Thursday, January 21, 2021

Two River Announces Experimental Virtual Little Shakespeare Education Program

Two River Theater’s most popular education program, A Little Shakespeare, breaks the mold to create something entirely new with Tiny Shakes: Romeo and Juliet, adapted and directed by Em Weinstein (A Little Shakespeare: Twelfth Night). 

Every season, Two River Theater introduces hundreds of young people—and adults—to the work of the Bard through its annual A Little Shakespeare program, now in its eighth season. More than 140 students from 28 different schools have participated in seven A Little Shakespeare productions: As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pericles, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth and Twelfth NightThe program has welcomed over 7,000 audience members, including more than 2,800 students from 35 schools across the state of New Jersey.

This year, the program takes the limitations of 2021 as an opportunity for students to delve deeply into Shakespeare's star-crossed romantic tragedy, giving them the agency to tell the story of each scene in their own way and film it: traditional Zoom scene reading? Rap battle? Movement or dance piece? Animation? The sky’s the limit! 

“I'm so excited to be returning to Two River's A Little Shakespeare program for this exciting, elaborate, and experimental take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Over the course of several weeks, the teens and I will tear into this great tragedy and make something entirely our own. This collage will be sure to feature music, acting, filmmaking and the incredible talents of a diverse group of teens from schools all over,” says adaptor and director Em Weinstein.

Video submissions will be edited into a theatrical collage that can be accessed through Two River’s website this May. There, audiences and educators can take the journey of the play through the videos, and continue to use this site as a resource.


DUE MARCH 1, 2021


  • High school students interested in acting, Shakespeare, filmmaking, design (costumes, props, lighting, sound), editing, stage management, directing, etc.
  • This program is entirely virtual, so if you are a high school student who can attend rehearsals in the Eastern Time Zone, you are encouraged to submit. 

Record a video between 2-3 minutes inspired by a scene or moment from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. If you're interested in acting in the show, please make sure the video includes you speaking a monologue from the show. Be as creative as you wish! The video can include music, dance, humor, found footage, drawings, etc. The main purpose of this video is for us to get to know who you are, so the main task is to be your weird, wonderful self.

Additional audition details can be found here:


Em Weinstein is a writer and a director of new plays, films, musicals, and interactive installations. At Yale School of Drama, where they received their M.F.A. in directing in May 2019, Em’s credits include the first workshop production of Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris, as well as an all-female, pop-infused Romeo & Juliet set in a Catholic high school. Their thesis production, Arden (or Shakespeare’s as u like it), was an immersive musical co-written with Michael Breslin that explored queer utopias and featured original songs by Julian Hornik. As an educator, Em ran the Guerrilla Filmmaking Program for Teens and directed the teen ensemble’s touring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the 52nd Street Project. Em was also a Fall Festival Director for Shakespeare & Company and directed in their Shakespeare in the Courts program for adjudicated youth. They graduated summa cum laude from Smith College.


Two River Theater’s 2020/21 Season Sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center. A Little Shakespeare is sponsored by OceanFirst Foundation.

Two River Theater is supported in part by public support through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Private support includes the Mary Owen Borden Foundation, Denholtz Properties, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, Investors Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, Wells Fargo Foundation, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Two River Theater produces a theatrical season that includes American and world classics, new plays and musicals, programs for young people, and festivals of new work. Each year, we also offer 40+ events that reflect our diverse community of Red Bank, New Jersey. Two River produces work on two stages—the 350-seat Rechnitz Theater, and the flexible 110-seat Marion Huber Theater. The theater’s recently opened Center for New Work, Education and Design is a three-story facility that includes two rehearsal studios, artist labs, classrooms, expanded shops and centrally located offices. Two River Theater has commissioned and premiered original projects including Be More Chill by Tony Award nominee Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz (the theater’s first Broadway production) and Hurricane Diane by Playwright-in-Residence Madeleine George (which won an Obie Award for its Off-Broadway run). In June 2019, Two River was nationally recognized by USA TODAY as one of “10 great places to see a play” across the U.S. Two River serves thousands of students and community members through arts and humanities programs at the theater, in schools and throughout its region. Two River Theater is led by Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst.