2019/2020 National Tour

Our Troupe Manager is available to help choose workshops and can offer suggestions, contact Thomas Coppola. 

Things to Consider before choosing your workshop

  • Workshops can be scheduled simultaneously as long as we have the right people available to teach each (it’s best to run your choices by our Troupe Manager).
  • The space used for workshops must measure no less than 30 ft. x 30 ft. to allow ample room for demonstration and exercises.
  • Holding workshops in the performance space is allowed and encouraged
  • Each workshop will run for one hour.
  • Workshops may start no earlier than 9 am.
  • Workshops need to end at least 2.5 hours prior to the start of a performance.
  • Please allow an hour for lunch between a morning performance and an afternoon workshop.
  • Travel time needs to be taken into consideration as well.
  • Offsite workshops requiring more than ten minutes of one-way travel will incur travel fees.
  • Workshops are limited to 30 participants, any exceptions must be approved two weeks in advance.


“Curing the ShakesFear” SERIES

SHAKESPEARE’S VERSE (Exploring Shakespeare’s Verse through Scansion)

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 American Shakespeare Center. This workshop is excellent for both Literature and Theatre students.

RHETORIC (Exploring Shakespeare’s Word Play)

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. Looking at repetition, omission, addition, direction, and substitution; students will learn to pick up on Shakespeare’s rhetorical strategies and patterns. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it – and you might start using the techniques in your own communication. This workshop is excellent for Literature and Theatre Students.

EMBEDDED STAGE DIRECTIONS (Shakespeare’s Use of Text to Direct)

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. Can be expanded to explore production choices such as Music, Choreography, and Combat.

DIRECT ADDRESS (Audience Contact)

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 Shakespeare and his actor created plays in 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 audience becomes character and character becomes intense. The combination of textual analysis and performance is excellent for both 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. This workshop is excellent for both English and Drama classes, best when students have taken one or more of the following: Signals in Shakespeare’s Text, Audience Address, and Embedded Stage Directions.

TEXTUAL VARIANTS (History of the Book)

Half of Shakespeare’s plays exist in more than one early modern edition, and the rest have been edited, modified, and adapted for hundreds of years. This workshop empowers participants to take the text back from the editors of old and choose the best story for the present. Celebrate the opportunity to create a new performance using the words Shakespeare wrote. Excellent for Literature, Theatre, and History students.

Show-Specific Workshop SERIES

Doubling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream embraces many early modern staging practices, including the convention of actors playing more than one role. The practice of casting a single actor in multiple roles, a staging condition common both in Shakespeare’s company and at the ASC, opens opportunities for physical and mental exploration. By exploring and learning the vocabulary and technique associated with common theatrical disciplines, such as Laban Movement Analysis or Leading Centers, participants will see how choices they make can differentiate or enhance relationships between characters – and explore physicality with an eye toward making their interpretive choices clear. The combination of textual analysis and staging make this an excellent workshop for Literature and Theatre students.

Cue Scripts in Imogen

This exploration takes participants on the journey Shakespeare’s actors made when they received their roles. Students will explore the essential information and playing prompts offered by the technology of script distribution in the period. Drawing from Tiffany Stern’s and Simon Palfrey’s Shakespeare in Parts, activities include examining repeated and double cues, as well as the unique (but active) listening required to function with limited, specific information. This active and engaging workshop is perfect for both Literature and Theatre students.

ADAPTING TEXT: The Grapes of Wrath moves from Page to Stage

The participants in this workshop will get to examine the choices made by the playwright of The Grapes of Wrath and to concoct their own adaptation. This workshop enables participants to become playwrights as they take a brief selection from the novel and form it into their own dialogue. The participants will be able to compare their dialogue to that of the professional playwright, who took the same selection and adapted it for the stage. With the writing and performance skills utilized throughout this workshop, the adapting text workshop is perfect for both Literature and Drama classes.

After the Show


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 of the Blackfriars Playhouse. Talk backs are great for all audiences.