Shakespeare in Wisconsin

Experience Shakespeare in a variety of engaging ways: online, on stage, or through 1-day workshops. Choose the right way for you to dig deeper into Shakespeare’s work and find your own approach to enjoy the plays, the language, and live performances.

UW Continuing Studies is proud to be part of Shakespeare in Wisconsin 2016, a year of activities leading up to the November 2016 Chazen Art Museum and UW-Madison Libraries public exhibition of a First Folio as part of The Folger Shakespeare Library  First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare national tour.

Learn more: library.wisc.edu/shakespeare2016

At a glance

What: New ways to discover the works of Shakespeare

Where: Online, on campus, or in the theatres of Spring Green, Wisconsin

Questions? Contact Sarah Marty: 608-263-2790


Elizabeth I and the Elizabethans

In 1558, the 25-year-old daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn ascended the throne of England. Intelligent and complex, Elizabeth I presided over a swelling English population taking its place on the world stage. After a good look at this epochal queen’s reign, we study the daily lives of common Elizabethans: their work (or lack of it), families, health, and entertainments.

Singing the Madrigals of Shakespeare’s Time

Shakespeare’s plays are world-renowned, but what about the music of his time? Our four sessions will revolve around the English madrigals of the 16th and 17th centuries, with group singing and listen-ing at the forefront. What better way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death than by singing the music of his life? Knowledge of music reading is helpful but not required.

Holding History

Holding History, hosted by Joshua Calhoun (Assistant Professor, UW-Madison English Department), invites your hands to hold, explore, and even take pictures of some of the most important books ever printed. At each event, participants will be welcomed into one of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Special Collections Libraries where student curators and rare book experts will team up to create a lively, hands-on experience with books that were printed when Hamlet was barely a twinkle in Shakespeare’s eye.

Send an email to join-shakesconsin@lists.wisc.edu to join our listserve and receive notifications about these events.

Shakespeare in Community

Shakespeare in Community began as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), but it is also a massive public digital humanities event. The course introduced a broad audience of learners to Shakespeare, as we collectively read, watched, and engaged 4 Shakespeare plays: Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tempest.  The 4-week course is officially closed, but the resources remain available for the months that follow.

Shakespearience Weekend

In September 2015 we held a Shakespearience Weekend at American Players Theatre (APT) in Spring Green, Wisconsin, home to APT, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, and a thriving local food movement. We enjoyed incredible performances at the beautiful outdoor Up-the-Hill Theater and intimate indoor Touchstone Theater, got a behind-the-scenes look at American Players Theatre, dove deep with lecture and conversations, and visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin.

Explore Shakespeare

Our Explore Shakespeare workshops are an opportunity for in-person small group seminars and discussions in Madison, WI. Our instructors will lead you through an active process of taking a play from the page to the stage. These 1-day experiences allow learners to delve deep into the language, gain insights into approaching a play, and speak with theatre professionals about their own process.

  • Past events include Romeo and Juliet (2014) and Merry Wives of Windsor (2015).

Can't get enough Shakespeare?

To be or not to be on the Shakespeare email list: that is the question. And the answer is "Yes!"