CSF Education and Outreach: 2022-23 Shakespeare & Violence Prevention Auditions

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival seeks non-Equity actors for two touring productions for youth audiences: a 45-minute production of “The Merchant of Venice,” suitable for grades 6-12, and a 30-minute production of “The Tempest,” suitable for grades 3-5, as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence: the Shakespeare & Violence Prevention project, in which Shakespeare’s plays are used to address violence prevention in schools.

We use theatre to educate young people about violence because it puts into practice some of the key concepts central to violence reduction: teamwork, empathy and the possibility of change. Connectedness can help bring about a kinder, safer, healthier school community—and theatre, likewise, is an art form rooted in empathy and connectedness. This project’s curriculum centers on the role of the “upstander”—the person who witnesses mistreatment and makes a choice to help; in the real world, upstanders make a significant difference in reducing harm; and in post-show workshops, students practice upstander behavior with the actors.

Now entering its 12th year, this program has reached more than 110,000 Colorado students. Check out this Upstander video to learn more about the Shakespeare & Violence Prevention project.

VALUE STATEMENT: CSF shares CU Boulder’s commitment to building an inclusive, diverse and equitable community and strives to create an environment in which everyone feels a sense of belonging and the ability to contribute.

View these trailers from the 2021-22 hybrid tour:
Twelfth Night
Julius Caesar


  • Submission deadline: June 6, 2022
  • Aug. 29-Sept, 26: rehearsals on CU Boulder campus (Monday-Friday, daytime)
  • Sept. 27-Dec. 14, 2022: Touring schools, typically on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (alternate days will be cleared in advance with troupe)
  • No tour dates the week of Nov. 21-25, 2022
  • Jan. 10-11, 2023: Brushup Rehearsals
  • Jan. 17-April 19, 2023: Touring schools, typically on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (alternate days will in advance with troupe)
  • No tours the week of March 27-31, 2023
  • The contract includes two distance tours (dates TBA). You will receive a per diem for food/incidentals, and overnight hotels will be provided.

Required Qualifications

  • Non-AEA status
  • Experience performing Shakespeare
  • Experience teaching Shakespeare in the classroom (Grades 3 through 12)
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to handle conflict in the classroom
  • Reliable transportation
  • Background check required

Preferred Qualifications

  • Singing / Instrumental performance proficiency
  • Fluency in Spanish (conversational)

More details

  • Actors will perform in a 45-minute “Merchant of Venice” and a 30-minute “The Tempest” and lead post-show classroom workshops on tour in Colorado schools.
  • All rehearsals and performances will adhere to COVID safety protocols, based on the latest public health guidance at the time.

Casting Breakdown

  • Actors will play multiple roles in both plays
  • Anticipated tracks:
    • “The Merchant of Venice”
      • Actor 1: Antonio / Aragon
      • Actor 2: Bassanio / Morocco / Duke
      • Actor 3: Portia / Shylock
    • “The Tempest”
      • Actor 1: Prospero / Alonso / Trinculo
      • Actor 2: Miranda / Stephano / Ariel
      • Actor 3: Ferdinand / Antonio / Caliban


  • $11,240 total
    • $2,600.00 for rehearsals and training
    • $160.00 per day while on tour (including brush-up rehearsals and travel days)
  • You will be paid a salary rate, disbursed monthly, up to and not exceeding the above listed total compensation amount. Payments are subject to the terms and conditions as stated by the University of Colorado Employee Services Payroll Division.

To Apply

If you are interested and available, please contact the CSF Operations Manager, Kurt M. Mehlenbacher, at kume5547exc@colorado.edu for further details, or fill out the application form at the bottom of this page.

More about the Shakespeare & Violence Prevention Project


To cultivate empathy, teamwork, and upstander behavior through Shakespeare’s plays


To enhance, enrich, and expand Colorado students’ understanding of Shakespeare and violence prevention through live performance and interactive roleplaying activities. Guided by the most recent research and creative work available, we strive to share relevant findings in a fun, active, and dynamic way.


  • Empathy: we step into the shoes of others (in Shakespeare’s plays, in workshop activities) to better understand someone else’s perspective.
  • Teamwork: we work together (both in the theatre and in violence prevention) to explore new ideas.
  • Active Learning: we work “on our feet” rather than “in our seat.” Shakespeare is best approached through performance, and by watching humans interact, we learn about our own behavior. Likewise, we encourage roleplaying in the post-show workshops as a way of learning about human behavior.
  • Diversity: We live in a vibrant, eclectic world, and we value differing viewpoints, cultures, languages, and people. We strive to represent the diversity of our world in the way we produce Shakespeare, and in the way we facilitate related activities.
  • Creative Problem Solving and Student-Centered Learning: We believe in encouraging students to generate their own solutions, and we provide the space for them to test out their own ideas.
  • Connectedness: Being connected to others is a protective factor and can help reduce violence in a community. Being connected is also vital in the theatre as we build connections to our scene partner, to (and within) the text, and to the audience members.
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