!

Please feel free to email us at with any and all questions and link here to register today!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

2015 Audition Schedule Shakespeare Royal Oak

 Water Works Theatre Company announces auditions 
15th Annual Shakespeare Royal Oak set to cast two shows

All's Well That Ends Well 
July 30 - August 9

As You Like It
August 1-9

Auditions scheduled for March 23 & 24  
Water Works Theatre Company announces that auditions for its 15th season of Shakespeare Royal Oak in Starr Jaycee Park will take place March 23 & 24. This season, Water Works will present All's Well That Ends Well July 30 - August 9 as the festival's main stage performance. For its popular daylight family show, the theatre company will present As You Like It August 1-9.

Auditions for All's Well That Ends Well and As You Like It will take place March 23 & 24 at Starr Presbyterian Church at the corner of 13 Mile and Crooks Road in Royal Oak. Interested actors should prepare two contrasting Shakespeare monologues (up to 2 minutes each with one comedic) and Email a preferred date and time to Appointments will be scheduled in 5 minute intervals from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.  Call backs will be scheduled for March 30 & 31.

All's Well That Ends Well will be directed by Water Works veteran Terry Carpenter who returns to Water Works this year after directing As You Like It and Comedy Of Errors in 2005 & 2006. An award-winning director and stage manager with Meadowbrook Theatre, he will set Shakespeare's tale of love and intrigue in a time of war in the "Downton Abbey" era. All's Well That Ends Well will appear in Starr Jaycee Park July 30 - August 2 with performances at 8:00pm Thursday - Saturday evenings and Sundays at 5:00pm.

Travis Reiff returns to Water Works after his exceptional portrayal of Horatio in 2014's Hamlet. Water Works' first stage manager in 2001 and a founding member of Planet Ant Theatre, Reiff will direct Water Works daylight family show, As You Like It in an abridged length fitting for audiences of all ages. As You Like It will appear in Starr Jaycee Park August 1 - 9 with performances at 7:00pm Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and 2:00pm Saturday and Sunday.

Both shows are open to Actors' Equity and non-equity performers. All roles are available. Equity members will work under a special appearance contract and non-equity actors will be paid a small stipend. Rehearsals will begin June 29.

Since 2001 Water Works has presented Shakespeare in the Park in Royal Oak and other award-winning productions. Water Works enhances the quality of life in the community by offering Michigan's only outdoor professional Shakespeare event in Royal Oak's Starr Jaycee Park. Water Works' mission is to provide a place to call home for local professional actors, designers, directors, teachers, and other artists in a dynamic collaboration with skilled professional volunteers and other community supporters. Learn more at: