Shakespeare and the Languages of Performance

1992-1993 Humanities Institute

Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Sponsored by The Folger Institute Center for Shakespeare Studies

September 18 and 19, October 16 and 17, November 13 and 14, December 4 and 5, January 29 and 30, February 19 and 20, March 19 and 20, April 16 and 17, May 7 and 8 1992-1993

Promotional Materials

Directed by Lois Potter, Ned Allen Professor of English at the University of Delaware

How can college teachers translate to the classroom the excitement that they get from a Shakespearen performance? This institute will focus on a number of approaches to this question. Its unusual format (it will meet for one weekend a month concurrently with the academic year 1992-1993) is designed to encourage interaction between ideas thrown up by the seminar and ideas tried out in the classroom.

Attending, reviewing, and discussing theatre productions will be an integral part of the program, but institute members will also be involved actively: taking par in acting and directing workshops, trying out different theoretical approaches, preparing and reporting on projects and strategies for use in their own classes, and finally collaborating on a workbook synthesizing their experience. The approaches taken by the institute director and visiting speakers will move from the familiar and practical to the more unusual and theoretical, with increasing emphasis on the application of the experience to the real-life teaching adventures of members. Topics to be explored include the difficulties of describing and reviewing productions, the still more difficult business of recapturing the theatre of the past, the relation of theatrical self-consciousness to other forms of artistic self-presentation, and the use of workshop and rehearsal methods in a teaching context.

Fifteen college and university teachers will be selected to travel to Washington once a month during the academic year on the dates announced below. In most instances, a Thursday-night arrival will be required in preparation for intensive sessions all day Friday and Saturday as well as for frequent theatre evenings on Friday and/or Saturday.

Two of the weekends will be shared with a larger academic audience: Harry Berger, Jr.'s 13 and 14 November 1992 workshop on "Fictions of the Pose: Problems in the Politics of Self-Representation in Early Modern Culture" and Ralph Alan Cohen's 19 and 20 March 1993 immersion course, "From Critic to Director: Teachers Staging Shakespeare." Information on attending these workshops independently of the institute may be obtained from the Folger Institute offices.


Harry Berger, Jr.

Ralph Alan Cohen

Michael Goldman

Jean-Marie Maguin

Susan Snyder

Audrey E. Stanley


Riggio, Milla Cozart, ed. Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1999. PR2987 .T366 1999