A distinctive feature of the Institute's life is the weekly Thursday Seminar.
They are led by distinguished visiting speakers from other universities both national and international.
The highlight of the students' academic year is the annual Britgrad conference organised by students for students. You will be able to join postgraduate students from all over the world to give and hear short papers on all aspects of Shakespeare and early-modern drama. Britgrad provides a unique opportunity for graduate students to share their work with their peers and to hear what other graduates in similar and related fields are working on. We hope you will join in with organising this event (a real plus on your cv!).
Shakespeare Institute Players
The Shakespeare Institute Players is a student run theatre group who rehearse and perform in the hall two or three times a year. All students are invited to participate, providing opportunities to act, direct, work backstage, produce, publicity etc. Recent successes have included Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Canterbury Tales and Othello. Much of the student life is also organised by The Shakespeare Institute Players.
Each Thursday at 19:00 in term time, students get together with members of staff to read plays from the Renaissance period. You will encounter plays by the best known of Shakespeare's colleagues as well as some from the wilder reaches of the Tudor and early Stuart corpus such as The Hog Hath Lost His Pearl.
The Shakespeare birthday celebrations
Members of the Shakespeare Institute take part in the annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations, the highlight of Stratford's calendar. The Institute and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust begin the celebrations with the Shakespeare Birthday lecture given by a major figure from the theatre and arts. The lecturer in 2011 was Patrick Stuart, who played Shylock in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2011 production of The Merchant of Venice. Students and staff walk in the procession alongside dignitaries from all over the world, theatre people, and towns people, all carrying flowers to take to Shakespeare's grave.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RSC)
[Image - Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Photograph by Peter Cook]
The most important resource for student life at the Shakespeare Institute is the presence in Stratford of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who perform at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan and The Courtyard Theatre, all within five minutes walk of the Institute.
International Shakespeare conference
This international gathering of leading Shakespeare scholars is held every two years, in the summer at The Shakespeare Institute. It was initiated at Mason Croft in the 1940's under the auspices of the British Council, and has been hosted by The Shakespeare Institute since its establishment in 1951. About 230 members meet to hear papers and participate in seminars on a chosen theme. Membership of the Conference is by invitation only.
Living in Stratford-upon-Avon
Most of your time at the Shakespeare Institute will be spent in the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon. For full details on living in Stratford-upon-Avon.