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“Be great in act as you have been in thought.” KInG JOHn

Center for Actor Training lenOX, MA

PROGRAMS Workshops are designed for various levels of experience. On-site housing is always included for workshops in Lenox.



Founded in 1978, Shakespeare & Company aspires to create theatre of unprecedented excellence rooted in the classical ideals of inquiry, balance and harmony; a company that performs as the Elizabethans did—in love with poetry, physical prowess and the mysteries of the universe. Through a Company-wide commitment to Training, Performance, and Education, Shakespeare & Company inspires actors, directors, designers, students, teachers, scholars and audiences to rediscover the resonance of Shakespeare’s truths in everyday life, demonstrating the influence that classical theatre can have within a community and the world.

Comprehensive Training

The Month-long Intensive...............................................................4 Weekend Intensive..........................................................................5 Directors/Actors Cycle....................................................................6

For Early-Career Actors

Summer Training Institute.............................................................7 Performance Intern Program..........................................................8 The Conservatory............................................................................9

Specialized Study

Master Teacher Series..................................................................10 Shakespeare’s Rhetoric................................................................11 First Folio Workshop.....................................................................12 Special Workshops.......................................................................13

What does it mean to be alive? How should we act? What must I do?

Master Teacher Michael Hammond and Training Alumnus John Douglas Thompson in Othello, 2008

The highly regarded success of our training lies in the depth and alignment of multiple, specific disciplines, such as text analysis, movement, fight, clown, voice, the relationship between actor and audience, and the actor’s personal connection to the text. The interaction of these disciplines creates a harmony of the actor’s mind, body and soul. Fight work taps the violence; movement releases ecstasy; the energy exchange between actor and audience reveals the depths of human communication. Shakespeare’s text becomes alive in the spoken truth and blaze of insight. Artistic training remains the foundation for all of Shakespeare & Company’s performance and education programs. For three decades we have trained artists at all stages of their careers,

including working professionals on stage, film and television, theatre teachers who find the work invigorating and rejuvenating, and young actors who have begun their careers with help from Shakespeare & Company’s particular methods of actor training. Shakespeare & Company’s Center for Actor Training is complemented by a new facility specifically designed to support and enhance the professional training experience in an environment that offers airy, theatrically lit rehearsal spaces, sprung floors, and a new theatre allowing actors to completely focus on their work. Ask yourself what does it mean to be alive? How should we act? What must I do? See how your work at The Center for Actor Training at Shakespeare & Company can profoundly affect what theatre can bring to your life.

Dennis Krausnick Director of Training

These questions underlie all of Shakespeare’s theatre, and for 30 years Shakespeare & Company’s uniquely personal training has concentrated on heightening actors’ abilities to engage, explore and express these questions fearlessly and lucidly to bring language, character, and the physical instrument together in such a way as to help actors “to hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature.”


Month-long Intensive A four-week immersion in the full range of performing disciplines. Room and board included. Associate Director of Training Dave Demke with actors in the Month-long Intensive

Held annually from late December to late January at our home in the Berkshire hills, the Month-long Intensive is Shakespeare & Company’s cornerstone workshop. For over 30 years, actors serious about their classical training have come to immerse themselves in the full range of performance disciplines, including:


Linklater voice progression taught by designated teachers • text analysis • movement • Elizabethan dance • Alexander technique • clown • stage violence • actor/audience relationship • sonnet work • scene work • Shakespeare scholarship • in-depth

discussions about the function of theatre and the role of the actor in today’s world Founder and Artistic Director Tina Packer puts it this way: “The Month-long Intensive is an immersion into the world of Shakespeare, the world of language, the world of self in relation to other. The outside world temporarily recedes, as you live, speak and breathe Shakespeare’s words. We arrange the workshop in such a way that you can focus entirely on yourself as an actor, attend your craft and release your deepest creative abilities.”

