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Shakespeare And Co Ma Actor Training Group Of Actors Sit In Circle

Center For Actor Training

The very heart of Shakespeare & Company is its professional actor training. The aesthetic of the Company was created within the training devised by Tina Packer and the Master Teachers, and it is through these programs that the aesthetic is continually investigated, redefined, and reinvigorated.


Through the Center for Actor Training, Shakespeare & Company’s performance artists, education artists, and artist-managers develop a common artistic vocabulary and coherent approach to performing Shakespeare that provides a solid foundation for their work. Actors, directors, writers, and teachers from all over the world come to work with the Company’s faculty to train not only their voices and their bodies with a daily regimen of demanding classes, but also to delve deeply into their own imaginations, intellects, and emotional lives.

Shakespeare & Company’s curriculum is internationally recognized as a deeply effective training experience for actors who aspire to bring their talent, intuition, and spirit to a higher level.

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The Dennis Krausnick Fellowship Fund (DKFF) provides financial assistance for artists of color to participate in our professional training programs.

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Actor Training Programs

Summer Shakespeare Intensive

Modeled after our internationally acclaimed Month-Long Intensive, the Summer Shakespeare Intensive (formerly the Summer Training Institute) provides young actors the opportunity to immerse themselves in Shakespeare six days a week for four weeks during our summer performance season.

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Month-Long Intensive

Create a new relationship with Shakespeare’s text, with yourself as an actor, and with your place in the world of theatre. The Month-Long Intensive is Shakespeare & Company’s cornerstone workshop. The unique power of the program is in its rigorous compacted schedule. For six days a week, from 8:00am until 10:00pm, participants immerse themselves in voice, movement, text analysis, exploration of the actor/audience relationship, sonnet work, scene work, clown, stage fight, and in-depth discussions about the function of theatre and the role of the actor in today’s world.

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Weekend Intensive

Designed to meet the needs of professional actors and theater students who seek an introduction to Shakespeare & Company's training methods as well as alumni who wish to refresh and reconnect with the work, the Weekend Intensive integrates voice, movement, and monologue work. Participants explore ways to unlock the emotional and intellectual content inherent in Shakespeare's language, yielding a direct relationship between actor and text.

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Specialized Workshops

The Center for Actor Training offers a variety of specialized workshops throughout the year exploring a full range of disciplines including rhetoric, wit, clown, fight, voice, movement, public speaking and more!

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Meet the Faculty

Charls Sedgwick Hall

Charls Sedgwick Hall

Charls Sedgwick Hall (Actor, Movement Teacher, Director) ) Charls’s acting credits include performances in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Mother Courage and Her Children, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged, Revised), Romeo and Juliet, A Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Shakespeare & Company; The Color Purple (The Musical) Los Angeles Ovations Award winning production, The Next Fairytale, The Escape Artist’s Children, and Follow with Celebration Theatre; Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing with Southern California Shakespeare Festival; Uncle Vanya, As You Like It, The Vigil with RAAP Theater Company; A Christmas Carol, The Little Foxes, Cymbeline, Cyrano, with A Noise Within; Angels of Lemnos, David and Goliath in America, Hitler’s Head, The Lady’s Not For Burning with The Road Theatre Company; Tartuffe and Arms and The Man with The Classical Theatre Company; Twelfth Night and Saint Joan with The Royston Theater Company; as well as productions of Faith and The Good Thing, Our Country’s Good, Three Sisters, Death Unit, Measure For Measure, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Firebugs. The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew and Exit The King.

Directing credits include Other World Lover and Afrocentricities with MPAACT, OUTStories and The Red Train Café with Celebration Theatre.

During his many years of performing and studying with Shakespeare & Company, Charls toured with the School’s Program and trained as a Movement teacher in the discipline of Trish Arnold. He has taught as a Guest Professor in Movement at the National Institute of Performing Arts in Sydney, Australia; a Guest Professor in Movement and a Guest Artist performing in Angels of Lemnos at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and held the position of Director of Training/Movement Instructor with Two Pence Theatre Company. Charls, a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, holds an MFA from the NYU-School of the Performing Arts Graduate Acting Program, teaches and continues to study other Movement disciplines, as well as Shakespeare’s Text, Rhetoric and Sonnets.

More about the S&Co. Faculty

From the Alumni

Maura Matarese

Maura Matarese

I attend at least one workshop at Shakespeare & Company each year as it always allows me an opportunity to grow as actor, to continue to free my actor’s instrument, to meet exciting new artists from around the world, and to spend time in an environment I love, with a faculty whom I deeply respect. moreI attend at least one workshop at Shakespeare & Company each year as it always allows me an opportunity to grow as actor, to continue to free my actor’s instrument, to meet exciting new artists from around the world, and to spend time in an environment I love, with a faculty whom I deeply respect.

