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the ensemble is everything

Welcome to Make Trouble

Training and Repertory Performance in Ensemble, Devising, and Shakespeare

We believe in ensemble. We believe that building a community of artists is the best way to make art. Maybe it's the only way. Maybe we are at the forefront of a revolution, where companies like Kneehigh Theater and Frantic Assembly capture the imaginations of audiences all over the world. We’ve been working this way for a long time — Make Trouble is the realization of these beliefs and practices. Our mission is to nurture and train emerging artists as a fiercely generous and courageous ensemble of theater-makers, for this summer and for enduring collaborations together. 

For summer 2016, we are seeking 14 college students and recent graduates from around the US and the world to create our diverse and international Trouble Ensemble. The program is a 5-week summer intensive in ensemble theater making, devising and Shakespeare. We will live together, eat together, play together, train together, rehearse together, create theater together and perform two Shakespeare plays together in repertory. This summer, the ensemble will be performing Measure for Measure and Much Ado About Nothing

Make Trouble also has a second-year program, for invited students who have trained with us before and worked together as an ensemble. These are the Troublemakers. They reunite this summer for advanced training and a production of Pericles, which they will create through a virtual and live rehearsal process. 

We are excited to call Staunton, VA and Mary Baldwin College our summer home — a vibrant town of Shakespeare, theater, and higher education, home to the American Shakespeare Center and Blackfriars Playhouse. We hope you join our community this summer, as part of our ensemble or as an audience, sharing in the magic. Welcome... Amanda, Colleen & Thadd, Artistic Directors.

For us, “trouble” means always working right at the edge of one’s artistic abilities and knowledge. It means interrogating conventions and assumptions, and being willing to invite the audience into collaborative magic. 

This program is for anyone with a lionheart, especially the ones who don’t realise it in themselves...yet. More importantly, the program reaches beyond its participants to the community through a genuine desire to bridge worlds—the Bard’s, the plays’, and our own.
— Victoria Chen, Singapore | Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

This is what it feels like...

Heartfelt thanks to Emma Blacklay-Piech, for creating this beautiful video from her footage she took last summer. This is what it feels like...to be part of something bigger than yourselves. We're doing it again summer 2016. Let's make some trouble, friends.