Shakesperience: NJ is a non-competitive forum for students in grades 5 - 12 to spend an entire day together engaging in live Shakespeare as actors and as audience members.
Shakespearience 2014 Dates:
Monday, May 12th and Tuesday May 13th
All 2014 Shakesperience:NJ applications must be received by March 14th
Click here to download the Statement of Purpose.
Click here to download the Things to Know.
Shakesperience: NJ was created in partnership with Rider University and the Folger Shakespeare Library, institutions that share our belief that one of the best ways to enjoy and understand Shakespeare is to perform the plays yourself. Collaborating with classmates to explore Shakespeare’s language and then sharing that experience with students from different schools and backgrounds is of immense educational value. The festival experience is the natural culmination to the performance-based teaching of Shakespeare.
While drama students are welcome to participate, this is not your typical drama festival. By design, Shakesperience:NJ is geared towards English classes who may have never acted before. For us, performance is a means to an end: making Shakespeare’s language come alive.
On a typical day at Shakesperience:NJ, some 6 - 8 different schools will perform diverse Shakespeare scenes (15-25 minutes) for their peers. From slapstick to high tragedy, the scenes run the gamut of the possible.
Between scenes, volunteers from the student audience are led by our Master of the Revels in some of the silliest educational activities ever staged. These allow students from different schools to laugh together, forget about their nerves, and learn a bit more about Shakespeare in the process.
After the last school takes its bows, we celebrate the day's triumphs with a tangible token of participation for every student and prizes for special achievement, awarded by a panel of theatre professionals and educators. In keeping with the day's non-competitive nature, these awards look for unexpected moments of brilliance: the actor who steps up in a small role or the musician who contributes without a single word. The panel also offers some constructive critique to each group.
Again and again, teachers and students alike tell us that their day at the Shakesperience:NJ Festival was one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of their academic lives.
Questions? Email us