Shakespeare Experience

Explore the English Renaissance theatre: learn about the history of the English theatre, about performances past and present, and, of course, about Shakespeare.

For over four hundred years people have been watching productions of Shakespeare’s plays, pouring over his texts, and discussing his accomplishment — discover why that is. 

The Shakespeare Experience class and trip is open to all majors.

During the semester, you will read some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, watch select film adaptations, and learn about the culture that gave rise to the Bard, leading up to the study away trip.

The class is built around the 5-day trip to the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) in Staunton, Virginia, where you attend three plays performed by a troupe of Shakespearean actors at the Blackfriars Playhouse — the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. You will also participate in behind-the-scenes workshops with the actors and design team. Some of the workshops might include Stage Combat, Acting Choices, Staging Conditions, and Renaissance Special Effects.

You will also learn about English culture by visiting an authentic 1600s farmhouse transported from England piece-by-piece, and enjoy an afternoon of English high tea at Anne Hathaway’s, a replica of Shakespeare’s wife’s childhood home.

The trip takes place Wednesday through Sunday; dates are announced in the spring semester preceding the trip and depend on the performance schedule at the ASC. 


Dependent on Kent State's restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the ASC’s restrictions during the fall, the course will still take place in the fall semester but the class trip might be moved to Spring 2021.

Fall 2020 Class
Register for ENG 34090 - Shakespeare in Performance
TR 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.

Trip Dates: Nov. 4-8, 2020
Subject to change.

Trip Cost: $605
The five-day, four-night field trip to beautiful Staunton, Virginia, includes:

  • Three plays performed by a troupe of Shakespearean actors at the Blackfriars Playhouse
  • Multiple on-stage workshops at the American Shakespeare Center
  • A visit to an authentic 1600s farmhouse 
  • Lodging in historic downtown Staunton
  • Transportation to and from Virginia


Dr. Ann Martinez
Associate Professor
308A Main Hall