top of page

Shakespeare in the Schools

For 20 years, ETC's Shakespeare in the Schools (SIS) educational outreach program has made Shakespeare and other classical works accessible to students in the National Capital Area. Because theses pieces were meant to be seen and heard, ETC's professional teaching artists focus on exploring text through a combination of performance and interactive workshops. To accommodate various education levels, SIS has program options for high school and middle school, as well as the program First Verse, which is designed specifically for elementary school students.

First Verse

Students at this level explore English & Theatre Standards of Learning (SOL's) while being introduced to characters and situations from the Bard's plays. In a thrilling, interactive performance, students will learn to organize information and brainstorm effectively, write poetry, improvise dialogue and work collaboratively with their peers.

High school and middle school

Programs at this level help students focus on accessing Shakespeare's poetry and themes. Through highly physical staging, neutral costuming and workshops that bridge classical text to modern meaning, students make direct connections to the universal themes of Shakespeare's works.

Half Day Workshop


Shakespeare in the Schools' most popular offering. One 45-minute performance of scenes from Shakespeare's plays followed by two hands-on 45-minute workshops on a topic of the teacher's choice. Past workshops have included: Improv Paraphrase, Exploding the Text, What Lies Beneath, Mask, Clowning, Stage Combat and many others.

Short Term Artist-in-Residency


ETC teaching artists will visit your school for workshops for 2-8 days over a period of 1-4 weeks. Workshop topics offered include text analysis, improvisation, content and form, characterization, vocal and physical work, stage combat and paraphrasing. The short-term residency is designed to offer flexibility for your school. Teachers can tailor these workshops to specifically target the appropriate content areas in their curriculum. ETC can also design workshops around classical texts currently studied in the classroom.

Long Term Artist-in-Residency


A six-week long in-classroom experience brings 3-5 ETC teaching artists into your school for workshops and rehearsals. The culmination is a performance of a Shakespeare play, where the students function as cast and crew and work alongside ETC staff as directors and actors. This long-term approach allows students to fully participate in a structured, professional environment with experienced actors and directors. They receive not only the benefits of instruction and exposure to Shakespeare, but gain experience by working directly with theatre professionals on a live production for the school community.

Teacher In-service

Teacher In-services are workshops for teachers looking to bring Shakespeare alive in their classrooms. The workshop demonstrates various approaches to teaching Shakespeare, focusing on the dramatic elements and using theatre as an entry-point into the text. Teachers will participate in hands-on exercises as examples. These workshops can be tailored to suit the needs of any school.

Please note that our programming and staffing levels are flexible, and we can accommodate your particular needs and time constraints, including performance-only options.

For more information, including pricing and availability, contact the Director of Shakespeare in the Schools:

Scott Abernethy

bottom of page