Companion Workshops – Shakespeare Youth Festival

Companion Workshops

Off the page, onto the stage! This three-session workshop is designed to accompany the curriculum and enhance the assigned reading of a Shakespeare play. It is facilitated by two to three of our teaching artists.


The first session should be held at the beginning of the unit, before the students are assigned independent reading.

To prepare students for the unique challenges of reading Shakespeare, and to provide them with the necessary tools to approach the text effectively and with enthusiasm.

An interactive recounting of the basic synopsis of the play, including performances of key scenes.
Introduction to iambic pentameter, Shakespeare’s “Language of the Heart,” and other poetical and rhetorical devices.
Games and exercises that explore themes and elements that the students will be encountering in their reading

Students will be given a series of challenges, in the form of a textual “Scavenger Hunt,” that they will be asked to meet for the next session. These challenges are active, and require students to read critically and deeply (you can’t meet them by skimming the text or reading the Cliff’s Notes).

The second session should be held after the students have read at least half of the play.

To ensure that students are reading actively and to build their understanding of what they are reading.

Using the “Scavenger Hunt” as a starting point, students will participate in a series of exercises designed to get them on their feet, actively exploring the text, thereby enhancing their understanding.

Students will be assigned short scenes to prepare for presentation at the final session.

The third session should be held at the end of the unit.

To celebrate the successful completion of the play

Students will present the scenes assigned at the previous session, in a workshop format, where students will have the opportunity to incorporate feedback given by the teaching artists.