Shakesperience: NJ is a non-competitive forum for students in grades 5 - 12 to spend an entire day together engaging in live Shakespeare as actors and as audience members.

Shakesperience 2018 Dates:
May 2 & May 3

All 2018 Shakesperience:NJ applications must be received by March 23.

Click here to download the Statement of Purpose.
Click here to download the Things to Know.

Shakesperience:NJ was created in partnership with Folger Shakespeare Library, an institution that shares our belief that one of the best ways to enjoy and understand Shakespeare is to perform the plays yourself. Collaborating with classmates to explore Shakespeare’s language and then sharing that experience with students from different schools and backgrounds is of immense educational value.

By design, Shakesperience:NJ is geared toward Language Arts classes.  It is not your typical drama festival.  In many cases, students are getting their first opportunity to perform on stage.  For us, performance is a means to an end:  making Shakespeare’s language come alive.

A typical day at Shakesperience: NJ includes:

    • 6 – 8 presenting schools, each presenting 15 – 25 minute Shakespeare performances
    • Silly and informative educational activities designed to get students to laugh together, forget about their nerves, and learn a bit more about Shakespeare in the process keep the day’s activities fun and fast-paced
    • A Master of Revels encourages audience participation in short skits, game show inspired contests, and other exciting entertainment opportunities
    • Awards and adjudication

After the last school takes its bows, we celebrate the day’s triumphs with a tangible token of participation for every student and prizes for special achievement, awarded by a panel of theatre professionals and educators. In keeping with the day’s non-competitive nature, awards look for unexpected moments of brilliance: the actor who steps up in a small role or the musician who contributes without a single word.  The adjudicators also offer some constructive criticism to each group if desired.
Again and again, teachers and students alike tell us that their day at the Shakesperience:NJ Festival is one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of their academic lives.