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Shakespeare and Company Education

Professional Development Workshops

I learned more in one rehearsal playing Ophelia than I did in 4 weeks in class reading and talking about Ophelia. When I said her words it was different than reading them out loud in class. I felt her feelings. I felt them because they were my own. I know who Ophelia is. — Monument Mountain Regional High School student

Professional Development Workshop participant playing Marc Antony over Caesar’s corpse.

Shakespeare & Company’s unique and time-tested exercises enable teachers to access the physical and emotional dimensions of the text. Brought back to the classroom, these exercises engage students on multiple levels through multiple intelligences, enabling a more passionate and comprehensive experience and understanding of the plays.

It is not necessary that you have any previous acting or directing experience. These workshops are designed for teachers and teaching artists—and ultimately students—who may have little or no acting experience themselves. Encountering Shakespeare’s texts as actors engages parts of ourselves that everyone shares and can readily access when the environment created allows and encourages curiosity, cooperation, playfulness and mutual support.

Director of Education Kevin G. Coleman during a Professional Development Workshop.

Shakespeare & Company offers Professional Development Workshops for educators, either at Shakespeare & Company or at schools or districts around the country, drawing on more than 35 years of experience bringing Shakespeare to students. Teachers learn to help students experience the power and beauty of Shakespeare’s language and to engage with the texts in deeper and more personal ways.

“Simply the finest professional development experience of my 10-year teaching career. Shame on me for not applying sooner; this experience will change everything I do…for the better!”


Cinna the Poet meets his critics in Julius Caesar.

And while most of the activities in these workshops are designed for the students, we will be asking you to participate first-hand to better appreciate and anticipate how your students will respond. Out of these experiences, more useful questions, observations and reflections as teachers can occur. These workshops introduce Shakespeare & Company’s rationale and strategies for creating dynamic, engaging experiences of Shakespeare in the classroom and the stage.

Successful participation will yield professional development points (PDPs) towards the 150-point requirement for certification in Massachusetts. Workshops for teachers, directors and teaching artists are offered in the Berkshires and around the country, and vary in length from a single day to two weeks.

To inquire about hosting a workshop in your school or town, contact the School Programs Manager at 413-637-1199 ext 131.