Shakespeare Academy students perform free plays in Stratford

Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford (SA@S) students, including Milford resident and SUNY Purchase student Matthew DeCostanza, will perform a selection of new plays on July 18 at 8 p.m. at 1850 Elm Street, Stratford. The event is free and open to the public. No advance reservations are required.

The showing marks the first time that the inaugural class of the new theater training program will perform for an audience. The class is comprised of 15 students who have traveled from around the United States to train in Shakespeare performance and contemporary ensemble theater-making on the grounds of the former American Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Stratford.

As part of their studies with playwright-in-residence Alex Borinsky, each student will present an original one-minute play at Friday’s event. In addition, they will present a 30-minute play which Borinsky has written for them during his residency.

A New York-based playwright, director, and performer, Borinsky is a member of Youngblood, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s OBIE-winning collective of emerging professional playwrights. He has developed plays with Target Margin, Little Theater, and Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

The Friday Night Showings series will continue July 25 at 8 p.m., when the students will perform Shakespeare monologues following their masterclass with theater director Amanda McRaven.

A project of the Stratford-based charity The Mighty Quinn Foundation, the program is headquartered on the grounds of the Shakespeare theater property for six weeks this summer.

At the conclusion of the program, from Aug. 2 through 10, the students will give public performances of Cymbeline and Hamlet in repertory on the theater grounds. For performance times and more information, visit