Shakespeare & Company’s Education Program strives to bring the classical poetry and plays of Shakespeare alive and into the lives of as many students and teachers as possible in ways that are personally meaningful, educationally inspiring, and theatrically compelling.
One of the most extensive arts-in-education programs in the northeast, Shakespeare & Company’s Education Program reaches more than 40,000 students and teachers each year with innovative, socially responsive, and educationally challenging performances, workshops and residencies. Identified by the Arts Education Partnership, the GE Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities as a Champion of Change, Shakespeare & Company’s Education Program is recognized as an innovative leader in the field of integrating the arts into education. Since the program was founded in 1978, nearly one million elementary, middle, and high school students have taken part.
Shakespeare & Company’s Education Program immerses students in the world of classical theatre in the most active, engaging, and personally meaningful ways. Through the process of rehearsing and performing the plays of William Shakespeare for themselves, for each other, and for the community, students inhabit a Renaissance world of beautiful language, profound thought, and passionate feeling that articulates and celebrates the full spectrum of human experience. What could be more exciting?
To meet the demands of classical theatre built on language, we must help students to breathe more deeply, free their voices, and commit their bodies through acting, stage combat, and dance. We must teach them to speak sublime poetry with clear thought and deep feeling; to listen openly and respond passionately and reflectively; to embrace the paradox of human nature as it is expressed in dramatic situations; and to be sensitive, flexible, and expansive mentally, physically, and emotionally.
We must help them to become inclusive in relationships and honest with themselves and others, and to add their energy to the group through conviction — or through conviction, to stand alone. We must help them to practice both success and failure, to give and receive praise, support, and criticism, and we must lead them to a more vital experience of their own and others’ humanity.
This is the masterpiece we are committed to creating.
Kevin G. Coleman
Director of Education
The Education Program
Kevin Coleman, Director of Education
Jenna Ware, Associate Director of Education
Alexandra Lincoln, School Programs Manager
The Shakespeare in the Courts project is generously supported by a grant through the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s YouthReach Initiative. http://www.massculturalcouncil.org