Engaging students and teachers in Shakespeare’s words
Since 1991, our Team Shakespeare arts-in-education program has been uniting the skills of theater artists and teachers to bring Shakespeare to life in the school curriculum.
Two central tenets guide all Team Shakespeare activities: (1) a belief that Shakespeare’s plays are best understood as active storytelling on the theater stage; and (2) that the skills of theater practitioners – voice, fluency, imagination, intent – link directly to best practices in literacy. Just as actors do when developing characters, strong readers break down words, scan for clues, imagine scenes and formulate opinions.
Our classroom handbooks and free workshops give educators a battery of engaging classroom study methods, with emphasis on active wordplay, open discussion and dramatic reenactment of Shakespeare’s texts. To underscore this commitment, more than 100 Chicago Shakespeare Theater matinees each season are reserved exclusively for student audiences, with deep ticket subsidies to ensure broad access for all schools.
The study of Shakespeare’s plays exists as a “rite of passage” for American students, an activity through which it is hoped different generations, countries and cultures may be bridged. CST views it as a privilege and a responsibility to support this annual academic pursuit.