“An extraordinary, revitalizing and inspiring experience. I can think of no greater gift that actors, at any point in their development, can give themselves.” Karen Allen, Actor

Weekend Intensive Twenty hours of introduction to Shakespeare’s text and voice. In cities nationwide.

2008 Conservatory actors in a movement class

Weekend Intensives are held in cities nationwide throughout the year, and can be tailored to your theatre or group. Contact us for more details! Weekend Intensives are most often held in: New York City Los Angeles Chicago San Francisco

Minneapolis Dallas Baltimore Lenox, MA

“It is a unique and dynamic work-related method which expands both one’s technical skills and one’s imaginative reach as a performer that is more useful than any other work method I have encountered.” Diana Quick, Actor

Designed to meet the needs of professional actors who seek an introduction to Shakespeare & Company’s training methods as well as alumni who wish to refresh and reconnect with the work, the Weekend Intensive integrates voice, movement, and monologue work. Participants explore ways to unlock the emotional and intellectual content inherent in Shakespeare’s language, yielding a direct relationship between actor and text. Twenty hours of work provide a resource from which to draw during rehearsal and performance. Enrollment is limited to 12-14 participants.


Directors/Actors Cycle A six-week exploration of the process of creation and collaboration.

Tina Packer leads a Month-long Intensive Master Class

Conceived by Founder and Artistic Director Tina Packer, this six-week program offers those interested in directing Shakespeare the kind of intense training that has become a hallmark of the Company’s actor training.


During these six weeks, participants will learn to use Shakespeare’s own dramatic structure to shape the play, and how to focus, encourage, and guide the life of a scene. The world of the play will be explored through music, costumes, set, lights, and the life-energy of the actors and their direct relationship to the audience, all to build a creative, transformative experience in the playgoer’s mind.

Directors will explore various aspects of the creative process, including: Beginning rehearsal techniques • The shaping of a scene • Pace, rhythm, and ensemble building • Actor/Audience relationship • Supporting the actors to optimum performances • The shape of a play as a whole • The function of fight, dance and other interludes within the structure of the play • Creating the optimum context for a scene to reveal the philosophical truth Actors will work daily, through voice, movement and text coaching, to encounter Shakespeare’s text in collaboration with the directors and Shakespeare & Company faculty.

Summer Five Training Institute weeks of intense training for undergrads and recent grads. Room and board included. Actors in a 2008 Summer Training Institute movement class

The Institute includes daily classes in Linklater voice, movement

and text work, plus extensive exploration of performing disciplines including stage violence, Shakespeare’s sonnets, Elizabethan dance and Shakespeare scholarship. Free attendance at the summer season performances is included, along with opportunities for discourse with Company actors, directors and designers on performance and rehearsal techniques. On-site room and board are included.

“The actor training that Shakespeare & Company has developed…is singular. Any actor passionate about performing Shakespeare needs this training.” Olympia Dukakis, Actor

Held annually from early July to early August, the Summer Training Institute is a five-week program designed specifically for undergraduates and recent graduates. Modeled on our flagship Month-long Intensive, the Institute seeks to meet the needs of young actors who desire to break through what keeps them from realizing their full abilities and achieve new creative heights.


Performance Intern program A full-summer professional performance internship.

Performance Interns in All’s Well That Ends Well, 2008


Bridging our Performance and Training Departments, each season a small group of actors is selected by audition to participate in the Performance Intern Program. Interns perform small to moderate-sized roles in a mainstage Shakespeare production and understudy larger roles in other summer season productions. Performance Interns also perform in their own production on the Rose Footprint created in cooperation with the Education Department (recent intern productions have included Wild & Whirling Words and Shakespeare & the Language That Shaped a World), and create and perform a Prelude as part of

our free Bankside Festival. Equity Membership Candidate points are possible. The Internship begins between early May and late June, depending on casting needs. Auditions are open, but special consideration is given to alumni of previous Shakespeare & Company training programs. For audition dates and current season information, contact the Training Office at 413-637-1199 ext. 114 or visit us at

The Conservatory at ShakespeareA full & Company semester of study for professional actors. Academic credit available.

