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Shakespeare And Co Ma Students In Costume

Professional Development Workshops

Designed for Teachers, Directors and Teaching Artists to help create dynamic, engaging learning experiences of Shakespeare on the stage and in the classroom.

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Shakespeare & Company’s unique and long-developed techniques awaken the emotional, imaginative and physical dimensions of the text. Teachers learn appropriate strategies to help students experience the power and beauty of Shakespeare’s language, and to engage with the texts in deeper and more personal ways. Brought back to the rehearsal rooms and classroom, these approaches engage students’ own multiple intelligences, enabling a more passionate, personal and comprehensive experience of the characters and understanding of the plays.

These ProDev workshops are offered once a year at Shakespeare & Company in August. August is the height of our summer performance season. Some housing is available on-site. These workshops are designed by Kevin G. Coleman, Shakespeare & Company’s Education Director. Other master teachers, actors and directors from the Company may join us to help participants to experience and then develop their own dynamic and engaging learning experiences of Shakespeare in the classroom and on the stage.

These workshops offer:

  • The most effective methods for freeing both students’ and teachers’ creativity and for building playful and emotionally safe and intellectually rigorous classrooms.
  • An organic and engaging experience of the rhetorical structure inherent in the verse, and a way of presenting it to students that is liberating and exciting; more about Shakespeare’s rhetoric, less about scansion.
  • Ways of approaching and presenting the different types of comic characters, clowns and fools, and comic moments in the most often presented plays.
  • Ways of effectively managing the presentation of physical violence in Shakespeare’s plays tracing the journey from shaming incidents to the resulting violence, to entire battle scenes. Responsible ways of exploring the violent parts of the stories, and appropriate ways of presenting violence.
  • Profound ways for students to meet Shakespeare on multiple levels that create deep, personal meanings for students and teachers alike.

It is not necessary that you have performance or directing experience. These workshops are designed – ultimately – to serve and enhance the experience of the students, who have little or no acting experience themselves.

2017 Workshop offerings:

On Teaching Shakespeare: Macbeth

August 14 – 19, 2017

Click here to register for Macbeth

On Teaching Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream

August 21 – 26, 2017

Click here to register for A Midsummer Night's Dream

Each six day workshop includes:

  • 36 hours of Professional Development credit (pending)
  • Handouts of the strategies and rationale for each exercise and activity
  • Generous time allotted for observations, questions and discussion
  • Cut script for Macbeth or A Midsummer Night's Dream (90 min. cut)
  • Ticket to one Shakespeare production
  • Optional evening classes: Directing Student Productions; Stage Combat
  • Optional evening performances: other theatre offerings (discounted tickets)
  • Free evenings to explore the Berkshires (vs. optional plays, optional classes)

The techniques and strategies you’ll experience can be used to explore any of Shakespeare’s plays. Participating in this workshop can reinvent what is possible in a rehearsal room and classroom, rekindle a teacher’s deep love for teaching, and help students to more deeply engage with, appreciate, and own Shakespeare for themselves.

“The programs created by Shakespeare & Company provide examples of excellence in professional development, teaching, and learning to be studied and adapted by other artist-teachers, classroom teachers, and teacher-trainers. Further, they provide powerful evidence that on the highest levels of literacy, in the realms of social and personal growth and development, and in the development of high-order thinking skills, the arts provide an ideal setting for multi-faceted and profound learning experiences.” --- From “Stand and Unfold Yourself,” a two-year study conducted by Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (Project Zero, Steve Seidel et al.) and sponsored by the GE and MacArthur Foundations; the study was published in “Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts On Learning.”

Comments from past participants:

“This workshop is exceptional…what you take away from it will enrich yours and your students’ lives way more than what you gave up to get there.” Sharon Rae Paquette, Advice to the Players, New Hampshire

“Honestly, it was one of the best workshops of my 27 years of teaching and directing. I can’t wait to play!” Dawn Gunderson, Moorhead High School in South Moorhead, Minnesota

“If you teach drama – Shakespeare or otherwise – this workshop will change your teaching forever, and for the better!” Wendy Bruneau, High Mowing School in Wilton, New Hampshire

For more information, contact our Education Program Administrator at or call 413-637-1199 ext 123.

Other ProDev Workshops are offered at schools, school districts and theatre companies around the country, and may vary in length from a single day to a couple of weeks. Successful participation in each model yields 36 professional development points (pending) towards the requirement for certification.

To inquire about hosting a workshop for your school or district, contact our Education Program Administrator at or call 413-637-1199 ext 123.


Shakespeare & Company is a professional live theatre company in the heart of the Berkshires, presenting a vibrant summer performance season featuring the works of Shakespeare in repertory with classic and contemporary plays. The Company offers one of the most extensive actor training programs by a regional theatre in the country, and is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program.