Since 1982, the actors and teachers of Shakespeare & Company have created touring productions of Shakespeare. Each winter and spring, we bring 90-minute productions of Shakespeare with accompanying workshops to theatres and schools throughout the Northeast and beyond.
For our 2019 Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare, you can choose between two 90-minute productions, each of which is followed by our 15-minute Post-Show Forum:
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it”
In the aftermath of the king’s death, Denmark’s royal court celebrates the marriage of his brother to the widowed queen. When the king’s ghost appears to his grieving son, Prince Hamlet, and reveals the shocking circumstances of his demise, Hamlet embarks on a course of action that will change everyone’s lives forever…
Taming of the Shrew
“I see a woman may be made a fool, If she had not a spirit to resist”
Sisters Katherine and Bianca couldn’t be more opposite – Bianca is every man in Padua’s top choice for a wife, and Kate is known more for her strong-will and sharp tongue than her marriageability. When their father decrees that Kate must marry before Bianca can be wed, it begins a series of secret courtships, unexpected matches, and elaborate marriage plans that defies everyone’s expectations…
Immediately following a performance of either show, our actors host a 15-minute interactive talkback we call the Post-Show Forum. This is a lively, provocative exchange between the audience and the actors, where the actors pose questions to the audience about themes that came up in the play and invite the audience to respond. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the actors and share their ideas and opinions.
As a part of our day at your school, our Actors/Education Artists will lead your students through your choice of one of our 45-minute workshops:
Actor / Audience Workshop:
This is an interactive workshop for students’ observations, reactions, questions, and dialogue with the actors. The Actor/Audience Workshop works best when it takes place after the performance, as it is driven by the students’ curiosity about the show, and with lots of student participation on a volunteer basis. Imagine a couple of volunteers coming up on stage to work on some text, or a dozen students trying a fight move, or an entire auditorium doing an adapted Court Dance – this workshop is designed to help your students engage with the text in a totally new way. Then the activity switches to the actors re-performing a brief scene from the play that the students might request or the actors might suggest out of the previous dialogue. The audience is then invited to make requests or suggestions for the actors to play out as a way to re-interpret or re-direct the scene to incorporate the students’ ideas. The actors work generously to honor the students’ ideas, and their requests often make the scene more dramatic or clearer or more fun, and it additionally give the students an experience of how a simple idea can have such a profound effect on the performance. It demonstrates the plasticity of theatre and the imaginative collaboration among the directors, the actors and the audience that is essential to this art form of theatre.
Number of Students: The workshop can accommodate as many students as you like!
The Workshop Space: This workshop is most successful in the performance space following the show, as it allows the actors to utilize the scenic elements in their work with the students.
Workshop in Performance
In this workshop, students surprise themselves and each other by creating their own mini-Shakespeare performances. Our first exercises are with the whole group, but for most of the workshop we divide the students into smaller groups, each working on a piece of text from a Shakespeare play which is then performed for their classmates. The actors work closely with small groups of students to unleash an exciting, immediate, and personal experience of Shakespeare's language. In this workshop, each student can succeed and discover that Shakespeare is accessible, outrageous, and immediately engaging. They also perceive their classmates in new and delightful ways.
Number of Students: The workshop works best with 30 to 40 students and teachers (or less!). The absolute maximum is 50 students; the workshop cannot succeed if there are more than 50 students present.
The Workshop Space: For this workshop, we need a space large enough for the whole group to form a large circle and to accommodate all the smaller groups we divide students into for much of the workshop. Normally the school auditorium works fine, but sometimes we need to use the gym or some alternative space.
We can select bits of text from any of Shakespeare’s plays. The choice is up to you. We’ll need to know two weeks in advance which play you have selected. It can be Hamlet or The Taming of the Shrew (our 2019 Touring Productions), or you may want to choose another play that the students are studying in class. If the students haven’t yet read the play, they will get a brief introduction to some of the characters and text. If the students have already read the play, this workshop will help them appreciate the play in a different way and also reinforce the work that you have been doing in class. If we haven’t heard from you, we’ll assume that you want us to use text from the play we are performing.
If you have any questions about these workshops or are interested in customizing our work with your students, contact Brittney Holland, Tour Coordinator, at (413) 637-1199 ext.106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unable to bring Shakespeare and Company to your school, your students can still experience the magic of our 2019 Touring Productions at one of our student matinee performances. There will be multiple performance dates for both Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew throughout the spring at the Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA and at a venue in the Greater Boston area.
Dates will be announced in the fall – you can check our website at Shakespeare.org or email email@example.com to be added to the matinee schedule announcement email.
All performances are at 10:00am, run for 90 minutes, and are followed by our Post-Show Forum, an optional 15-minute talkback with the actors.
Tickets are $10/student, and teachers and chaperones are able to attend the performance free of charge. Contact us for information about reduced ticket pricing for qualifying schools through funding from Shakespeare in American Communities: Shakespeare for a New Generation, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.
To reserve seats for these performances contact Brittney Holland, Tour Coordinator, at (413) 637-1199 ext.106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Massachusetts Cultural Council Grants
The Big Yellow School Bus program provides grants to help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to cultural institutions and events. For more information and an application, visit the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Big Yellow School Bus web page.
Additionally, you may apply to your Local Cultural Council for funding. Visit the MCC’s Local Cultural Council Program web page for information on how to apply.
The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. Shakespeare & Company is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States. Through this program, we are able to offer financial assistance to qualifying schools to bring our Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare to their students.
For more information or to apply, contact Brittney Holland, Tour Coordinator, at (413) 637-1199 ext.106 or email@example.com.
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.