Members of the 2007 Conservatory in The Life and Times of Queen Meg

The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company prepares actors to establish themselves and learn how to succeed as working professionals by integrating a full range of disciplines—from clown and fight to rhetoric and dance—in a rigorous thirteenweek, academically accredited program. The emphasis placed on the actor/audience relationship and the actor’s personal connection to the text provides powerful skills to help the actor shine at auditions—and on stage. Actors learn to be instinctively free, intelligently impulsive, and physically dynamic through personal focus on voice, movement, and text.

Similar to an MFA program, the Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company provides students with an opportunity to apply their training in “real-world” scenarios, including the rehearsal and public performance of a full-length play. Previous productions have included Twelfth Night and the original work The Life & Times of Queen Meg, drawn from the Henry VI plays. Conservatory students also participate in the annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare, a residency program that involves nearly 500 high school students in a language-based exploration of ten Shakespeare plays. By working with Festival directors and students, Conservatory participants gain fresh perspective on their training through witnessing these young actors’ first encounters with Shakespeare’s words. Visit our website for more information, including video commentary from Conservatory alumni.

“I’m getting twice as many callbacks and jobs (yes, jobs!) as I used to.”

Each year, thousands of auditions are held across the country for Shakespeare plays alone, and thousands more for contemporary productions. The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company helps actors turn those casting opportunities into jobs.

Teresa Spencer, conservatory alumna


Master TeacherThree-day Series workshops in specialized, uniquely informative topics.

Master Teacher Susan Dibble

Taught by the Company’s Master Teachers, these weekend workshops provide actors with an opportunity to work with instructors who are otherwise available only in the context of the Month-long Intensive or Summer Training Institute. Small workshop sizes insure a chance to work closely with other dedicated actors along with the faculty who have shaped and developed Shakespeare & Company’s training methods over the last 30 years.

The workshops may change from year to year, according to the particular interest of the teacher. A typical Series might include…

Shakespeare & the Feminine with Tina Packer The Foolish Will and The Shakespearean Sonnet: The 14-line Miracle both with Dennis Krausnick Clown! with Kevin Coleman Music & Architecture of the Verse with Michael Hammond The Language of Dance in Time with Susan Dibble

“The work is set up to create an active and creative mind, a body that breathes and is resilient, strong, flexible, poised and imaginatively available, and a heart rich with passion.” Susan Dibble, Shakespeare & Company’s Director of Movement and Master Teacher


Shakespeare’s Five Rhetoric days of learning to speak the text with clarity and authority.

Nigel Gore and Director of Training Dennis Krausnick in Hamlet, 2006

When Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream,” he was using rhetoric. When John F. Kennedy urged Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” he was using rhetoric. Winston Churchill’s “never has so much been owed by so many to so few” is, like all his speeches, a master class in rhetoric. Abraham Lincoln, who kept Shakespeare’s tragedies on his desk, used rhetoric to stirring effect in his Gettysburg Address. And the framers of the Declaration of Independence all understood and used the power of language to move and to persuade. Similarly, Shakespeare’s characters seek to change each other—and the audience—with carefully constructed speeches which offer exciting possibilities to actors who are ready to explore them.

Why, today, are audiences “surprised” when they can “understand all the words” at a Shakespeare play? How has our use of language and its rules changed our perception of the plays? Four centuries ago, people went to hear rather than to see a play. English, in its early adolescence, was a vital, exciting force which had not yet been codified or penned-in by grammatical rules or even spelling. Theatre today can integrate spectacular sets and evocative lighting with a performance, but in Shakespeare’s time it was the primacy and power of language which moved and shaped the world. In Shakespeare’s Rhetoric actors learn to approach the plays the way the Elizabethans did. Voice and movement work encourages a fuller embodiment of the text, and a close examination of the music and architecture of the verse leads to a deeper appreciation of the tools Shakespeare provides the actor.

