Students & Shakespeare in Western Mass

Shakespeare & Co.’s Spring Residency Programs Begins Western MA

Shakespeare & Company’s popular Massachusetts spring Elementary and Middle School Residency programs for grades four through seven begin performances this week beginning with Pine Cobble School’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 5:30 pm, April 12th at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. See complete schedule below.

Other schools involved in the Residency program include:

  • Lenox Middle School
  • Monument Valley Middle School (previously Searles Middle School)
  • Richmond School
  • Upper Middle Cape High School
  • Williamstown Elementary School
  • For more information on the Company’s Residency program and other Education Programs please contact Youth Programs Director Jenna Ware at (413) 637-1199 ext. 172 or

The 10-week residencies, which run March through May of each year, include over 300 students and are led by Shakespeare & Company Education artists Sarah Brown, Steve Boss, Sarah Devillier, Dana Harrison, Kaitlin Henderson, and Heather Stanford.

During the early part of the Residency, students explore Shakespeare’s language,themes, and characters through an active and imaginative exploration involving text work, voice, stage fight, and dance. Entire classes participate in the production, and every student plays a part. Company Teaching Artists are assigned to each participating school and work with students once to twice a week for two to six hours.

Williamstown Elementary’s (who has participated in the Residencies for over two decades) fourth grade class will perform Macbeth April 27, at 7:00 pm (413-458-5707).

Pine Cobble will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream on April 12th at 5:30pm at The Clark Art Institute (413-458-4860).

All of the sixth grade classes at Monument Valley Middle School in Great Barrington will also perform Macbeth May 1 and 2 at 6:30 pm (413-528-4743).

Lenox Middle School is presenting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on May 18 at 7:00 pm (413-637-5560)

Richmond School will also be working on Macbeth with a performance on April 10th at 1:00 pm (413-698-2207)

Performances are free and open to the public with the exception of Upper Cape Technical High School which will be performing an in-school only production of Macbeth on April 26. Please call the individual schools for more information.

The final performance for each Residency celebrates the students’ work as actors. Leading roles are shared by many students, and major speeches are shared by the whole group. The plays are cut to accommodate the performers, but are not altered textually.

Residencies are tailored to suit the individual needs of the students at each school, with collaboration by classroom teachers to support the work with writing exercises and discussions about the play and playwright.


  • Shakespeare & Company’s Education programs have reached nearly one million students since 1978 with innovative performances, workshops, and residencies.
  • The Education Program recently received the prestigious 2006 Coming Up Taller Award presented by First Lady Laura Bush at the Whitehouse in January of this year, and in 2005 it also received the Commonwealth Award, the highest award for excellence in the arts, sciences and humanities given by the state of Massachusetts.
  • The Education Program has been identified by the Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities as a Champion of Change.
  • The Program is focused on bringing Shakespeare alive and into the lives of as many students and teachers as possible through the active exploration and performance of Shakespeare’s plays.
  • Shakespeare & Company arts-in-education programs receive major support from The National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, Banknorth, The Red Lion Inn and Country Curtains, Berkshire Bank, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and its local cultural councils, and many other local corporations, private foundations, and individuals.

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    One Comment on “Students & Shakespeare in Western Mass

    1. In Search of Shakespeare

      Companion to a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) four-part series “exploring the life of the world’s greatest and most famous writer.” The site features a timeline of events during Shakespeare’s time, a description of the places and people Shakespeare knew, an overview of the documentary evidence used as the basis for the series, and brief synopses of Shakespeare plays, Also includes lesson plans and other materials for educators, a multimedia database, a game, and more. (LII)

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