Performance-related Workshops

Shakespeare in Italy [SI] will be complementing theatrical productions with workshops related to each play.  We plan to work with community groups that we will reach via the theatres where we play and attendance will not be restricted to those who have attended the performance. Our workshops will explore, amongst other things, the social issues raised by Shakespeare’s plays; universal themes such as race in Othello, race and religion in The Merchant of Venice, gender politics in The Taming of the Shrew and family strife in Romeo and Juliet, which may well affect the lives of those who come to the workshops. SI also offers workshops in UK schools.

Performance – Recitals

The founders  presented recitals, based on extracts from Shakespeare’s plays, in a variety of venues in Italy.
They gave a recital, in English, for the opening of Cartoleria 18, a new mental health project in Bologna dedicated to exploring the relationship between psychology and the arts. This focused on extracts that demonstrated the range of emotional situations experienced by Shakespeare’s characters and an Italian volunteer read an introduction between each section to set the scene for the audience. This recital was also presented in the more conventional settings of the Comandini Theatre in Cesena, as part of the 7th Mantica Festival of Theatrical Research and Development, and at the Ducal Summer Festival in Urbino.

More of these events are planned in the UK and abroad. They are an opportunity to pick out issues relevant to audiences, such as the status of women in society, greed and ruthless ambition, all of which are explored by looking at particular scenes from a range of different plays in a workshop setting after the recital.

Workshops using Shakespeare to teach English

Shakespeare in Italy found that exploring the themes and texts of Shakespeare plays in Italy was an enjoyable and effective way of  teaching English as a second  language. We taught English in Italian schools with a focus on working on scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, rather than just reading them. The opportunity this gave to act out the story liberated the students' imaginations, giving them a different way to learn a language and teaching them new stories, plots, songs and vocabulary at the same time.  We are planning to build on this experience by applying this approach to the teaching of English as a second [and sometimes third] language in the UK in a variety of community settings, including projects working with vulnerable adults, refugees and asylum seekers.

Appreciating Shakespeare – International summer schools

The summer schools in Italy [open to all] run by our founders, offered an opportunity for both close text study of three plays and then participation in performances in the beautiful historic theatre at Cagli. The schools brought people of all ages, cultures and skills together, ranging in age from 19 to 92, to learn more about Shakespeare's Italian plays in the early Renaissance UNESCO Heritage site of Urbino. Participants learned from top flight English theatre practitioners, many of them long time associates of  the Royal Shakespeare Company. The summer schools are a great way of bringing people of differing ages and from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds to work together, learning about the influence of Italy in the works and exploring the” Italian” in Shakespeare. These programmes will be continued from 2017 onwards. Cost will not a barrier to attendance as bursaries are being created for those who would not be able to attend otherwise.

EVENTS

Jun
24
Shakespeare in Italy is delighted to announce a 14 day residential summer course in Padua, from June 24th to July 8th 2017.

testimonials

I have struggled with my own artistic vision following personal tragedy in my life. Just being in Urbino on the first day and drinking in the history of the place and the beautiful landscape around, then sitting down with one of my 'director heroes' to study Othello I felt at home. In common parlance - I think I have got my mojo back! I cannot thank Shakespeare in Italy, Mary, Julian and Sandro enough. I hope the company continues to thrive. It is a wonderful concept and for those of us who have worked tirelessly to bring theatre to life at grass roots level it is an inspiration.
Collette Parker, UK

Bill's session at Cagli theatre had us presenting scenes from the play and that was very successful. It is such a special thing to work on a stage.
Reg Grouse, aged 92 Australia

It was an unforgettable, totally stimulating experience which, amongst many other things, has made me look at myself in a different light. Too late for me to apply to RADA, but setting up a play reading group has possibilities! It is a measure of the success of your organisation that such a disparate group of people, from across the world and the age spectrum, came together for two weeks in Italy and bonded with such energy and humour.
Jenny Robson, UK