Celebrating Risks (Featuring a TEDx talk from our Ensemble Director!)

“Take Risks, Be Bold” our ensemble members often hear me say. It’s one of the key components of our work. Other than listening and responding, taking risks is what we are practicing as theater-makers. Every production we have done over the last three years has brimmed with moments that were created when students took risks and tried something in the rehearsal room. A few of these moments from A Midsummer Nights Dream include Bottom singing “firework,” Helena giving flowers to Demetrius, Oberon waking Titania up with “Heeey,” and the Bergamask dance to I Can’t Feel My Face.


These moments would not have been possible without the risks students took! I love when students approach me before a run and say, “I’m going to try something in this run, ok?” Of course my answer is always, “do it!” In theater all of our risks our celebrated, no matter their outcome and hopefully this give our students the confidence to take smart risks in their own lives.


It is with all of this in mind that I decided to give a TEDx talk at Hamilton College (my sister is also a student there, and I couldn’t pass up a trip to visit her!) It had been a long time since I had to speak publicly and so I was nervous. To be honest I was petrified. Luckily I was writing and preparing the talk at the same time as our CYSE fall ensemble was in session. Our students are bold, brave, and brilliant and they inspire me, not only as an educator and director, but they inspire me to take risks and be bold in my own life.


View Jeremy's TEDx Talk, "Living with Limits" HERE

Contact info


Chicago Youth Shakespeare
641 W Lake Street, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60661


The fault, dear Brutus, lies not within the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings. - Julius Caesar, I, ii

The course of true love never did run smooth. - A Midsummer Night's Dream, I, i

Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow. - Romeo and Juliet, II, ii

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so - Hamlet, II, ii

If music be the food of love, play on! - Twelfth Night, I, i

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once. - Julius Caesar, II, ii

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep. - The Tempest, IV, i

The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. - Merchant of Venice, IV, i