Skip to main content
Photograph of patrons in the Festival Theatre gardens



Attention University Students!
Earn credits with exciting Voice & Text and Shakespeare in Performance courses ONLINE in a new re-imagined format. Meet Stratford Festival artists through online discussions!
Note: Students who register for both courses will receive a promo code to use towards seeing a show in the 2020 season.*

For-credit courses delivered in partnership with: Universities of Guelph and Windsor, Western, Brock and St. Jerome’s University (affiliated with the University of Waterloo).

Any student from the partner (or other) universities who wishes to develop performance skills and gain knowledge of Shakespeare’s works.

Monday, May 4, to Saturday, May 16 (no class Sunday, May 10)
Voice & Text: 9 a.m. - noon
Shakespeare in Performance: 1-4 p.m.

Online, through Western University's web-based learning management.

To register, please click on the link associated with your university below.

University of Guelph: Theatre Studies 3260 & 3340
Questions? Click here to contact Troy Hourie, Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Advisor at University of Guelph.

University of Windsor
Questions? Click here to contact Kristen Power, Administrative Assistant, School of Dramatic Art: University of Windsor.

University of Western: Theatre Studies 3206G & 3207G
Questions? Click here to contact Shelli Hunter, Undergraduate & Outreach Coordinator at University of Western.

Brock University
Questions? Click here to contact Danielle Wilson, Assistant Professor, Theatre at Brock University.

St. Jerome’s University (affiliated with the University of Waterloo)
Questions? Click here to contact Chad Wriglesworth, Chair of the Department of English: St. Jerome’s.

Voice & Text
This intensive immersion will be led by members of the Festival’s coaching team and will focus on acting the language of Shakespeare. The work will be practical in its philosophy and its application, wholly designed to give the aspiring actor a handful of tools with which to explore, personalize and perform Shakespeare’s text. 
The work takes the form of two major sections, both integral to each other. First, the student will experiment with practical tools to decipher Shakespeare’s language and make it their own. Meanwhile, exercises in voice will encourage and enable the actor to develop those facets of their instrument that allow them to further access, experience and communicate Shakespeare’s language. Students come to the course from varying levels of acting training. Previous acting experience and/or experience with Shakespeare is not necessarily a path to success in the course. Process, Progress and a corresponding commitment to the work are valued over Perfection.

Martha Farrell - After nine seasons in the Stratford Festival’s acting company, Martha is now furthering her craft of teaching and coaching voice through the Festival’s Professional Development Program. Martha has worked with the Education Department over the course of many years and has taught Shakespeare in schools throughout Ontario. She has been a guest instructor of text and voice work for the Shakespeare Immersion Program in Michigan as well as for the University of Waterloo and the Atlantic Ballet Company.
Martha has performed in theatres across the country. Stratford highlights include Coriolanus, The Misanthrope, Camelot, Peter Pan, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan, As You Like It, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III and The Winter’s Tale. A graduate of Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Performance Program and the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, she is a recipient of the Jean A. Chalmers Apprentice Award, the Mary Savage Award (Stratford), the Rosemary Burns Award and the Greg Bond Award (Theatre Sheridan).

Tim Welham - Holder of a BFA from Ryerson University and an MA from the Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, Tim is a current member of the coaching team at the Stratford Festival, where he works primarily as a text coach on the Festival’s Shakespeare productions and has taught for the Education Department. He is also a faculty member in the School of Performance at Ryerson University and an instructor at the National Theatre School of Canada, teaching Shakespeare to the acting students.
Tim has performed on stages in Canada, England and Europe, and coached and taught theatre throughout Ontario. Among his favourite acting credits from his time in the UK are Twelfth Night (Rose Theatre), Flight (New Diorama) and The Bowl at the Young Vic Theatre. He also toured Austria for six months with Vienna’s English Theatre. As an actor in Canada, his stage credits include Chariots of Fire (Grand Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare in the Ruff), Life Is a Dream (Canadian Stage) and Crookback, his five-star-reviewed solo adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III. His writing has been generously supported by Theatre Ontario and the Ontario Arts Council.

Voice & Text Course Outline 2020

Shakespeare in Performance
This course provides the opportunity for both academic and online experiential learning about three of Shakespeare's plays: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and King Lear. Students will participate in intensive classroom study and discussion; Q&As with cast members of shows; and classroom visits via Zoom from renowned actors in the Stratford Festival Company. Shakespeare in Performance will examine the Shakespeare plays on Performance Plus in terms of stage history, performance choices, changing reception and social contexts. We will consider how Shakespeare, as Ben Jonson suggested, was “not of an age, but for all time” by looking at ways in which his plays continue to be relevant in our own era even as they are continually transformed and mediated through the lens of our understanding of theatre and the world.
At this historical moment, we will focus on the problem of disease in Shakespeare’s drama, since his theatre was more than once closed during outbreaks of the bubonic plague and since the plays on our list all deal in various ways with the idea of illness.

Jo Devereux is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Writing Studies at Western University, where she teaches courses on Shakespeare, drama and nineteenth-century British literature. She is the author of The Making of Women Artists in Victorian England (2016) and articles on Victorian women artists and education. She also directs a fall production each year and produces Western Summer Shakespeare, Canada’s longest-running outdoor summer Shakespeare, begun in 1981.

Shakespeare in Performance Syllabus 2020

Our classes will be held via Zoom and course materials, assignments, and announcements will be available on OWL.

*Subject to availability.