Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream

February - May 2024
Since 1982, Shakespeare & Company has sent touring productions of Shakespeare’s plays, along with a variety of related workshops, into middle and high schools, colleges, large-scale performance venues, and community centers all over the Northeast and beyond. These performances reach more than 20,000 students, teachers, and audience members each year.

Tour Auditions

Shakespeare & Company is seeking Non-Union Actors/Teaching Artists for our 2024 Northeast Regional Touring production of: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

*Auditions: August 5th – 7th, 2023
Rehearsals Begin: January 3rd, 2024
Touring Dates: February – May 18th, 2024  

How to Audition
Option 1: In-Person Audition

When: Saturday, August 5th – Monday, August 7th
Where: Shakespeare & Company, 70 Kemble St. Lenox, MA
How: e-mail khenderson@shakespeare.design for more information about the tour and to get an audition slot.  Please include your headshot/resume all in one combined PDF file.
What:  Prepare one Shakespeare monologue (Verse is encouraged but not required) around 2 mins in length.  Please choose a piece that you connect with regardless of character age or gender

Option 2: Digital Submission
When: Due no later than 12:00pm Monday, August 7th.Submissions received after that point will not be considered.
What:  Prepare one Shakespeare monologue (Verse is encouraged but not required) around 2 mins in length.  Please choose a piece that you connect with regardless of character age or gender
How: email khenderson@shakespeare.design with your headshot/resume all in one combined PDF file, and an Unlisted YouTube or Vimeo link to your audition piece.
*You may be asked to have a live Zoom callback, or invited to a callback at the company in Lenox (if this is something you are able to do).

Please Note:

This is an Educational Tour. Teaching experience is a plus, but not required!  An interest in teaching is a must.
*People of the Global Majority and Members of the LGBTQIA+ Community are strongly encouraged to apply*
This is a Paid Non-Equity Tour.

About the Tour

2024 Northeast Regional Tour: A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
February 5th - May 18th, 2024
A one-day package at your school, university, or venue includes:
  • A 90-minute performance
  • A 15-minute interactive Post-show Forum immediately following the performance that engages the audience’s own insights and observations.
  • The choice of one 45-minute workshop with students:
    • The Workshop in Performance (12 – 50 students)
    • Exploring the Actor-Audience Relationship (unlimited size)

The Company also offers custom packages that include access to virtual programming, multi-day residencies with additional workshops, and more.

Contact northeastregionaltour@gmail.com for more information about how to customize visits to a school’s needs.

Example Schedule - One Shakespeare performance, Post-show Forum, and Actor-Audience Workshop

9:00am – Actors Arrive
9:00am –12:00pm Load in / Warmup / Lunch / Fight call / Half hour
12:00pm – 1:30pm performance
1:30pm – 1:45pm Post-Show Forum
1:45pm – 2:00pm Short break for Actors
2:00pm – 2:45pm Actor-Audience Workshop
2:45pm – 3:15pm Load out
This schedule may be customized to accommodate school and classroom schedules, as every school has different scheduling challenges. The only hard-and-fast rule is that the Education Artists need at least 2.5 hours in the space ahead of a performance.

Workshops & Teaching Materials

As a part of the day, Education Artists will lead students through one or more 45-minute workshops. If you have any questions about these workshops or are interested in customizing the work, contact northeastregionaltour@gmail.com.

Workshop in Performance

In this workshop, each student can succeed and discover that Shakespeare is comprehensible, immediately engaging, and can be outrageously fun. The first exercises are with the whole group, but for most of the workshop, students are divided into smaller groups to work on a piece of text from a Shakespeare play which is then performed for classmates. Education Artists work closely with students to unleash an exciting, immediate, and personal experience of Shakespeare’s language. This workshop works best with 30 to 40 students and teachers, but can work with as few as 12 participants with an absolute maximum of 50 participants.

The Workshop Space

For this workshop, a space large enough for the whole group to form a large circle as well as accommodate smaller groups in necessary – students are divided into groups for much of the workshop. Normally, the school auditorium is fine, but sometimes the gymnasium or another alternative space is used.

Exploring the Actor / Audience Relationship

This is an entirely interactive workshop in which students can share their observations, reactions, questions, and dialogue with Education Artists. Driven by the students’ curiosity about the show and with a high level of student participation, students volunteer to work on text on stage, try a fight move, or learn an adapted Court Dance.
This workshop is designed to help students engage with the text in new ways. The activity often includes the actors reperforming brief scenes from the play that the students request, and students are invited to make suggestions for the Education Artists to play out as a way to reinterpret or redirect the scene. The workshop demonstrates the plasticity of theater and the imaginative collaboration among directors, actors, and audiences that is essential to the art form. This workshop can accommodate as many students needed, and Education Artists regularly work with the entire audience following the performance.

The Workshop Space:

This workshop is most successful in the performance space following the show, as it allows the actors to utilize the scenic elements in their work with the students.

Teaching Materials

As a part of the tour booking, schools and educators may request digital copies of the Shakespeare & Company Study Guide, prepared by the Education Department and tailored specifically to each production. The Study Guide is designed as a supplemental resource for teachers and students, to be used in conjunction with live performance, in order to help better understand the play and form points of connection between the experiences of modern-day students and the story of the play.
The Study Guide contains a brief synopsis of the play, an introduction to the characters, and a scene-by-scene breakdown of the major events of the play.
It also provides descriptions of exercises used at Shakespeare & Company to explore the text with a selection of scenes to play with in the classroom, along with useful websites and resources for further exploration of themes and connections to current events and everyday life.

Student Matinees

If full, in-school productions aren’t possible, students can still experience the magic of Touring Productions at a student matinee performance at the Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass. 2023 dates are pending; to be added to the matinee schedule announcement list, e-mail, northeastregionaltour@gmail.com.

Financial Assistance

Shakespeare in American Communities
The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. Shakespeare & Company is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to middle and high school students in communities across the United States.

Through this program, Shakespeare & Company is able to offer financial assistance to qualifying schools to bring the Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare to their students. With the support of the Shakespeare in American Communities Grant, schools pay only $1,000 to bring the performance, talkback, and workshop to their students, or half-price for tickets to a matinee performance. For more information or to apply, contact northeastregionaltour@gmail.com.

Massachusetts Cultural Council Grants

The Big Yellow School Bus program provides grants to help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to cultural institutions and events. For more information and an application, visit the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Big Yellow School Bus web page.

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