Shakesperience is a an immersive learning experience that turns the Stratford Festival, in Stratford, Ontario, into our classroom. This is an intensive field study course designed to take students on a deep dive to understand the inner workings of North America's largest repertory theatre. Shakesperience 2020 will take place from June 19th to 27th. For 8 days we will study, learn, watch, listen, and engage in the process of making theatre in Stratford, Ontario. We will watch six plays, engage in post-show discussions with actors, meet with directors and education associates, connect with dramaturges and academics. This is — at its heart — a transformative experiential learning course, so we will participate in workshops like learning a song and dance from Chicago in the morning and then watching the musical in the afternoon. We will learn a sword-play sequence and then watch it unfold on the stage in Hamlet. We have unprecedented back-stage access to the theatres — peeking behind the scenes with close up views of the sets, the “Voms”, and so much more! Enjoy an insider peek into the costume warehouse where we can see first-hand how the magic is created *and dress up in some of the fabulous Stratford costumes! This truly is a once in a lifetime experience.

During our time in Stratford we will watch six plays:

    •    Hamlet

    •    Much Ado about Nothing

    •    Richard III

    •    Alls well that ends well
    •    Chicago
    •    Spamalot

We will participate in three specially designed, immersive workshops:

    •    Learn a song and dance!

    •    Learn how to stage fight!

    •    Work with a dramaturge to unpack a scene


We will have full access to the Festival with three backstage tours:

    •    The festival theatre

    •    The costume warehouses

    •    Set change and private tour


We will meet with the creative and business teams to understand how the festival operates:

    •    Meet with directors, actors, costume designers, dramaturges

    •    Participate in lobby talks, attend the meet the festival events, spend time with special guest speakers

    •    Participate in a post-show chat for ALL four Shakespeare plays

PLUS enjoy a Elizabethan Feast, a special luncheon at the Revival House, and a final Banquet with an Alumni Reception 

Shakesperience Schedule 2020 Coming Soon!























Shakesperience 2019 Impact Report


2020 Shakesperience Professors:

Dr. Jessica Riddell is a Full Professor in the English Department at Bishop's University. She is a 3M National Teaching Fellow (2015) and the inaugural Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence at Bishop’s University. She specializes in late medieval and early modern literature and is the creator of the Stratford Shakesperience.

Dr. Lisa Dickson is an Associate Professor at the University of Northern British Columbia specializing in Renaissance Literature, Literary Theory and Early Modern Literature. She is a 3M National Teaching Fellow and a recipient of the UNBC Excellence in Teaching Award (2007).