The Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble is an extraordinary collaboration between The Shakespeare Society and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children. Participants in the program - typically forty to sixty 4th, 5th, and 6th graders from five schools in Hunts Point - spend an entire academic year learning about, rehearsing, and ultimately performing a single Shakespeare play. Ensemble members work with the original text, learning to read, comprehend, speak, memorize, and perform Shakespeare's words with confidence, authority, and enthusiasm. They develop a variety of academic and life skills, including public speaking, diction, listening, teamwork, how to take responsibility and to hold themselves accountable. This work is of particular importance in a community such as Hunts Point, where general academic performance is far below national standards. Students who participate in the program are better prepared for future academic and creative pursuits, and avoid the "fear" of Shakespeare that often afflicts older students and adults. The Ensemble’s performances also allow our young actors to share their accomplishments with the community. In May 2012, the Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble performed A Midsummer Night's Dream (see video). The Ensemble has previously performed Twelfth Night in 2011, As You Like It in 2010, The Tempest in 2009, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2008.