Lulu Fogarty

Lulu Fogarty

My experience at the 2007 Summer Training Institute was absolutely priceless….I learned to bring a sense of play to everything I do. Play might be the most important tool for an actor but it’s surprising how quickly we forget to play because we try to be ‘right.’ There is no such thing as ‘right.’ To me, this is what the moreMy experience at the 2007 Summer Training Institute was absolutely priceless….I learned to bring a sense of play to everything I do. Play might be the most important tool for an actor but it’s surprising how quickly we forget to play because we try to be ‘right.’ There is no such thing as ‘right.’ To me, this is what the training at STI is all about. These lessons??"play, trust, and be ‘wrong’??"are the most important tools an actor can ever have….Words cannot express how lucky I feel to have gotten the opportunity to train at S&Co and become part of this community.

Halima Henderson

Halima Henderson

I’ve kept busy over the past year, and I have to say that weekend intensive has proven to be very effective! Everyone always asks about it when they see it on my resume and I love waxing poetically about it! Not only that, friendships that I made during my weekend have been long-lasting, I love running into folks at auditions moreI’ve kept busy over the past year, and I have to say that weekend intensive has proven to be very effective! Everyone always asks about it when they see it on my resume and I love waxing poetically about it! Not only that, friendships that I made during my weekend have been long-lasting, I love running into folks at auditions and have coffee with folks in the city and one friend even helped to book me in my first fully compensated theater job! Those three days were successful in so many ways I hadn’t even planned on!

Teresa Spencer

Teresa Spencer

The most important thing I’ve taken from the Conservatory has been a sense of professionalism. I used to consistently walk into auditions feeling the terror of unpreparedness: even if I’d rehearsed my monologue or sides forwards and backwards, I would arrive at an audition and suddenly feel overtaken with a sense of not knowing what the hell I was doing, moreThe most important thing I’ve taken from the Conservatory has been a sense of professionalism. I used to consistently walk into auditions feeling the terror of unpreparedness: even if I’d rehearsed my monologue or sides forwards and backwards, I would arrive at an audition and suddenly feel overtaken with a sense of not knowing what the hell I was doing, and I’m sure that this came through in my demeanor and performance. Since doing the Conservatory, I’ve noticed a marked difference in my confidence. I know my way around my craft, and this changes everything about an audition situation. My pieces are well chosen and well prepared; I know how to center my breath and body; I walk in feeling relaxed and happy to be there. I feel like I belong in the room, and this significant shift in perspective has made an enormous difference for me professionally. I’m getting twice as many callbacks and jobs (yes, jobs!) as I used to. Since returning from the Conservatory, some of the accomplishments I’ve been most proud of have been a callback for Viola in Twelfth Night at an Equity theatre in Baltimore, the title role in a children’s show with Classika Theater (which I’m rehearsing right now), and an invitation to train for a month with a dance theatre company in Virginia. I’ll also be going back to Massachusetts in July to rehearse and perform two one-acts in the KO Festival. I think the best way to summarize what I learned at the Conservatory is that I went from thinking, ‘I want to be an actor,’ to knowing, ‘I am an actor.’ I feel confident in my abilities, and this changes everything about the way that I pursue work. I have a physical and vocal warm-up that works well for me and that I use to prepare for auditions, rehearsals, and performances. I know now how to prepare and how to keep text fresh and alive once I’ve “nailed it” once. All of this has made the process of auditioning so much less of a mystery… I’d recommend the Conservatory to any young actor who’s serious and passionate.

Jenna Hoff

Jenna Hoff

All of the vocal and physical training we did enabled me to see how much freedom and availability are possible, which raised my expectations of myself. But for the first time I felt that I had the tools to move forward with those expectations. I can hone, clarify and broaden my Shakespeare monologues (and other pieces, too!), and I gained moreAll of the vocal and physical training we did enabled me to see how much freedom and availability are possible, which raised my expectations of myself. But for the first time I felt that I had the tools to move forward with those expectations. I can hone, clarify and broaden my Shakespeare monologues (and other pieces, too!), and I gained so much confidence, which is perhaps the most important thing. People have asked me where I ‘got so good at Shakespeare’ and I happily recommend the training programs at S&Co because I honestly think that they are some of the best training available in this country

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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.

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