Workshops

Will & Co.’s workshops aim to initiate the participants to an embodied approach of Shakespeare’s plays. We also offer workshops on Acting Shakespeare as well as general introductions to Shakespeare’s Life & Times.

It was a great experience for me: in only one morning, I’ve had the wonderful occasion to deal with Shakespearian texts and my body, to mix them together and see how connected they were. Thanks for everything!” – Jérémy, University student

What is our SHAKE Acting workshop method?

Our method is based on embodiment. 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.

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, play, music, coordination, and group work. 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!

When moving onto text work, we start by encouraging the students to move to a piece of music as the character they are playing. By starting with movement like this, we find that a door opens inside their body, through which all sorts of wonderful, powerful, Shakespearean characters are ready to burst through, speaking Shakespeare’s words effortlessly! From kings, to witches, to fools, we discover an entire array of Shakespeare’s renowned parts come alive in front of us.

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 their character, but allows the student to connect with what rings true for them, in their own voice, through Shakespeare’s writing.

“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

Katherine Moran and Beatrice Lawrence warming up before a show. © Julien James Auzan – photography

Who for?

Our workshops are available for secondary schools, colleges, universities, theatre companies and local amateur theatre groups.  We have successfully given workshops with our SHAKE method to French-speaking high school students, to amateur drama groups of all ages, and to University Undergraduate students!

What?

We specifically tailor our approach to match the general experience of the group while always aiming to delve deeper into the world of Shakespeare than they would have expected us to go.  If you tell us what you want to achieve and explore, we will always endeavour to both match the brief and go the extra mile in a fun, enjoyable means!

How long?

Our workshops can vary in length and are tailored to meet your needs; it can be anything from a few hours to a full week.

How much?

Our pricing is negotiable and dependant on the number of students you have (as several facilitators may be necessary) as well as the time-slot you wish to devote to your workshop(s).

Where?

We are very happy to come to you. An empty room, classroom, or gym are all appropriate locations for our workshops. If you are a large group, we would prefer if there was a working sound system already in the room. For smaller groups, we shall provide our own means of music. Should you not have a space available to you, we are happy to arrange a comfortable place to work in.

The workshop used an approach based on the physical embodiment of emotions linked to the texts of Shakespeare. This approach was accessible for all levels. The trainers were very enthusiastic, open, insightful and a real delight! I really recommend for anyone wanting a truly felt experience of theatre to participate in the workshop. Thank you!!!!” – Nathalie

Victoria Baumgartner doing movement work with the company. © Julien James Auzan – Photography

All the workshops are based on training Victoria Baumgartner acquired through her MA in Shakespearean studies, in her training for Acting Shakespeare at LAMDA, and on her ongoing practice with Kath Burlinson at the Authentic Artist Collective in the UK. For bigger groups or a longer stretch of time, Sam Veck or other actors of the company may join in giving workshops.

“A play is meant to be played. As students of literature we thought that we knew this, at least we had heard it a couple of times. In only a few hours we realized that we actually did not really know what it meant until Victoria gave us the great opportunity to experience it for ourselves! No one in our group had any experience with acting Shakespeare. I was not even excited about Shakespeare, but we were guided so well through it all that it did not matter anymore. Her vivid approach definitely sparked the joy for Shakespeare in me and retaught us what it means when they say that a play is meant to be played.” Malte, University student

For more information on workshops, contact us.