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Text Alive!

Text Alive! is a free, semester-long arts integration program that makes Shakespeare’s plays come alive through a performance-based teaching strategy.
Public school English and Theatre teachers for grades 9-12 in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are invited to apply!

Fall 2015 Text Alive! will explore A Midsummer Night's Dream
Before applying, please review the required program dates: Fall 2015 Important Dates

Session Full

Spring 2016 Text Alive! will explore Othello
Before applying, please review the required program dates: Spring 2016 Important Dates
Spring 2016 Application

Applications are due by September 1, 2015.

Program Description

Over the course of a semester students and teachers will develop their knowledge and understanding of Shakespeare through a series of workshops, including Introduction to Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s World, Shakespeare’s Text and Page to Stage. In the latter portion of the semester, students apply their knowledge through designing and rehearsing a scene from one of Shakespeare’s plays. These workshops will provide students with the following skills:

  • Greater confidence in reading comprehension skills
  • The ability to analyze and interpret Shakespeare’s Text independently
  • A deeper understanding of the themes and relevancy of Shakespeare’s plays
  • The ability and opportunity to collaborate to produce a scene
  • The ability to create a character
  • The confidence to speak loudly and clearly in front of an audience
  • The creation of fully realized scene produced and performed on stage at the Shakespeare Theatre Company

We offer this program to enhance your existing curriculum and to help students develop a deeper, more immediate connection to the works of William Shakespeare. We also provide all the necessary materials including teacher curriculum guides, classroom activities and scripts.

This dynamic collaboration between student, classroom teacher and teaching artist includes these successive events:

  • 10 in-class workshops: All workshops are led by STC Teaching Artists.
  • 4 Professional Development Workshops for Teachers: There are four mandatory workshops held at the STC rehearsal studios for the classroom teachers in the program. They are designed to build confidence and skills for teaching Shakespeare. They focus on the historical context of the specified play and provide a variety of lesson plans and strategies for teaching Shakespeare. Dinner is provided.
  • SHAKESPEARIENCE Student Matinee : All participating students and teachers will attend a matinee performance of STC’s production. Subsidized tickets are provided for this event.
  • Text Alive! Student Performance: Students will perform their scene as part of the whole play before an audience of family, friends and peers on stage at STC.


What Students say about Text Alive!

“I love the fact that we could take a scene that happened centuries ago and make it relevant in today's time.”
Jessica, Thomas Wooten High School (MD)

“The story came together and made a lot more sense when we started to act it out.”
Susanna, Betheda Chevy Chase High School (MD)

“TA! built confidence and appreciation for something that at first I didn't like or understand.”
Robert, West Potomac High School (VA)

“I can honestly say I no longer hate Shakespeare and I don't think I could want a better skill than that. I gained such a great understanding about each of the characters and what each of the technical elements can bring to the play. I never thought I would be able to understand Shakespeare's language at such a great depth.”
Maria, Thomas Edison High School (VA)

“[TA!] helped me appreciate Shakespeare more. I've only ever read Shakespeare in English and that's a drag because no one has any enthusiasm for it. This has gotten me psyched for Shakespeare.”
Emily, George C. Marshall High School (VA)

Producing a scene helped me relate to the play by bringing the scene to life. By doing this, it made the work more realistic and I could see how I would be able to react to it if it were me.
Nestor Vazquez, Parkdale High School

After getting a deeper understanding of the characters, I realized they were very similar to me: teenagers dealing with romantic and platonic relationships, peer pressure, and loyalty.
Nora Sands, Albert Einstein High School

I have learned how to understand Shakespeare’s language. I have also learned how to break down the lines paraphrase them to get the meaning.
Tiona Rollerson, Thurgood Marshall Academy

Seeing my classmates—real, living people that I know—delivering the lines made Shakespeare’s work seem more human. I understood characters’ motivations and characteristics better when watching my peers portray them.
Julia McMurry, Albert Einstein High School

I have conquered my fear of public speaking.
Synquawna Claiborne, Charles Flowers High School

Text Alive is made possible by:

Founding Sponsors of STC Education
Miles Gilburne and Nina Zolt

Presenting Education Sponsor

Leadership Support

The Beech Street Foundation

The Shakespeare Theatre Company's production is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.

Additional Support

Marshall B. Coyne Foundation
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Mark & Carol Hyman Fund
The Jacob and Charlotte Lehrman Foundation
The George Preston Marshall Foundation
Morningstar Foundation
Ms. Toni Ritzenberg
Anthony F. Lucas-Spindletop Foundation
Hattie M. Strong Foundation
Solon E. Summerfield Foundation
Washington Forrest Foundation

In Kind Support