As we dim the lights of the Blackfriars for another little while, the education team is eager for what comes next after the sojourn of winter darkness. We have been working busily to take what we have learned since last March and make new and exciting programs to get us through the spring and the coming vaccine, so we can all get together again in the summer.  

For our spring SHXseries, we have some exciting offerings to keep your interest piqued and your learning going.  First, our SHXCademies are going to flower into deep scholarship and exploration, with the help of some friends. Dr. Ralph will kick things off for our February classes with a lecture on stages in early modern London, we’ll use some super cool tools to go on a virtual tour of the city so you can see what you might encounter walking from Shoreditch to the South Bank, from Gray’s Inn to the Blackfriars. Then we will dive in and see what the plays tell us about the very stages they appeared on–from audiences to architecture. Then, we will take a deep dive into history with Dr. Mary Hill Cole, Professor of History at Mary Baldwin. She will walk us through Regnal History from Richard II to Henry VII, then we will peel back the layers and examine what Shakespeare did with the actual history (hint: he wasn’t a stickler for facts). Finally, Mary Hill Cole will walk us through Social History, as we examine the daily life of the citizens of England and what births, marriages, deaths looked like for them–and examine what Shakespeare makes of the same.

For anyone who has wanted to take our Shakespeare and Leadership courses, March will pull back the curtain and bring you inside to see how Shakespeare and actors use tools of rhetoric and presentation to create compelling leaders.  And you will get to practice your own turns with our actors facilitators, walking away with new skills in communication and collaboration that will benefit any work place, or any space in which people interact, frankly.  

With the Actors’ Renaissance Season shows opening, Henry V will take the focus on stage and in our SHXCademy in April.  We will examine the text, the history, the playing–and, of course, work with ASC actors to stage a scene–and re-direct it– each week.  

We want to give the gift of learning to all of our audiences, so:

  • For Teens,  we will bring back SHXSpace, this time we are paying particular attention to theatre skills–voice, movement, character development, text analysis. 
  • For teachers, in our SHXTeach weekends, we will be diving deep into boning up for teaching Shakespeare in person using ASC Study Guides and methods–with continuing education units available. 
  • For teachers, with SHXAct, we’ll give you the chance to bring 1-4 actors into class to share their approach to tackling a speech or a full play.   
  • For teachers and homeschool groups, we will throw open the doors and offer everyone the chance to customize our SHXCademies and schedule them for their co-op or family, making the curriculum sing with interactive workshops that bring Shakespeare’s text to life. Or, if 4 classes in one week is more than you need, you can bring us in for as many as you like–we can start your unit or wrap it, or come somewhere in the middle to keep the interest alive.  Our education associate will help you find the perfect fit.  

Check back on our website later this month for enrollment details! (And you’ll want to do it quick, many class sizes are quite small.)

We have learned so much from you in this time, and we are immensely thankful. One last thing you have taught us is that you like us (you really like us!), and we couldn’t be more grateful for the chances we have had to gather with you from a distance to share the ASC approach to Shakespeare. Thank you for the encouragement to keep our digital platform strong even as gathering becomes possible, we are excited to keep sharing our evenings and weekends with you exploring the texts and playing with the language and staging.