Observed Study Courses

The following generic outline is an example of the range of our activities in designing programs of study for students.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust offers a vibrant programme of activities for high school students throughout the year which take place in or nearby its headquarters, The Shakespeare Centre (next door to Shakespeare’s Birthplace) on Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon. We regularly welcome groups of students from all over the world and also run international teachers’ programmes through the National Endowment for the Humanities and the English-Speaking Union.

Teachers or course leaders have the opportunity to customize each programme and can chose from a wide-range of cultural and academic visits and sessions. A typical programme might last three days, a week, or even longer. Together we can determine the overall tone of the programme as well as its component parts, depending on whether your students are theatre or literature focussed.

SBT can organise:

  • engaging talks on any Shakespeare play and a wide variety of Shakespearian themes. These are great preparation for the theatre productions you are seeing.
  • post-performance seminar style discussions on the productions you have seen. These encourage your students to find their own critical voices and respond to other people’s points of view.
  • question and answer sessions with members of The Royal Shakespeare Company for up to two or even three of the productions you see. These are lively and unique experiences and help to provide intimate insights on the preparation and processes involved in putting on a Shakespeare play.
  • workshop style practical classes on any Shakespeare play. These serve as the ideal introduction to a more theatrically focussed group and would cover particular scenes, moments, characterization, and language.
  • professional voice workshops with a member of The Royal Shakespeare Company voice team. In these the students get first hand experience of what the actors have to do each day of their working lives at the theatre here.
  • sessions based around the archives, manuscripts, rare books, and precious objects which we care for as an organisation and which cast original light on Shakespeare’s social and historical contexts, as well as on the study of his plays.
  • visits to the five Shakespeare Houses which we care for and present: Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Hall’s Croft, Nash’s House and New Place, and Mary Arden’s House. Each of these plays a unique part in the Shakespeare story.
  • visits to places of cultural interest in the region at additional cost: special city visits (for example a day in Oxford or London), Shakespeare’s Glove Theatre for a half or whole day, Warwick Castle, or Blenheim Palace.

A one-week workshop could include the following:

  • Three Royal Shakespeare Company plays (possibly one play shown twice)
  • Lectures before each play
  • Entrance to five Shakespeare Properties
  • Bed, breakfast and evening meals at local guesthouses (shared rooms)
  • One Royal Shakespeare Company Wigs and Makeup demonstration (1 hour)
  • One Royal Shakespeare Company Question and Answer session with an actor/ director (subject to availability) based on previous night’s performance
  • One Royal Shakespeare Company voice class (1 hour)
  • Four practical workshops and rehearsals.
  • One archive session – finding out what choices actors in earlier productions have made

Please see the schedules of Lakeside School, WA; Concord Academy, MA; Horace Mann School, NY; School of the Holy Child, NY.

Costs are dependent on content and extent of the programme. Please contact us for information: info@americanfriendsofsbt.org

Study Courses

Lakeside School, Seattle, WA

Concord Academy, Concord, MA

Horace Mann School, New York, NY

School of the Holy Child, Rye, NY