Hampshire Shakespeare Company and Williston Summer Theatre workshops

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All workshops are held at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton. Lunch is included.

Hampshire Shakespeare Company has been providing exciting, fun and educational workshops for children in the valley for over twenty years. We are proud to bring our established expertise in working with children to the campus of Williston Northampton, and to team with the people at Williston Theatre to present a series of week-long summer workshops guaranteed to educate and inform.

Workshops take place from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, for groups between the ages of 6 to 8 and 9 to 13. Every Friday there is a free performance for the public at 4 pm of the performance participants have created using theatre, improvisational games, and movement.

Our summer 2019 programming is as follows:

July 8-12 Older group (9-13) regular programming
Special programming for students ages 7-12 (see below)

July 15-19 Special programming for students ages 7-12 (see below)

July 22-26 Both age groups run regular programming

July 29-August 2 Both age groups run regular programming

To register for our regular programming, please complete a registration form for each child in your family who would like to attend. Click here to download a registration form! Upon receipt of a completed registration form and full payment, Hampshire Shakespeare will hold a spot in the selected workshop. Participation is on a first come, first served basis. Confirmation will be sent to families via e-mail except by special request. Payment and mailing instructions are on the registration form. For more information, call 413-642-6707 or email

Our special programming is back for a third summer! After an enormously successful pilot with the assistance of the Emily List Fund our  “Social Emotional Growth Through Theater” is back for two separate weeks of programming. This program uses theater to explore social skill building, practice emotional awareness, and empathy. Commonly identified skills used in regular theater practice are brought to the spotlight as participants create and perform their own show. Taught by Carissa Dagenais, MA, NYU.


For further information, please see A Letter from our teacher Carissa about the program.

To register for this session, click to download special programming registration form.


Our summer 2019 lead teachers are Carissa Dagenais (younger group & special programming) and Andrew Roberts (older group). Both are returning for their fourth summer with us. Additionally we welcome our assistant teachers Jonah Pauloo, John McPhee, and Andrea Pierce. We also welcome our wonderful intern Isabel Brinton-Fenlason from Smith College!

Carissa Dagenais is a drama therapist with her MA in Drama Therapy from NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and BA in Theater from Smith College. She also attended Bard College at Simon’s Rock, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC, and Holyoke Community College. Carissa is a native of the Pioneer Valley who proudly attended the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School in South Hadley. She has been working with children for over ten years – as a nanny, tutor, teaching artist, and performer. Companies she has worked with as an actor include Serious Play Theatre Ensemble, PaintBox Theatre, and Eggtooth Productions. She is also a big sister to five wonderful brothers – Alex, Matthew, Jared, Ashton, and Adrien.

While living in NYC Carissa worked in public schools for three years as a teaching artist with The Town Hall. During her graduate studies she worked as a drama therapist in hospitals, private schools, and with non profit organizations. Carissa recently worked as a civilian with Irondale Ensemble Project on their “To Protect, Serve, and Understand” programming with the NYPD. She also worked with Embodied Minds: Public Speaking Consultants, LLC as a drama therapist running groups for children with special needs, and as a crisis counselor in a respite facility in Manhattan.


Carissa is excited to have returned to the valley where she is working as an Outpatient Therapist and Clinician in a therapeutic afterschool program for kids. She is very excited for two weeks of the “Social and Emotional Growth Through Theater” programming this summer. She and Hampshire Shakespeare Company piloted this program two years ago with the help of the Emily List Fund. Carissa believes that along with fostering creative expression theater can build confidence, emotional intelligence, and empathy in all who participate.

Andrew Roberts earned his B.A. in Speech and Theatre from St. Lawrence University in 1992. That summer, in his professional acting debut in West Side Story at the New London Barn Playhouse (opposite Taye Diggs), he garnered such rave reviews as, “Andrew Roberts as Indio” and “Seat cushions available.”

He has over twenty years experience as a professional actor and as a teacher/teaching artist. He taught Drama at King George (VA) High School and has directed a dozen high school plays in Virginia and New Hampshire. Since moving to the Pioneer Valley seven years ago, he has taught workshops at UMASS, the Williston Northampton School, Hampshire Shakespeare Company, and Hampshire Regional High School, as well as historical workshops on swordplay and the effects of swords on society at the Teen Think Tank (a home-school collective) and Northstar Star Self-Directed Learning for Teens. He has been the lead teacher for Hampshire Shakespeare Company’s summer theatre workshops (9-13 year old groups) for the last three years and is a collaborating member of the TheatreTruck collective.

In 2015, he earned his M.Ed. from American International College, where he can currently be found teaching Movement for the Actor. He also teaches ELA/Social Studies for the Valley Opportunity Council in Chicopee. Recent fight direction/choreography credits include Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth for Hampshire Shakespeare Company, Peter Pan at UMASS, andOur Lady of Kibeho and The Taming of the Shrew at Smith College.

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Recent acting credits include the Business Man in TheatreTruck’s production of Emma Ayres’ The Water Project and Roger in Best in Class at Six By Six By Six (Part of Conway’s 250th Anniversary Celebration).

2 thoughts on “Workshops

  1. Is there a summer camp that takes place in Amherst? The summer camp program guide says it takes place in both Amherst and Easthampton. Thanks

    • Hello,
      Thank you for reaching out to us. We offer two summer camp programs. The first is a series of week-long workshops for a variety of ages, which takes place in Easthampton. If you have questions about those, you can email Steve Henderson at Anyone can participate in these, and at the end of each week there will be a sharing for family and friends.
      In Amherst, we have a program called “Young Company”, where actors aged 13 to 18 take two weeks in August to put on a production of Romeo and Juliet, that they then perform as part of our summer season. This program is audition-based. For more information, please email
      Thank you!
      -Sara Berliner, 2015 Season Producer

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