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University of Warwick takes Shakespeare to Yosemite

ShakespeareThe University of Warwick is in the process of creating a Campus in Placer County California but its researchers are already active in the research and cultural life of California, with one of them helping to bring Shakespeare to Yosemite National Park in time for the anniversary of both Shakespeare’s birthday and death on 23rd of April.

Yosemite National Park in the United States will host “Shakespeare in Yosemite” a co-production from Shakespeare scholars Dr Paul Prescott from the University of Warwick and Dr Katherine Steele from the University of California – Merced. This inaugural event brings together nature and the arts to promote environmental stewardship.

The performances coincide with Earth Day on April 22 and Shakespeare’s Birthday on April 23. Admission to Yosemite National Park will be free on the weekend of the event, in honor of National Park Week.

Dr Paul Prescott said, “Last year saw the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Inspired by these events, ‘Shakespeare in Yosemite’ brings to theatrical life the imaginative worlds of two of the best nature writers in the English language - Shakespeare and John Muir. The show uses art to think about climate change, and to convey the importance of stories and language in the battle to save the environment.”

The production “Shakespeare in Yosemite,” features local and student actors performing excerpts from classic works of William Shakespeare, as well as writings by naturalist John Muir, set against the dramatic backdrop of Yosemite National Park. The free performances will take place April 22 and 23 in Yosemite’s Lower River and Half Dome Village amphitheaters in Yosemite Valley.

The project is co-directed and produced by Shakespeare scholars Dr Paul Prescott, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, and Dr Katherine Steele Brokaw Assistant Professor of English at University of California – Merced. The show features longtime John Muir portrayer and scholar Lee Stetson, National Park Service Ranger Shelton Johnson, and actors from the University of Warwick, UC Merced, Merced College, University of the Pacific, Merced Shakespearefest and other Central Valley theatre communities.

Professor Seán Hand, Dean of the University of Warwick’s new graduate school in Roseville, CA (part of the University’s overall plans for Placer county) added: “This is a fantastic initiative to make Shakespeare accessible to an international audience, and is a great example of the rich and new partnership opportunities open to us in developing our presence in California.”

“Shakespeare in Yosemite” is supported by the University of Warwick, the National Parks Institute at UC Merced, the UC Merced Office of the Chancellor, the UC Merced Center for the Humanities, and Misfit Press.

The free, one-hour performances will take place at 14:00 and 17:30 on both April 22 and 23. For more information, please visit:

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Alex Buxton, Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick

Office: +44 24 76 150423| Cell: +44 7876 218166 | Email:


Alex Buxton
Media Relations Manager
Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166