A Message from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Professor Stanley Wells CBE
Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and one of the world’s leading experts on Shakesperian studies
Peter Kyle OBE, Chairman
Dr Diana Owen, Director
Rev. Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Research and Knowledge
Dr Nick Walton, Shakespeare Courses Development Manager
As Honorary President, Chairman, Director, and Head of Research and Knowledge, and Shakespeare Courses Development Manager for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, it gives us great pleasure to introduce our affiliated organization, American Friends of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Inc. (“American Friends”).
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was founded as an educational charity in 1847 to promote and care for Shakespeare’s legacy. Today we welcome over 700,000 visitors every year to the houses connected with Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon, maintain one of the world’s largest Shakesperian libraries and archives, and offer an exciting range of learning programmes for all ages and levels of interest. We have extensive experience of hosting summer schools and special courses for students from the United States.
We have authorized American Friends to present our educational programmes to American high schools in the United States. Our current goal is to familiarize American high school administrators and teachers with the opportunities for young people to travel to Stratford and to study Shakespeare’s works in an authentic setting featuring world renowned experts, immersing students in interactive activities, and introducing them to the actual sites where Shakespeare and his family lived.
Knowing how important it is for high school students to learn through experience as well as to initiate research with access to important archives and historical documents, our education staff at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is looking forward to welcoming American high school students to Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Trust’s Education Department is expert in designing programmes to suit students’ and faculty’s needs to meet specific curriculum objectives. We have many programmes of study that you may find to be an exact fit or you may wish to design a programme based on specific goals of preferred depth or length. We can tailor the curriculum if the visiting school group has particular interests; we have done this for various international schools in Europe and Asia who annually bring students over to England for a similar experience with the work, life and times of Shakespeare.
As the sample programme below indicates, our programme offers dramatic workshops to help students stage scenes from one play, attending one or more performances at the Royal Shakespeare Company, meetings with Royal Shakespeare Company staff and actors, lectures and discussions on Shakespeare’s plays and Elizabethan culture and history, visits to our extensive archives and special collections, and visits to the Shakespeare-related properties (birthplace, grave and others), as well as a possible excursion from Stratford (Warwick Castle or Oxford, for example).
The student groups would stay in local Bed-and-Breakfast establishments, “Guesthouses”, with whom we have long-standing relationships that are convenient for walking to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (where most of the program activities would take place), the properties and the theater.
We welcome the opportunity to design interpretive and interactive programmes for American high school students.