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SUMMER SHAKESPEARE

2019 Study Tour in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England

June 3 - June 24, 2019

I came to Stratford-upon-Avon admiring Shakespeare, and I left knowing him.
— Sam Ives

Join Dr. Jennifer Cognard-Black, Professor of English, and her spouse Dr. Andrew Cognard-Black, Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology, for a 2019 study tour examining Shakespeare in performance in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. This tour includes performances at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Globe Theatre in London, and other additional sites of interest, such as performances in Oxford, Cambridge, and/or in the ruins of Kenilworth Castle. Participants attend lectures with world-renown Shakespeare scholars, such as Sir Stanley Wells (the editor of the Oxford edition of Shakespeare's complete works), and have workshops with professionals who work directly with Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) actors. In addition, RSC actors in lead roles come to talk with the group, and tour participants have a chance to visit all five of the Trust Properties or museums, including Shakespeare's Birthplace, Mary Arden's Farm, and Anne Hathaway's Cottage. During the course of the tour, participants have full access to the Shakespeare Centre's vast archives, and librarians provide a documents display, often including a First Folio. In addition to a day trip to London, each year there are others as well to sites of historical interest, such as to various Cotswold towns in Warwickshire, to Ragley Hall, and/or to Warwick Castle. 

This upper-level course is offered through St. Mary's College of Maryland and is open to students from any college or university as well as any high-school or college teacher interested in studying Shakespeare in performance in Stratford-upon-Avon. For more information, please contact Professor Cognard-Black at jcognard@smcm.edu.

SUMMER SHAKESPEARE 2019 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earn four upper-level English credits cross-listed with either Theater, Film and Media Studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Sociology; or Museum Studies through St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

  • For St. Mary's College of Maryland students, this course counts for the ELAW requirement of the Core Curriculum and, if you're a graduate of the MAT program, you may also apply for graduate-level credit through Education.

  • See professional theater on stage at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and London's Globe Theatre.

  • Talk with Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) actors during private classroom Q&A discussions.

  • Walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps at the house where he was born, the thatched cottage where he courted his future wife Anne Hathaway, and the land he purchased when he became rich and famous.

  • Glimpse the magic of the theater as we work with RSC choreographers, voice coaches, and/or makeup artists.

  • Hear from the experts in private group lectures by world-class scholars such as Sir Stanley Wells, editor of the Oxford Complete Works of Shakespeare.

  • Compare the 17th century pages on which the words of Shakespeare were first published in his First Folio, part of the vast archive in the Shakespeare Centre Library.

  • Relax during free-time in local tea shops and pubs, or explore quaint Cotswold villages nearby.

Program Details

WHERE
Stratford-upon-Avon, England

 

WHEN
June 3 - June 24, 2019

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Program dates include 3 days in SMCM prior to departure.

PROGRAM COST
$4,800.00* (USD)

Includes:

  • Round-trip airfare and guesthouse lodging within walking distance of classes.

  • Daily full English breakfasts in Stratford, as well as 2 group dinners and 1 group afternoon tea.

  • All required group transportation in England.

  • Tickets to all performances; admission to five living history museums in Stratford; and fees for all private lectures & discussions.

  • 3 days in SMCM on-campus lodging prior to departure.

*Additional $800.00 fee for tuition not included in program cost

Want to know more?

Contact Professor Cognard-Black directly via the button below.


Student testimonials from the Shakespeare Summer Tours

I enjoyed myself immensely on this trip. Not only did it expand my knowledge and appreciation of Shakespeare’s life and works, but it also allowed me to create friendships I otherwise might not have had. The diversity of students on this trip enriched the experience and brought together a spectrum of personalities and interests. To quote the Brits, these weeks have been ‘brilliant’!
— Kelsey Branch
Before this trip, I thought I might be in the right place as an English major and wasn’t quite sure whether I liked Shakespeare very much at all. Afterwards, I am sure I am an English major, and I have a new and burgeoning love not only for Shakespeare but for theater in general.
— Alex Swope
 Students with Dame Judi Dench.

Students with Dame Judi Dench.

Shakespeare Studies in Britain is, to quote the Bard himself, “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful, and yet again, wonderful” (Celia, “As You Like It”). Every moment of every day is genuinely fulfilling, with engaging events, lectures, and discussions held at the Shakespeare Centre, vibrant productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company theatres as well as at London’s Globe Theatre, an amazing play reading with RSC actors, and so much freedom to explore Stratford on your own. Brimming with Bardophilia, Shakespeare Studies in Britain is a rare, beautiful experience to share—like some Midsummer month’s dream!
— Zach Pajak

Summer Shakespeare: Branding Billy, 2016

 Illustration by  James Steinberg  for  Boston Globe Magazine .

Illustration by James Steinberg for Boston Globe Magazine.

