NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers

This summer, Theatre for a New Audience will host K-12 teachers from across the country for Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays through Scholarship and Performance.  This in-depth professional development program uses a carefully integrated approach to explore text-based scholarship, contextual and original source material, language, and performance in three Shakespeare plays under the guidance of leading Shakespeare scholars and theatre practitioners.  The Institute will be held at Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, NY. 

Today, the study of Shakespeare remains at the heart of scholarly investigation, public performance, and literary study in middle schools and high schools, colleges and universities. These three components are linked in Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays through Scholarship and Performance in an organic approach that will deepen teachers’ familiarity with primary source material and historical context, enrich their understanding of textual analysis and performance (and the relationship between the two), and enhance their ability to identify and teach common literary themes across a variety of Shakespeare’s plays. In doing so, the Institute aims to improve research and pedagogical practice, as well as to enliven the study of Shakespeare.

The theme of the 2019 Institute is Agency and Alliance:  Women’s Worlds in Romeo and Juliet, All’s Well that Ends Well, and Richard III. The Institute will examine how issues of female agency and alliance were framed in Shakespeare’s own time in terms of marital status, economic access and mobility, political power, household structures and social alliances, gender ideology, religion, age and social status. Questions of female agency in Shakespeare’s plays are of great historical and literary interest, but they are also central to contemporary debates about gender and gender roles; sexuality and sexual consent; social and economic parity between men and women; and women’s access to political power. 


Dates:  July 15-26, 2019
Location: Polonsky Shakespeare Center, Brooklyn, NY
Sponsor: Theatre for a New Audience
Application Deadline: March 1, 2019
Notification Deadline:   March 29, 2019
Deadline to Accept/Decline:  April 5, 2019
Eligibility:   K-12 teachers.



A copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, which participants get to view and handle on the Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library tour.

TFANA_logo24 copyPolonsky Shakespeare Center, home of the NEH Summer Institute

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Pictured above: Participants in the 2018 NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers; Polonsky Shakespeare Center, photo ©David Sundberg/Esto.