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Warwick & RSC launch first postgraduate certificate in Teaching of Shakespeare for Actors

The University of Warwick's CAPITAL Centre has launched, in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the first post graduate award for actors in the Teaching of Shakespeare.

In a move that signifies the growing importance of education within the arts, the RSC and the CAPITAL Centre have developed the post graduate award as one strand of a wider collaboration that brings university academics and theatre practitioners into dialogue.  Taken over the course of a year, the qualification means that for the first time actors will be able to refer to themselves as certified practitioners in the teaching of Shakespeare.  

Commenting on the development of the post graduate award, Jacqui O’Hanlon, Deputy Director RSC Learning, said:

“Many actors supplement their income and spend periods of time when not acting engaged in education work with schools, colleges and HE institutions. And as creative and active learning have risen further up the Government agenda, so to have they become important skills for any actor looking to work in theatre and education today.

“The RSC is a learning organisation – committed to the ongoing training and development of its actors as well as working with audiences to enhance their understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare.  The qualifications we have developed with the University of Warwick, delivered by the  Institute of Education, will significantly enhance an actor’s skill base and increase their employability with educational institutions and theatres around the country.”

Professor Carol Chillington Rutter, Director of the CAPITAL Centre, said:

“This is clearly a brilliant opportunity for actors to flex different kinds of creative muscles. At last the people who are most intimately involved at a practical level with Shakespeare’s words and characters will be in a position as teachers to offer students insights about how they work.”

Jonothan Neelands, Deputy Director of  CAPITAL and Chair of Drama and Theatre Education in the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick, added,

“This is a wonderful opportunity to bring the country's leading actors into classrooms to share their expertise and performance skills with young people. Through the CAPITAL Centre partnership we are trying to make the best use of the energies and resources of both the University and the RSC. We hope that the educational training on offer to the RSC actors will enrich their lives as performers as well as provide them with the additional skills needed for effective teaching. ”

Run alongside rehearsal and performance commitments, the post graduate award involves a practical exploration of the teaching of Shakespeare, an assessed practical workshop and a piece of reflective writing.

As well as dedicated training days with RSC and the University of Warwick staff, the actors will focus on:

·         best practice in shaping a practical workshop with young people

·         the positioning of Shakespeare in the English curriculum in schools

·         the bridge that theatre-based approaches can provide in offering young people a deeper experience of Shakespeare’s plays

·         an ongoing analysis of the impact of practical activities on the learner and learning outcomes.

To receive their postgradaute award  in the Teaching of Shakespeare, actors will be assessed on the planning and delivery of a practical workshop for young people and a written assignment reflecting on developing the workshop and the learning outcomes achieved.

For further information about the postgraduate award and other initiatives run by RSC Learning visit

Notes for  editors:

  1. The CAPITAL Centre is a partnership between the University of Warwick and the RSC, established to use theatre performance skills and experience to enhance student learning and to draw on University research and resources to shape the development of the RSC acting companies.
  2. The full title of the award is "The  PG Award in the Teaching of Shakespeare for Actors and Practitioners"

For further information contact:

Peter Dunn, press and media relations manager,
at the University of Warwick 02476 523708/

Jo Hammond at the RSC press office on 01789 272351/