Focused primarily on the branding of Shakespeare—particularly in the year of the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death—this study tour considers the importance of consumption as represented in Shakespeare’s plays but also in how Shakespeare has been “consumed” through commodity and culinary cultures. Beginning with moments of commodity exchange and food imagery within Shakespeare’s own texts, students will further consider consumption as a metaphor for writing and staging Renaissance drama as well as for modern novels, narratives, and cookbooks produced under the Shakespeare “brand.” Even further, students will examine the workings of consumption in Stratford itself, from enjoying a cream tea at “The Food of Love” on Henley Street (an anachronism, given that tea wasn’t a ritual in England until the 18th century) to “reading” gift shops filled with Shakespearean swag as provocative commodity texts. Included in the tour are lectures with world-renowned scholars, performances at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) and the Globe Theatre in London, talk-back sessions with Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) actors, acting workshops with RSC facilitators, and visits to the five Shakespeare Trust museums. All of these activities will be linked to additional lectures, day trips, and writing assignments focused on the stage, the shop, and the restaurant as loci of identity formation via all things Shakespeare, meaning “identity” both for individual citizens and tourists as well as for the British nation as a whole. As such, the tour will include, among other activities, an afternoon at Mary Arden’s engaging in 17th-century cooking and farming techniques as an example of “living history” Shakespeare; a display of original Renaissance cookbooks and herbals juxtaposed against contemporary Shakespeare books for produced and packaged for self-styled foodies; and a lecture on the commodification of Shakespeare to sell everything from mugs and t-shirts to chocolates and playing cards.


Summer Shakespeare: Billy's Kitchen, 2013

 

“Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.”

—William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2.7

 

While based in Stratford-upon-Avon and focused primarily on consumption in Shakespeare’s plays, this course thinks about the importance of food and foodways in the creation of British literature and culture from the Renaissance through the present day.  Starting with moments of material consumption and food imagery within Shakespeare’s texts, students further consider consumption as a metaphor for writing and staging Renaissance drama as well as for producing and reading British novels, memoirs, and cookbooks.  Students also examine the workings of consumption in Stratford itself, from enjoying a cream tea on Henley Street (an anachronism, given that tea wasn’t a ritual in England until the 18th century) to partaking of high-end Indian food on Sheep Street (a post-colonial culinary experience).  

Students at Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the farmhouse where Anne Hathaway (the wife of William Shakespeare) lived as a child in the village of Shottery, Warwickshire, England.

Included in the tour are lectures with world-renowned scholars, performances at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) and the Globe Theatre in London, talk-back sessions with Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) actors, acting workshops with RSC facilitators, and visits to the five Shakespeare Trust museums, all of which will be linked to additional lectures, day trips, and writing assignments focused on the kitchen and table as dual loci of identity formation, both for individuals as well as for the British nation.  As such, the tour includes, for instance, a Renaissance cooking class, an afternoon at Mary Arden’s engaging in 17th-century farming techniques, and a display of original Renaissance cookbooks and herbals, among other events.  Coursework covers pre-trip lectures at St. Mary’s campus for one week prior to leaving for England, and—once across the pond—group activities last for 15 days, followed by a free weekend for further study or travel on an individual basis.  

Plays at the RST and Globe run the gamut of Shakespeare’s oeuvre, including the most popular (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, As You Like It, and King Lear) and the little known (King John, Cymbeline, and Measure for Measure). As part of this course, students read and discuss each play with Professors Jennifer and Andrew Cognard-Black as well as with members of the Shakespeare Centre faculty before attending any performances. After viewing a production, students further study the text through performance history, including talk-back sessions with RSC lead actors and voice and/or movement workshops with RSC staff.  In addition, students also read British food texts that connect to, yet also move beyond, the Renaissance, including Victorian domestic manuals, British novels with recipes, and modern-day cookbooks that (in an updated format) echo Renaissance constructions of the kitchen.  And, finally, students regularly eat and cook together—thereby participating, themselves, as literary-culinary adventurers within the national foodscape of England.


Summer Shakespeare: Shakespeare Studies in Britain, 2003, 2005, 2008, & 2010

 

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

—William Shakespeare, As You Like It, II.vii

 

This summer study tour consists of on-site performances, tours, workshops, and lectures in Stratford-upon-Avon of the relevance of Shakespeare’s work to modern audiences, emphasizing unique thematic and cultural interpretations which broaden students’ understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s plays.

This trip was a dream come true. By the end, I had fallen in love with Stratford and didn’t want to leave. The plays were amazing, and the Shakespeare Centre wonderful. I became so immersed in Shakespeare that I started thinking in his language! Between the talks, the Q&A’s with actors and directors, workshops, tours, and the plays, this was the trip of a lifetime for a Bard-o-philes like myself!
— Jen Schauber

Coursework includes pre-trip meetings; attendance at all Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) productions in Stratford; attendance at all Globe Theatre productions in London; participation in all workshops, lectures, and tours by Professors Jennifer and Andrew Cognard-Black, the Shakespeare Centre faculty, and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) actors/directors (including voice and movement workshops with RSC directors; lectures and discussions with world-renowned Shakespeare scholars; talk-back sessions with RSC lead actors; and tours of all five Shakespeare Trust museum properties); participation in a dramatic read-through with professional actors at the Shakespeare Institute; and visits to all Shakespeare Trust properties. In England, group activities will last for 15 days, followed by a free weekend for further study or travel on an individual basis.

Plays at the RST and Globe run the gamut of Shakespeare’s oeuvre, including the most popular (Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III, and Romeo and Juliet) and the little known (Cymbeline and Measure for Measure); the RSC also performs other plays as well, including Restoration dramas and even modern texts. As part of this course, students will read and discuss each play with Professors Jennifer and Andrew Cognard-Black as well as with members of the Shakespeare Centre faculty before attending any plays. After viewing a production, students will further study the text as a moment of Shakespeare’s performance history, including talk-back sessions with RSC actors and directors.

 

See more photos from Summer Shakespeare Study Tours →