wShakespeare & Company Workshop

Shakespeare & Company Workshop

“Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt.”

– Lucio, Measure for Measure

Introducing Shakespeare & Company, one of the most vibrant theatre companies in the US, and the Company’s internationally recognised, deeply effective Shakespeare performance training.

This 6-day Workshop will propel actors into their imaginations, intellects and emotional lives. Experiencing the power and beauty of Shakespeare’s language and engaging with the text in deeper more meaningful ways.

We are delighted to welcome Shakespeare & Company to Australia for the first time!!

“Artists are born with the hearts, minds, and imaginations of giants. The society we find ourselves in wants us to diminish ourselves to something more manageable, more acceptable, more polite. Shakespeare’s characters speak in what we now call a ‘heightened language’ because its complexities and demands are unfamiliar to our day- to-day world. Shakespeare & Company training strives to assist actors in embracing an unencumbered mode of being that fills whatever space they are in, with courage and expansiveness; it trains actors to be in love with poetry, language, and the timeless mysteries of the universe.” – Dennis Krausnick, Director of Training, Shakespeare & Company

About the Workshop

This workshop will teach you to play once again with the heart, mind, and imagination of a giant. It will immerse you into the world of Shakespeare through an integration of voice, movement, clown, and scene work.

Workshop Hours will be 10am to 9:30pm, each day, with lunch and dinner breaks.

The Teachers for all 6 days will be Jane Nichols and Dave Demke, both Senior Faculty for Shakespeare & Company.

Morning Sessions will focus on freeing your voice and body in order to build new habits of emotional courage, unlimited imagination, and spontaneity. Over the 6 days, a progression of Linklater Voice work will take you from breath impulse, through the pleasure of vibration, and into the joy of speaking Shakespeare text. Movement work will take you on a journey from poised stillness to ecstatic physical expression. Using Alexander and Trish Arnold methodologies, the movement work will free you from physical tension, and open pathways for breath and energy to fuel your creativity. Together the voice and movement work will help you achieve new creative heights, and make you capable of communicating, authentically, a wide range of human experience.

Afternoon Sessions will focus on using a free voice and body to unleash the full size of your imagination and humanity. We’ll begin with Games. We’ll run, shout, dance: we’ll play; fiercely, with conviction and abandon. From Games we’ll move into Comic Play, where you’ll come face-to-face with the Clown in you. Here you’ll play from all in you that is vulnerable, unknowing, simple, and full of truth and desire. This work reveals that if you’re breathing, playing, and following your impulses, one by one as they occur, you will encounter the magic, mystery, majesty, and absurdity that makes you uniquely you, and what makes being human so heartbreakingly funny and noble. Combined with the voice and movement work, the Clown will make you as large as Shakespeare needs you to be, and will bring you closer to the virtuosic shifts in thought and emotion that Shakespeare demands.

Evening Sessions will be spent on scene work, using short scenes from Shakespeare’s canon, where the skills and discoveries you are gaining from voice, movement, and clown work will be put into practice. The focus will be on using the structure of the verse to enlighten thought and intention, on speaking in order to move and on listening in order to be moved.

“Working with Shakespeare & Company has changed me not only as an actor but as a person as well.  I know for sure my clown is never very far away.”

– Catherine Glavicic

Selection is by showreel (or filmed work), headshot and CV, attached to an online application.

Previous Shakespeare training or experience is not a prerequisite to apply. 

Places are limited.

About the Teachers

Jane Nichols is an actress, director, and teacher. She first studied with Shakespeare & Company in 1983, and has taught and acted with them since. Inspired by the work of Merry Conway, Jane developed a passion for Clowning. Her teaching brings together skills and techniques of Le Jeu, Physical Comedy, Clown, Bouffon, Improvisation, and Mask.

In addition to Merry Conway, Jane has studied with Philippe Gaulier (Ecole Gaulier), Clive Mendes (Theatre Complicite), Ronlin Foreman (DellArte School of Physical Theatre), Michael Kennard (co-founder of Canada’s Mump & Smoot, and Master teacher of the Richard Pochinko native American mask/clown technique), Avner Eisenberg (Avner the Eccentric), Davis Robinson (author of Physical Comedy Handbook), Keith Johnstone (Impro and Impro for Storytellers), and world-renowned Czech clown, Bolek Polivka.

In addition to Shakespeare & Company, Jane has taught at the Yale School of Drama; Juilliard; Harvard University; ART; ACT; Brown University; the Actors Center in NYC; Stella Adler Conservatory; Emerson College; Simon’s Rock College of Bard, and University of Washington.

Jane has directed shows at Harvard University, Brown University, Washington Ensemble Theatre (WET), Intiman Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Co, Seattle University, Cornish College of the Arts, and Room Circus Medical Clowning. With her company of former clown students, Logic Limited, Ltd., she devised: Desdemonas Dream; Schaden, Freude, and You: A 3 Clown Seminar; TiVO la Resistance; New Shorts; and A Night at the Trojan Wall: a Clown version of the Iliad. For Cirque du Soleil she worked with John Gilkey, Daniel Passer, and Wayne Wilson to develop and devise the cabaret Your New Best Friends.

Jane has worked as an actress in repertory theatre and at some of the major theatre companies in the US.


Dave Demke is a Shakespeare & Company Senior Faculty member and a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher. He received his BA in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University, and MFA in Performance from the University of Maryland.

He was the Artistic Director of Stark Raving Theatre in Portland, OR; the Associate Director of Training for Shakespeare & Company; and principle dancer/choreographer for the Red River Dance Company in Fargo, ND.

As an actor he has appeared in productions in New York and regionally, as well as performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Beijing, China.

Dave’s directing credits include theatres in Portland, Shakespeare & Company, Tennessee Shakespeare Company, and guest directing credits at Purdue University, Skidmore College, and Northeastern University. He has guest taught at various universities, at the Linklater Center in New York, at the National Theatre of Ghana, and continues to teach Shakespeare & Company workshops across the US.


We are thrilled to welcome Jane and Dave to Australia.


About Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & Company, Massachusetts, USA is one of the finest theatre companies and training centres in the world. It was founded in 1978 and has aspired to create a theatre of unprecedented excellence, rooted in the classical ideals of inquiry, balance and harmony; a company that performs as the Elizabethans did – in love with poetry, physical prowess and the mysteries of the universe. With a core of over 120 artists, the company performs Shakespeare, generating opportunities for collaboration between actors, directors and teachers of all races, nationalities and backgrounds.

Shakespeare & Company Alumni include Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Richard Dreyfuss, Olympia Dukakis.

Learn more about Shakespeare & Company


Shakespeare’s texts have been brought to life for millions of audiences around the world, mirroring to us the various facets of human nature; from how one deals with grief and loss, to the pursuit of deep unconditional love, power or greed.

16th Street is thrilled to bring you this incredible six-day Shakespeare Workshop!