Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) is excited partner with Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) to offer two exciting opportunities designed to transport area homeschool students into the world of Shakespeare and theatre. Join GRSF company member, Benjamin Boucvault, and Education Director Carrie Nath for a two hour, hands-on exploration of all things Shakespeare.

Both workshops will take place at MCA’s home, the Valencia Arts Center on Wed. March 21st (times listed below). Each workshop is only $18 and MCA’s family discount can also be applied to families that have more than one student attending.

Ages 10-12, 10:00am-Noon

Prep to present at The Queen’s Court (wouldn’t want you to lose your head!) and dive into lively country dances. Then embrace your inner hero, villain, or magical creature bringing Shakespeare’s tragic tale of Macbeth to the stage through movement, voice, character development and text and scene analysis. Double Double Toil and Trouble of the best kind!

Ages 13-18, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Explore Shakespeare’s world through customs of the Queen’s Court, lively country dances and basic elements of combat; then take an actor’s approach through text and scene analysis with an opportunity to hone and shape presentational skills through acting exercises based in movement, voice and character development – all in a hands on, fun environment.

Meet the Teaching Artists:

Benjamin Boucvalt

Benjamin grew up near New Orleans before moving West, then East, then West again with theaters across the country. He is an actor and company member at the Great River Shakespeare Festival where he has been performing for the past 6 years. Notable performances include As You Like it/Orlando, Julius Caesar/Cassius, Richard III/Buckingham, and Romeo and Juliet/Romeo. Other theaters include the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Arclight Repertory Theatre, Curtain Theatre, St. Petersburg Shakespeare Company, and recently the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre where he performed Vanya, Sonya, Masha, and Spike/Spike. Benjamin is also a writer, and his study in screenwriting in undergrad led him to acting. He published his first novel, The River Road, in 2014. The audiobook of the novel was also produced that same year, which he narrated. Benjamin’s teaching experience includes Shakespeare, Scene Study, Audition Technique, and Acting for the Camera, working at colleges such as the Academy of Art University, San Francisco and the American Music and Dramatic Academy, Los Angeles. He is currently in the process of working with the Great River Shakespeare Festival in developing a workshop for Acting Shakespeare for the Camera. Benjamin is also combat certified by the Society of American Fight Directors. He served as a fight choreographer and consultant on several stage performances.

DEGREES, STUDIES and AFFILIATIONS: MFA, Acting: FSU/Asolo Conservatory; BFA, Motion Pictures & Television: Academy of Art University; SAG-AFTRA

Carrie Nath

Carrie A Nath is an arts administrator, director, choreographer, actor and arts educator and has been working throughout the United States for 30 years. Carrie is so excited to join the Great River Shakespeare Festival company.  Movement based storytelling and creating opportunities for the next generation of artists to thrive are her passion. She Is fortunate to have combined these loves throughout her career which includes: Executive Director of The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts; Director of Education at The Kentucky Arts Council; the Associate Director of Education for the Seattle Opera and Education Consultant for the Ford’s Theater in D.C.; choreographer/director at Manhattan School of Music; Cornish College of the Arts; Baltimore/Nebraska/Kentucky/Seattle Shakespeare and Youth Theatre Northwest; resident teaching artist at Actor’s Theater of Louisville; Stage One Theater; the Washington National Opera; the Shakespeare Theater in DC; and Seattle Repertory Theatre; and acting at Nebraska Shakespeare, The Rose Theater in Omaha Nebraska, Nebraska Theater Caravan, The Immediate Theatre of Seattle, Seattle Shakespeare Company and Twelfth Night , Inc. Ms. Nath has served on arts education panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and on a teaching artist advisory group for The Lincoln Center in New York City.

*Top photo credit: photo by Dan Norman. From left to right: Michael Fitzpatrick as Friar Lawrence; Benjamin Boucvalt as Romeo; Rosemary Brownlow as Lady Capulet.