Shakespeare Experience

Explore the English Renaissance theatre: learn about the history of the English theatre, about performances past and present, and, of course, about Shakespeare.

For over four hundred years people have been watching productions of Shakespeare’s plays, pouring over his texts, and discussing his accomplishment — discover why that is. 

The Shakespeare Experience class and trip is open to all majors.

During the semester, you will read some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, watch select film adaptations, and learn about the culture that gave rise to the Bard, leading up to the study away trip.

The class is built around the 5-day trip to the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) in Staunton, Virginia, where you attend three plays performed by a troupe of Shakespearean actors at the Blackfriars Playhouse — the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. You will also participate in behind-the-scenes workshops with the actors and design team. Some of the workshops might include Stage Combat, Acting Choices, Staging Conditions, and Renaissance Special Effects.

You will also learn about English culture by visiting an authentic 1600s farmhouse transported from England piece-by-piece, and enjoy an afternoon of English high tea at Anne Hathaway’s, a replica of Shakespeare’s wife’s childhood home.

The trip takes place Wednesday through Sunday; dates are announced in the spring semester preceding the trip and depend on the performance schedule at the ASC. 


Dr. Ann Martinez
Associate Professor
308A Main Hall