The Bard in Your School
We are now delighted to be bringing the Bard to schools to entertain and educate students in all things Shakespeare!
Our package includes a socially distanced performance from one of our wonderful actors and a tailored Shakespeare workshop, led by Victoria Baumgartner. We understand that opportunities like this for schools will now be scarce and strongly believe live theatre and active workshops are crucial educational tools to engage with Shakespeare's verse.
Whether your students are preparing for GCSE's or will be having their first insight into Shakespearean text, we can provide the perfect tailored experience for all levels.
“My students really, really enjoyed the way that the very well thought out workshop allowed them to have a completely new insight into Shakespeare’s universe and plays. We will welcome you again in a heartbeat!”
Jean-Claude, High school teacher
Instead of focusing on Shakespeare’s words straight away, which is often the part that students are most reluctant, afraid or self-conscious about, we focus on the body and on stage presence. We teach the students to discover how the words are truly meant to be said, and how much physical presence matters in Shakespeare.
We believe that the body is the best access point to Shakespeare’s words and plays, since they were only ever written to be performed and not read. We always start with a physical warm-up, and then move on to theatre games involving attention, movement, music and coordination. We also provide simple vocal warm-ups, as well as breathing and articulation techniques. These are easy to access and to implement, and make the iambic pentameter sound very immediate–not to mention the fact they perk up the students’ self-confidence about speaking in public!
On top of stage craft, we provide key information about Shakespeare’s life, times and works, and about the Elizabethan playhouses throughout our workshops.
Thus, the students come away with a blend of historical facts, voice and body exploration, and, of course, Shakespearean verse. Not only do our workshops help the student understand the play on a deeper level, but it allows the students to connect with what rings true for them, in their own voice, through Shakespeare’s writing.
Our workshops have been adapted to respect and adhere to safe, social distancing measures. Should your school not allow for freelance tutors to physically come to campus, we have an online version available.
"Bard in the Yard is a very well thought out play responding excellently to the current coronavirus rules. This comical piece is a great way to make Shakespeare’s work more accessible to a young audience as it cleverly connects his experience with writers block during the 1605 plague, (although there were many outbreaks during his lifetime), and the modern day Covid-19. To outline the performance, it consists of Will trying to write his next play by going back to his previous masterpieces for some inspiration. Despite his attempts, his efforts were futile, and all he comes up with is a title. Shakespeare becomes a star in his own ‘sitcom’, as he clearly sews together lines and themes from his old plays to create a comical performance perfect for any age."
Bablake School Student, Year 9
Writer & Director Victoria Baumgartner is a Shakespeare specialist who has studied Shakespeare extensively for more than 10 years, both academically and through her work on stages. She has worked as a writer and director in Switzerland, Germany and the UK, and was nominated as Best Director by the OFFIES. She founded Will & Co theatre company in 2015. Her longest-running play Will or Eight Lost Years of William Shakespeare's Life was translated in two languages had successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe and toured Europe. Victoria gives Shakespeare workshops at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and teaches Shakespeare at East15 Acting School for the BA in Acting as well as the MA in Directing.