Think Shakespeare's not for you? Let us change your mind with this modern take on one of the world's greatest playwrights


Limited registration to ensure maximum individual instruction and participation





Back Room Shakespeare

In the style of the Back Room Shakespeare Project, we will perform with only one rehearsal, no director, and in a bar. This technique stems from the scholarship on Elizabethan and Jacobean practices, but the Project is a firmly 21st-century Chicago operation. Our end is not to re-create the staging practices of Shakespeare’s London; it is to understand the priorities of the theatre for which he wrote, and to serve those priorities in a way befitting our time and place. After all, it's not the fancy costumes and elaborate sets that make these works so timeless; the real power is in the story itself.

It is a theatre which relies on and places trust in the actor above all: not a director. It is a theatre in which actors are their own artists: not the mediums through which another artist works. It is a theatre of empowerment and of ambition - and it’s fun!

Features of the Drama Institute

  • Led by experts in current practices and philosophies of theatre production and education
  • Endorsed by academic departments at UW-Madison
  • Addresses Wisconsin Teacher Standards and professional-development requirements for educators and theatre practitioners
  • Summer schedule allows educators to participate fully
  • Intensive institute features one full week on-site (credit students work independently offsite for the remaining three weeks)
  • Tailored curriculum benefits English, literature, and writing teachers in addition to drama and theatre teachers

About your instructor

A teaching artist from The Back Room Shakespeare Project will lead our workshop.

Nicholas HarazinNicholas Harazin, project leader, made his Steppenwolf Theatre Company debut in May 2013 with The Internationalist and recently appeared in Sons of the Prophet with Forward Theater Company in Madison. Chicago credits include Short Shakes! versions of Romeo & Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Rabbit (Stage Left Theatre); and I Am Going to Change the World (Chicago Dramatists). Regional credits include Ten Chimneys (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); The Subject was Roses, Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Sum of Us (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre); The Persians (Renaissance Theaterworks); Henry V, Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It (American Players Theatre), and The Farnsworth Invention and Sons of the Prophet (Forward Theater). Nick is a proud member of the Back Room Shakespeare Project and a recent graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. (Photo Credit: Zane Williams. Nicholas Harazin as Philo Farnsworth for Forward Theater’s The Farnsworth Invention.)

Cost and tuition

All participants pay $375 until May 15 and $400 afterward. Those registering for university credit pay tuition as well. Tuition for university credit is billed separately. Click here for further UW-Madison tuition and fee information»

Credit and noncredit options

Drama Institute classes may be taken for UW-Madison graduate-level credit or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or for noncredit. An additional fee for tuition will be charged to students enrolling for university credit. Participants taking the workshop for credit will be assigned additional projects or assignments to meet the graduate level requirements that are due within three weeks of the last class meeting. To enroll for credit, you must be admitted to the university as a University Special Student. Instructions on how to apply as a Special Student will be mailed upon receipt of your workshop registration. The Special Student application must be completed online at least three weeks before class begins. Please be sure to complete all information on the application or processing will be delayed. Special Students pay for workshop fees and for credit class tuition separately.


A block of rooms has been set aside at the UW-Madison Short Course Dorms in Humphrey and Jorns Halls on Babcock Drive. Double rooms have been reserved in this block and are available for $30 per night. All rooms include a refrigerator and internet connection. Each floor has a kitchenette area with microwave. A computer lab is also available with computer access and free printing. The campus bus picks up at the corner and is free. Parking permits for a car near the dorms is an additional $12/day and can be arranged when making your room reservations. Only a limited number of parking permits are available. Rooms in the Drama Institute block must be reserved by May 30. Contact Danielle via email at or by phone at 608-262-2270 (press 0 to bypass the voicemail message and be connected directly with Danielle). To reserve your room online please follow these instructions:

  1. Visit:
  2. Select "Sign Up as an Individual"
  3. Fill out form
    • Insert group code in corresponding area: QUHZ-TOTY
    • Term Type: Guest (4- weeks)
    • Dates: 6/25-7/1
  4. Submit

All requests will receive a confirmation within 48 hours.

Registration details

Register online (above) or by phone by calling 608-262-2451 (TTY 608-265-2370). Registrations are limited to assure maximum opportunity for individualized instruction and participation.

What happens when you register? Once we receive your registration we will send you a packet of materials. These include information about lodging, important information about university credit, and any additional materials for your class. If you are taking the workshop for credit, you must complete and return the University Students and Guest Application included in your mailing. The University of Wisconsin-Madison will bill you separately for credit tuition. Arrive a bit early on the first day of class for check-in.

Refund policy: All registrations are subject to the following refund policy:

  • If you cancel your registration more than one week before the start of class, you are eligible to receive 80% of your registration fee.
  • If you cancel your registration less than one week before the start of class, your registration fee will not be refunded.
  • Tuition refunds are handled through Student Services at 608-263-6960.

Questions? Email Sarah Marty or call her at 608-263-2790.