Closer Readings Commentary

Participate in “Scholarship and Performance: Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays.”

Victoria Barclay, Education Manager, Theatre for a New Audience

Would you like to spend two weeks exploring NYC and uncovering the nuances and truths of Shakespeare? In this Institute, you will have the opportunity to work with Shakespeare Scholars Julie Crawford and Mario DiGangi, as well as Teaching Artists Krista Apple and Claudia Zelavansky to renew your understanding of some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.

This summer, Theatre for a New Audience will host 25 middle and high school teachers from across the country for Scholarship and Performance: Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays.  This in-depth professional development program uses a carefully integrated approach to explore text-based scholarship and performance in three Shakespeare plays, under the guidance of leading Shakespeare scholars and theater practitioners.  The Institute will be held at Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, NY. 

Today, the study of Shakespeare remains at the heart of scholarly investigation, public performance, and literary study in middle schools and high schools, colleges and universities. These three components are linked in Scholarship and Performance: Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays in an organic approach that will deepen teachers’ familiarity with primary source material and historical context,

Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare CenterTheatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center.

enrich their understanding of textual analysis and performance (and the relationship between the two), and enhance their ability to identify and teach common literary themes across a variety of Shakespeare’s plays. In doing so, the Institute aims to improve research and pedagogical practice, as well as to enliven the study of Shakespeare.

The theme of the 2018 Institute is “Debating the Nation: Imagined Communities in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth, and King Lear.” The Institute will focus on national identity at both the macro (global) and micro (domestic) levels in comedy and tragedy, with an emphasis on approaches to these issues that incorporate recent exciting work on globalization, gender, politics, and domestic life, as well as research in other interdisciplinary fields.  Participants will examine how questions of communal and national identity were framed in Shakespeare’s own era in light of pressing social, political, economic, and intellectual developments in Britain.

Shakespeare’s First Folio.Shakespeare’s First Folio

Issues of communal and national identity are not only of historical and literary interest, they also are central to contemporary debates about the relation between nations and larger geopolitical structures; about what constitutes citizenship; about immigration and attitudes toward foreigners; about the role of government in regulating regions, localities, or households; and who has a say in answering such questions.

This rigorous yet brilliantly fun program will unlock Shakespeare’s genius for you in a way you’ve never experienced. If this institute offers something that you are interested in, we hope you apply! For further information about stipends, housing, and the faculty, please visit our website.

Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center.

Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Cente

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Victoria Barclay

Education Manager

Theatre for a New Audience