Tour Workshop Menu

Here is the workshop menu for the 2016/17 Hungry Hearts Tour. Most of these will be offered again in 2017/18, including show-specific workshops.

“Curing the ShakesFear” SERIES

SHAKESPEARE’S STAGING CONDITIONS (Introduction to Shakespeare’s Stage)
Step into Shakespeare’s world and explore how the staging conditions he wrote for and worked in reveal insights about the plays and playing. Experience the plays in the rooms Shakespeare wrote them for and see how it changes your perspective. Topics covered include: audience contact, playing darkness and the supernatural, hiding on the early modern stage, and asides. Excellent for classes of all types, especially those new to the American Shakespeare Center’s performance practices.

SHAKESPEARE’S SIGNALS (Exploring Shakespeare’s Verse)
Tear down the monolith of Shakespeare’s text and unlock the choices available for character development in verse and prose. Shakespeare’s verbal patterns make the plays more energetic, more realistic, and more emotional, both on-stage and in the classroom. You will mine the text for these clues just like Shakespeare’s actors—and ours at the ASC. Excellent for Literature and Theatre students.

WORD PLAY (Exploring Shakespeare’s Rhetoric)
If we still use 98% of the words Shakespeare’s used, then why is he sometimes hard to understand? This workshop cracks the code by breaking down figures of speech and illuminating them as clues for character. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it—and you might start using the techniques in your own communication. Excellent for Literature and Theatre Students.

THE TEXT DIRECTS (Shakespeare’s Use of Embedded Stage Directions)
Little to no rehearsal time in Shakespeare’s theatre meant he had to give actors as much information as possible in the text. This workshop invigorates words and gives them life through clues for stage movement, emotional choices, and given circumstances. See how simple choices can change the scene and create a different story. The combination of textual analysis and performance is excellent for Literature and Theatre classes.

BEYOND THE 4th WALL (Audience Address / Direct Address)
What’s the difference between shared light and theatrical light design? Long speeches become active dialogues when an actor can talk to the audience, and in this workshop, you’ll experience the world in which Shakespeare and his actors created their plays, as well as the techniques ASC actors engage with to make choices about when to bring the audience into the play. Using methods developed by ASC actors, you will find out how the audience becomes a character and their role becomes crucial. The combination of textual analysis and performance is excellent for Literature and Theatre classes.

Applying the principles used in the rehearsal rooms and performances spaces of the ASC, including embedded stage directions, pronoun choices, character address, and audience contact, participants will make artistic choices based on their new knowledge and direct the ASC actors in a scene from our repertory. Excellent for both English and Drama classes, best when students have taken one or more of the following: Speaking Shakespeare, Beyond the 4th Wall, and the Text Directs.

If you are not able to attend one of our regularly scheduled Talk Back sessions, you can book one just for your group. Five minutes after the end of the show, several actors return to the stage to take your questions. Learn from the actors the secrets of bringing Shakespeare from the page to the stage. Great for all audiences.

“Show-Specific” SERIES

“I Will Hide Me”
DISGUISE — The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Characters in disguise figure into the plots in many early modern plays. In The Two Gentlemen of Verona, the common trope of Girl disguised as Boy may be the first instance in Shakespeare’s work. This workshop examines the extant scholarship on both costume and disguise and encourages participants to “try on” new characters using those principles.

"Where Lies Your Text?"
TEXTUAL VARIANTS — Romeo and Juliet
Textual variations in different early publications of Shakespeare's plays create performance possibilities that are obscured by modern editions of the texts. This workshop considers how these different editions might have been played on Shakespeare's stage, how they can be used in modern productions, and what these differences teach audiences about Shakespeare's stagecraft.

From the Classical Greek theatre to the 20th century stage, playwrights from Sophocles to Shakespeare to Wilder have employed the convention of “Chorus.” This workshop will draw parallels and show differences between the treatment of this theatrical guide as participants explore the text of Henry V in dialogue with the Stage Manager in Our Town.

“Playing the Stage” SERIES

CHARACTER PLAY (Doubling and Repertory)
The practice of casting a single actor in multiple roles, a staging condition engaged by Shakespeare’s company and the ASC, opens opportunities for physical and mental exploration. Participants will see how choices they make can differentiate or enhance relationships between characters—and explore vocal range and physicality with an eye toward making the choices clear. The combination of textual analysis and staging make this an excellent workshop for Literature and Theatre students.

PERFECT HARMONY OF NATURE (Music in Shakespeare)
Participants in this workshop will explore the song-writing and song placement involved in the production of plays at the American Shakespeare Center. The workshop culminates in students composing music for and performing a song collaboratively. An interdisciplinary workshop suitable for a range of audiences, no previous musical experience required.

BASIC STAGE COMBAT (Best with 16 Participants or fewer)
In this workshop, participants will examine the text and context surrounding the fights in Shakespeare’s and his contemporaries’ plays for clues regarding movement and style. Then, participants will observe our trained actor combatants perform choreographed fights and hear, from fight captains, or choreographers, the motivation behind each choice and its connection to the text of the play and the style of fighting called for in the period. Participants will practice hand-to-hand stage combat techniques, and apply the skills in a safe environment. All participants should be of high-school age or older.

Participants in this workshop will explore the research, development, and construction that goes into costuming Shakespeare’s plays during the Elizabethan period. Students will explore the use of status through costumes; how the text influences a designer; and discuss modern ‘interpretations,’ color theory, and wardrobe history. The workshop culminates in students “designing” their own characters for a production. An interdisciplinary workshop suitable for a range of audiences.