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Shakespeare's Island

A Thinking Art Workshop |  23 April 2014 |  Ryerson Theatre, Toronto

In celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday and the launch of the 2014 Stratford Festival, community, government, business, education, and cultural leaders are invited to come together on the morning of April 23 to take part in a special edition of the Thinking Art series on the Ryerson University campus.

Participants in Shakespeare's Island will imagine themselves shipwrecked on a desert island with no hope of returning to the world they have known. The castaways find themselves in danger of succumbing to despair. Just as all seems lost, they discover they are not entirely alone: there are six magic spirits on the island. There is also one book—a salt-water stained copy of Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest.

The spirits are in actuality six outstanding artists. Each spirit will lead one group of participants in the collective creation of works of art inspired by The Tempest—be they plays, stories, poems, dances, paintings, pieces of music, or new spaces for living. The works of art, created in dialogue with Shakespeare, will shape the history of the island and its new residents, begin to fashion their culture and society, and transform the ragged crew of castaways into a community of islanders.

Participants in Shakespeare’s Island will experience how artistic practice can promote teambuilding and leadership. They will access the untapped muses within, travel into the world of the imagination, and discover the power of art to foster their courage, confidence, and sense of adventure.

Shakespeare’s Island is a collaboration of the Stratford Festival and the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas at McGill University. We are grateful to Ryerson University for graciously providing the venue for this edition of Thinking Art.