NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers

Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays through Scholarship and Performance 2024:

“Nature, Culture, and the Grounds of Good Government in Shakespeare’s Plays”

Theatre for a New Audience, through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, hosts K-12 educators from across the country for our 11th NEH Summer Institute, Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays through Scholarship and Performance. 

Under the guidance of leading Shakespeare scholars and theatre practitioners, participants will investigate the theme of our 2024 Institute, “Nature, Culture, and the Grounds of Good Government in Shakespeare’s Plays,” through two Shakespeare plays: As You Like it and King Lear.

Designed primarily for middle and high school teachers (grades 6-12), but open to educators of all grade levels, the Institute introduces an interdisciplinary approach to exploring text-based scholarship, contextual and original source material, language, and performance. The Institute offers a holistic approach to:

  • deepening teachers’ familiarity with primary source material and historical context,
  • enriching their understanding of both textual analysis and performance (and the relationship between the two), and
  • enhancing their ability to identify and teach common themes across Shakespeare’s plays (as well as other texts).

The two-week Institute allows time for an in-depth analysis of two plays; careful examination of primary and secondary source material; extended interaction with faculty and guest speakers/artists; familiarization with multiple methods of interpretation and practice; exploration of different points of view; and time for assignments, discussion, group dialogue, and break-out sessions on classroom application.

By focusing on both textual analysis and performance, the Institute gives teachers multiple entry points to illuminate meaning for themselves and for their students, regardless of age level or prior familiarity with Shakespeare.


Dates: July 15-26, 2024
Location: Polonsky Shakespeare Center, Brooklyn, NY
Sponsor: Theatre for a New Audience
Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 5, 2024 (by 11:59 PM PST)
Applicants Notified On:   Friday, April 5, 2024
Deadline to Accept/Decline: Friday, April 19, 2024
Eligibility: The Institute is designed for middle and high school teachers (grades 6-12) but open to K-5 educators as well. Educators working in all subject areas are encouraged to apply. Visit our “How to Apply” page for more details.



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

TFANA’s NEH Summer Institute is made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Pictured above: A participant in the 2022 NEH Summer Institute examining a text from the 1600s in Columbia University’s Rare Book Room. Photo by Hollis King.