Merely Players

Merely Players is a program of Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival (WSF). This troupe of young performers (ages 15-22) explore avenues of bringing Shakespeare-inspired art to the Chippewa Valley while also gaining valuable experience and professional mentorship. The troupe is facilitated by one or more “artist-mentors,” who work alongside the young performers and guide them in their self-directed summer experience. Troupe members are paid nominal stipends for their work and performance appearances. This is a great opportunity for a summer theatre job for artists who are excited to create with a wide range of artistic liberties.


The primary objectives of Merely Players are to:

  • Develop and tour a Shakespeare-inspired performance for young audiences and/or the general public
  • Act as ambassadors to our local community for the Festival and its mainstage shows
  • Participate in workshops and activities that promote mentorship and artistic development

Interested theatre folk should fill out this application form: 


Apply Now


The application asks for basic contact information, a short essay describing your experience and interest, and a link to the applicant’s audition video. Audition applications will be accepted starting February 1, and reviewed/approved on a rolling basis each month.


You can check out the public performance schedule here:


What's Onstage


Program Sponsors

This program is sponsored in part by the Pablo Foundation and Community Foundation of Dunn County. We thank them for their gracious support!

Pablo Foundation

Community Foundation of Dunn County

Summer School Programming

In partnership with area school districts, the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival is excited to offer a slate of classes for students entering grades 3-12 in the Fall of 2024. These weeklong programs will allow students to explore topics such as acting, improv, playwriting, poetry and wordplay, and more, and are FREE of charge to students living within Eau Claire Area School District, Altoona School District, and Chippewa Falls Unified Area Schools, boundaries. Registration opens Saturday, March 2 and classes will fill quickly, so sign up soon!


Classes Offered Summer 2024:


Entering Grades 3-5:

June 24-28, 1:00-3:30 PM - Shakespeare? Never Fear!

July 8-12, 1:00-3:30 PM - Arty Party - FULL/WAIT LIST
July 22-26, 9:00-11:30 AM - Fractured Fairy Tales - FULL/WAIT LIST


Entering Grades 5-8:

June 10-14, 1:00-3:30 PM - Improv & Scenes - LIMITED SPACES AVAILABLE
June 17-21, 1;00-3:30 PM - POP Shakespeare
July 8-12, 9:00-11:30 AM - Drama Club
July 15-19, 9:00-11:30 AM - WordPlay


Entering Grades 7-12:

June 10-14, 9:00-11:30 AM - Groundlings: A Merely Players Pre-Program Workshop

July 15-19, 1:00-3:30 PM - Playwriting

July 22-26, 1:00-3:30 PM - Acting Intensive - FULL/WAIT LIST