In the latter half of the 20th Century, “rhetoric” became a political catch-word, co-opted and reinterpreted to mean a shell of beautiful language enclosing little of substance. True rhetoric, a deft use of the arts of language, is at the very heart of the plays of Shakespeare, and still surrounds us in our everyday lives.


First Folio Five days of unlocking the potential of the original texts.

Faculty member Kristin Wold and Merritt Janson in Othello, 2008


What have the past 400 years of editing and scholarship done to the way Shakespeare is read and performed today? Have you ever thought that the original texts might be more useful to the working actor than all the modern editions put together? The First Folio is designed to examine these questions in depth. What can Shakespeare’s earliest texts tell us about the evolution of the plays as they passed from playwright to actors, from

printers to editors? How can today’s actor find useful tools in the Folio to gain a deeper appreciation of the text and to achieve a more compelling performance? Shakespeare & Company has been a leader in the application of the First Folio’s tools for actors. The Applause First Folio of Shakespeare in Modern Type, edited by Neil Freeman, was researched and experimented with on our rehearsal floors.

Special Workshops Unique programs scheduled throughout the year. From time to time, the Company introduces special workshops which may or may not become part of our regular roster of programs. These have included workshops on Fight & Text, Sonnets, and more. Individuals interested in these or other special workshops should contact the Training Office for the most current information. Requests and suggestions are always welcome!

We are pleased to have worked with actors involved in productions with Shakespeare Dallas, American Conservatory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, The Mercury Theatre (UK) and others. To learn more about bringing a special workshop to your town or theatre, contact the Training Office at 413-637-1199 ext. 114 or visit us at

The Company can also design and teach custom workshops for individuals and theatre companies across the country.

“Eye-opening…invigorating and spiritually uplifting. I would recommend this training to anyone.” Michael Counts, Actor

Faculty member Malcolm Ingram in The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2006




Shakespeare & Company’s intense training moves swiftly and in depth. It encompasses a series of disciplines which accelerate the physical release of voice and body, the psychic release of spirit and soul. It presupposes a participant committed to an honest and profound exploration of Shakespeare’s characters. The training demands rigorous technical discipline, artistic insight, courage and stamina. The synthesis of the training came out of my personal desire, as an actress, to delve deeper into the person I was playing, to be responsible not just for the moment but also for encompassing the archetype; it came out of my perception, as a director, that it is actors’ insights and energy which create the truly lasting, transformational aspect of theatre. However, in order for actors

Christianna Nelson, Tina Packer and Molly Wright Stuart in Antony & Cleopatra, 2007

to take primary responsibility for the theatrical event, they must go beyond twenty-first century programming and call on those resources which lie hidden within voice, body and psyche. If this interests you, then the Center for Actor Training at Shakespeare & Company training is probably for you. We guarantee that the training will be thorough, compassionate, and full of insight. Beyond that, it’s up to you.

Tina Packer Founder and Artistic Director



• Alumni of the Month-long Intensive or Summer Training Institute are eligible for a 20% discount on tuition.

Scholarships or work-study may be available for certain programs. See the website or contact the training office for more information.

• Members of Actors’ Equity, SAG, or AFTRA are eligible for a 15% discount. • Actors associated with members of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America may be eligible for a 15% discount; contact the office for details. • Some programs offer an Early Payment Discount. See website for details.

Visit us on the web at for all the details about these programs, special workshops, tuition and how to apply.


Call 413-637-1199 ext. 114 or e-mail

Actors in the Month-long Intensive


neW TRAininG And ReheARSAl SPACeS!

front cover: Allyn burrows in King John, 2005

lenOX, MA 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA 01240-2813 413-637-1199 ext. 114

Center for Actor Training

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Shakespeare & Company's Center for Actor Training: "Be great in act as you have been in thought." — King John