ABOUT

EVENTS

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT

EDUCATION

The Public Shakespeare Initiative

Now entering its second season at The Public, the Public Shakespeare Initiative is excited to continue its wide breadth of efforts inspired by the belief that Shakespeare is for everyone.

With the Public Shakespeare Initiative, The Public Theater and The Shakespeare Society are committed to serving and growing our shared community – reaching out in every direction to include more students, teachers, artists, scholars, audience members and others – to celebrate together the astonishing depth and breadth of humanity that Shakespeare captures with such beauty and enduring power in his plays and poetry.  

The Public Shakespeare Initiative’s programs engage audiences, develop artists, educate young people, support their teachers, and, in all, are as multidimensional as the community of Shakespeare-lovers we serve.

We hope you will join us.

HUMANTIES EVENTS
PUBLIC SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS
Evenings of performance and commentary that illuminate aspects of Shakespeare’s work for audiences with guidance from knowledgeable thinkers and gifted performers.

PUBLIC SHAKESPEARE TALKS 
Evenings that give audiences insight into the creative and intellectual processes of leading artists working with Shakespeare.

ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT
PUBLIC SHAKESPEARE WORKS 
A series of Artist Residencies designed to give participants the rare and unique opportunity to learn, experiment, and explore Shakespeare’s plays free from the pressures and constraints of production.

EDUCATION
HUNTS POINT CHILDREN'S SHAKESPEARE ENSEMBLE
A yearlong afterschool program – run in partnership with the Hunts Point Alliance for Children – that has helped hundreds of young people develop their confidence, knowledge, and creativity through bringing Shakespeare’s plays to life onstage.

TEACHING TEACHERS
An annual series of professional development workshops for school teachers across New York City that trains them in dynamic, performance-based approaches to Shakespeare's works.

Support for the merging of The Shakespeare Society and Public Theater provided by the New York Merger, Acquisition, and Collaboration Fund. 

ABOUT

EVENTS

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT

EDUCATION

Public Shakespeare Presents

Each season, PUBLIC SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS offers evenings of performance and commentary that illuminate aspects of Shakespeare’s works for audiences with guidance from knowledgeable thinkers and gifted performers. The insights of scholars, writers, critics, and directors are interwoven with performances by actors, singers, and dancers of selections from Shakespeare’s plays, poetry, songs, and adaptations of his works. Evenings have included programs of music, dance and opera in collaboration with major cultural institutions like American Ballet Theatre and the Metropolitan Opera. 

Other program partners have included fellow humanities, cultural, artistic, and educational organizations, such as The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center Theater’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Poets House, The Players Foundation for Theatre Education, The Folger Shakespeare Library, The English Speaking Union, New York Review of Books, Globe Education, and the Shakespeare Institute; as well as theaters - large and small - including Red Bull Theater, Theater for a New Audience, Hudson Valley Shakespeare, Fiasco Theater Company, New York Theater Workshop, Classic Stage Company, Westport County Playhouse, Pearl Theater Company, BAM, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Public Shakespeare Talks

Intimate evenings of good conversation and high spirits, where you’ll get a chance to interact with actors, directors, scholars – and each other. Past guests have included director and critic Robert Brustein, scholars James Shapiro and Harold Bloom, producer Jeffrey Horowitz, directors Martha Clarke, Michael Kahn and Sam Gold, and actors Elizabeth Marvel, Kate Forbes, Richard Easton and John Douglas Thompson.

ABOUT

EVENTS

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT

EDUCATION

Artist Development

Artist Development

Public Shakespeare Works

The Public Shakespeare Initiative will build on The Shakespeare Society’s history of cultivating artists through its PUBLIC SHAKESPEARE WORKS program. The cornerstone of Public Shakespeare Works is a series of weeklong Artistic Residencies. Public Shakespeare Works will provide participating actors and directors with modest stipends, study materials, rehearsal space and access to academic experts, voice and text coaches and artistic advisors. Participants will spend a week (roughly 25-30 hours of studio time) delving deeply into a particular Shakespeare play. Although some Residencies will serve as a prologue to full productions, this program is designed to give participants the time and space to learn, experiment and explore the plays with a unique freedom that other producing companies can rarely provide.

Past participants in Residencies include directors Martha Clarke, Rebecca Taichman, Davis McCallum, Tom Ridgely, Gregg Mozgala and Sam Gold; actors Michael Cumpsty, Elizabeth Marvel, John Douglas Thomson, Bill Camp, Arian Moayed, Seth Numrich, Gabriel Ebert, Jacob Fishel, Ismenia Mendes, Andre Holland and Michael Stuhlbarg; artistic advisors Jay O. Sanders, Doug Hughes, Michael Greif, Michael Kahn, Richard Easton, Barry Edelstein and Ron Daniels; scholars James Shapiro, Karen Newman, Ruth Carpenter and James Bednarz; and voice and text advisors Deborah Hecht, Elizabeth Smith and Kristin Linklater.

ABOUT

EVENTS

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT

EDUCATION

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​The Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble

Now entering its eleventh year, the HUNTS POINT CHILDREN’S SHAKESPEARE ENSEMBLE is the product of an extraordinary collaborative effort between the Public Shakespeare Initiative and our community partner, the Hunts Point Alliance for Children. Fourth, fifth and sixth graders from local schools in Hunts Point spend an entire academic year learning about, rehearsing, and ultimately performing a Shakespeare play. In May, the Ensemble's teamwork, creativity, and commitment come together in a full production, complete with professionally designed sets, lights, costumes, props, a chorus, and live musicians.

Ensemble members work with the original text, learning to read, understand, speak, and memorize a Shakespeare play. The experience of working with Shakespeare also helps students develop broader and more complex intellectual, social, and emotional capacities, while strengthening practical skills such as speaking, listening, taking responsibility, teamwork, and generosity that will serve them throughout their lives.

In 2017-18, the Ensemble will work on Shakespeare's popular pastoral comedy, As You Like It. Previous productions have included The Tempest, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, The Hamlet Project, and Twelfth Night.

Click here for more videos of the Hunt's Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble.

Teaching Teachers

TEACHING TEACHERS is an annual series of professional development workshops for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers across New York City that trains them in dynamic, performance-based approaches to Shakespeare's works.

Teacher training programs rarely include courses about teaching Shakespeare, yet many English teachers are required to teach Shakespeare throughout their careers. As a result, teachers often rely on traditional methods that treat the plays solely as literature, and require students to read and analyze at their desks.

Participating in Teaching Teachers workshops gives teachers the confidence and the knowledge to break out of this mold, and instead enable their students’ to experience the dazzling beauty and raw humanity of Shakespeare’s language through live performance.

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