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Acting Shakespeare Summer School

 Entirely practical summer schools for actors of all levels of experience, led by internationally recognised experts. Broad-ranging, eclectic and always tied into the actors' process, these schools aim to demystify the process of acting Shakespeare's text, especially Shakespearean verse. What may seem to be difficulties or challenges are shown to be creative opportunties within a workshop and rehearsal environment.

"Come and gain new perspectives, as well as sharing received wisdom and theory. Get up on your feet, open your lungs and use your voice, and learn key strategies and practical approaches to help you bring Shakespeare's text to vivid, original and fresh life on-stage." Rob Clare, Course Leader

The CAPITAL Centre promotes creativity and performance in teaching and learning based around the interaction between the academy and the theatre. Students will be taught by specialst practitioners who have recently worked with such leading companies as the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK and Steppenwolf in the USA, and will have access to the University’s highly respected Shakespeare scholars who will support and complement their practical training. The close proximity to Stratford-upon-Avon allows students to benefit from being within easy reach of the RSC and other organisations linked to Shakespeare's life and work.


In 2009 The CAPITAL Centre at the University of Warwick will offer two-week and four-week Shakespeare summer schools.

Acting Shakespeare will:

· help actors and interested students, whether experienced performers or beginners to understand, embody and deploy an eclectic range of theories, available strategies and practical disciplines to perform Shakespeare effectively

· explore the skills required to understand, speak and perform Shakespeare’s texts, especially Shakespearean verse

· provide an intensive programme of vocal training and appropriate movement study to support and complement the work

· support an understanding of the range of Shakespeare’s works and the literary, historical and cultural context in which they were written

Where will I study?

At the CAPITAL Centre’s innovative teaching and learning spaces on the University of Warwick's campus, located between Kenilworth and Coventry, 15 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon

When do the Summer Schools take place?

5-18 July 2009; 9-22 August: a 2-week course which can be extended to 4 weeks: 23 August-5 September 2009.
Enrolement for both courses has now closed.

What will the courses cover?

Most or all of each working day will be spent in classes and vocal and physical work. Both the two-week and four-week course will include:

  • Acting Shakespeare: study and rehearsal of selected scenes and speeches leading to an informal presentation. This will form the main part of students’ study complemented by a programme of supporting class work as follows:
  • Poetry Reading: practical study of selected Shakespeare Sonnets
  • Shakespeare in Context: the social historical, literary and theatrical context of Shakespeare’s writing career
  • Voice sessions under expert guidance, tailored to the special vocal challenges of performing Shakespeare
  • And a Shakespeare First Folio workshop: led by a specialist director working on cue-scripts according to original stage practices

The four-week course extends into intensive rehearsal of a workshop production of a Shakespeare play and work on Shakespeare speeches for auditions with performances and presentations at the end of the course. There will be visits to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and the other Shakespeare sites and to the Royal Shakespeare Company's productions at the Courtyard Theatre, and optional trips to London to Shakespeare's Globe and to Oxford. Click here for a Sample Programme.

What are the costs of the course?

The four-week course will cost £2500.

The two-week course will cost £1500.

Fees cover all tuition and associated materials, at least one theatre trip per week with transport, and social events. During your stay at Warwick you will be able to use the full facilities of the campus, including the library and sports centre. In order to deliver high-quality teaching, involving both students and teachers in active teaching and learning, class sizes will not exceed 24.

Accommodation is not included.

Is the course accredited?

No but participants who complete the course will be given a certificate of attendance.

Teaching will be intensive, involving 8 hours of classes Monday to Friday, with some sessions with guest speakers and theatre trips in the evenings and on Saturdays.

How can I apply for this course?

Click here for details of Entrance Requirements. Click here for an application form.

Acting Shakespeare 1 

 Acting Shakespeare 2

 Acting Shakespeare