Summer Shakespeare Institute for Teachers:
July 16-21, 2007

This program will awake and inspire your love for teaching. Whether you are a beginning teacher or a veteran, ShakeFest will make you feel excited about teaching again— and it will make your students excited about Shakespeare.

Elisabeth Campbell, English teacher,
Cumberland Regional High School

2006 ShakeFest participant

All too often, students (and some teachers) approach the study of Shakespeare with trepidation. ShakeFest provides teachers with an intensive week of hands-on sessions that will banish "ShakesFear" and excite students about studying the Bard.

Participating teachers discuss performance concepts with Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte.



Led by experienced arts educators, fellow classroom teachers, and professional actors and directors, the diverse workshops and seminars that make up ShakeFest are designed to complement your prior knowledge about the Bard and help you take your teaching to a whole new level. Extensive classroom practice has shown that when students get on their feet and "speak the speech," they make enormous gains in both enjoyment and understanding of the text. By participating in ShakeFest , both elementary and secondary teachers can acquire a myriad of performance-based techniques to encourage active learning.

We continue to work in partnership with the renowned Folger Shakespeare Library to offer local teachers the most interesting and innovative materials and presenters.

In nine years of teaching, this was the best professional development program I've ever seen.

Barbara Carr,
Round Valley Middle School,

2003-2004 ShakeFest participant

The basics about ShakeFest :

  • The program takes place
    July 16-21, 2007.
  • The program meets from
    10:00 AM-6:00 PM
  • All sessions take place at
    Drew University
    in Madison, NJ.
  • Tuition is $500,
    plus a $25 registration fee.
  • Meals and housing are not provided.
  • On-campus housing may be available for an additional fee.
  • Free admission to select performances and special events is included.
  • 50+ hours of NJ Professional Development credit will be earned.
Lunch breaks became valuable time for networking and sharing insights for the 2005 ShakeFest participants.

Sessions include:

  • Ensemble-Building for the Classroom: classroom activities to create a sense of ensemble and enable students who have never been "on stage" to participate confidently in performance work.
  • Myths and Realities of Shakespeare's Stage: how the stage practices of Shakespeare's time can inform the teaching of the plays.
  • Demystifying Shakespeare's Text: strategies for approaching blank verse actively, fearlessly and with understanding.
  • Cutting to the Core: the fundamental questions which theatre professionals ask and answer to "break open" the text for understanding and performance.
  • From Labored Reading to Inspired Performances: injecting performance aspects into the classroom so that all students are physically and vocally engaged in the act of reading the play.
  • Getting on Your Feet with Shakespeare: group exploration of a single monologue as a technique for launching into the text in an active way.
  • Leaving the Desk Behind: methods for re-conceptualizing Shakespeare in the classroom through music, contemporary paraphrases and other "hooks" to help students get into the text.
  • Frameworks and Concepts for Ensemble Performance: experienced classroom teaching artists and educators discuss methods and strategies for creating adapted, interdisciplinary Shakespearean performances with groups of young actors.

Applications will be accepted starting January 2007. To receive a complete application packet, please call 973-408-3980 or e-mail [email protected].

Funding for ShakeFest is provided in part by The George A. Ohl, Jr. Foundation.


  Request Info

PDF Application


Symposium Series

Student Matinees