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The Center for Shakespeare Studies offers an array of workshops and lecture/discussions for groups visiting Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). Educational programming is required for all out-of-state groups (and in-state groups not affiliated with Oregon public educational institutions) who choose to stay on the SOU campus. Each student must receive a minimum of four hours of educational programs during the group’s visit. This requirement can be fulfilled by the workshops listed below or by your qualified instructor(s), who must be approved in advance by the Center (M.A. in English or Theatre required).
OSF Workshops, Discussions, Exploring Design, and Prologues also fulfill the SOU educational requirement for visiting groups. The OSF Backstage tour does NOT help meet this requirement. OSF programs can be ordered directly from the Festival’s Group Sales office at least four weeks in advance.
Acting and Theater Practice in Shakespeare’s Time Lecture/Discussion
What did Shakespeare’s theater look like, how were the plays performed and how did the audiences behave? Who were the star actors; what kind of props and costumes were used? Learn from our Shakespearean scholars these answers and more. Available as a 50-minute session only.
A Shakespearean scholar helps examine and discuss the plays and productions that your group is attending at OSF this season. Max of 60 students per session accepted.
An expert dancer shares his/her knowledge of court and country dances of the Renaissance through lessons in cinquepaces, bergomasks, galliards and other dances.
Masks and Movement
Use masks and movement as tools for the imagination to explore how the body expresses itself. Exercises range from studies of each person’s “neutral” posture to ways of creating characters and creatures. Available weekends and evenings only.
An actor demonstrates some skills and secrets of the makeup artist’s craft using volunteers from the class. If requested in advance, class can focus on a specific area of the craft.
Music of Shakespeare’s Time
Ever heard a krummhorn, gittern, pipe and tabor? Enjoy a blast from the past, as master OSF musician Sue Carney plays an array of seldom-heard historic instruments of Shakespeare’s time, and answers your questions about music through the ages. Available for up to 60 students per session.
This interactive presentation puts the class in charge, as Sue fields questions about all aspects of our musical past, present, and future. The resulting discussion explores many subjects- from the origins of music and its effect on the brain, to the invention of instruments and the role of singing in modern life. Ideally, the group leaves with more questions than they came with, and the discussion often continues long after the class is over, as students make new connections between their personal journeys and the fascinating world of the past.
Connects easily with your school’s curricula: music, theater, Shakespeare studies, literature, humanities, history, prehistory, archeology, natural history, biology, brain science, acoustics, and more.
Jump Start Theatre
Gain an inside view of theatrical performance in a lively beginner’s interactive workshop led by one of our experienced actor/teachers.
Stage Combat Workshop
A certified stage combatant leads you safely through some of the steps and skills of hand-to-hand stage combat. Please specify which workshop level you are requesting.
Set your brain free, have faith in the playful and possibly irreverent side of your imagination and abandon judging yourself and others, as we play and story-tell together in an active, playful session.
Ye Olde Project Runway
Learn about Elizabethan and Renaissance silhouettes and costumes, then create them from newspaper and tape. Students will work together in small groups, with one student from each group acting as Merry Olde’s next top model. Limited availability. Available as a 50-minute session only.
Finding Our Tales
Finding Our Tales dives into the sources of inspiration. Through light collaborative exercises, students break down the walls of I can’t and I’ve never before. Exercises move into writing prompts that encourage work from the heart; work that serves as raw material for each student’s play. The priority is on the process, not perfection. The fun and fast-paced workshop culminates with molding the free-writings into play form and an optional sharing of the “world premiere” work. The workshop is limited to 20 students maximum per session.
SOU workshops for visiting groups are offered at the rate of $140 per scheduled academic hour of class, available in 50, 80- and 100-minute sessions. Unless noted on your Workshop Request Form, all workshops will be scheduled for one academic hour. We arrange our workshops to fit your schedule, mornings, afternoons, and evenings, seven days a week. All workshops are available to groups staying on or off-campus. Except as otherwise noted, the maximum class size is 35: larger groups must be divided to be accommodated.
Please note that if your school district requires a contract to be executed by the university we must receive it at least two months in advance so that it can be reviewed and properly vetted. School groups are no longer able to make any changes to workshop schedules within 5 business days of their visit.
To ensure availability, please book at least 8-10 weeks in advance.