Shakespeare LIVE! at the Kirby

Study Guides

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is committed to making Shakespeare LIVE! a useful and rewarding educational experience for students and teachers alike. This is not just an hour's entertainment, but an educational experience that reinforces students' educational objectives.

Before your performance, teachers have free access to our comprehensive study guide for the play you have selected. We strongly encourage you to select and reproduce material from these guides for your students before they attend the performance. Included are sections on Shakespeare's life and art, a synopsis and background material on the play, performance and writing activities, and questions for further discussion. Your feedback on the Study Guide is welcomed!

Study guides for the 2017 tour are available.
A Midsummer Night's Dream Study Guide
Julius Caesar Study Guide
Past Study Guides

Audience Etiquette

We encourage you to discuss appropriate audience etiquette with your students. For some, this will be their first experience with live theatre, so please discuss, for example, the difference between live theatre and a movie. This will help make the show more rewarding for all! You may also wish to use the Shakespeare Theatre's audience etiquette handout.

Following the performance, our actors will engage your students in a 10-15 minute discussion of the play and Shakespeare's works.

The LIVE! at the Kirby program offers special school-time performances of the Shakespeare LIVE! educational touring productions in The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s home, the intimate 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre (located on the beautiful campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ). This is an excellent opportunity for schools with space limitations, homeschoolers and others to enjoy these dynamic productions in a professional theatre setting, followed by a lively talkback with the actors.

Additional weekend/evening performances available for families and others—call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 for details.


Shakespeare LIVE! is supported by Shakespeare in American Communities: Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of The National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is one of 42 professional theater companies selected to participate in Shakespeare for a New Generation, bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to thousands of middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States. This is the eleventh year of Shakespeare in American Communities, the largest tour of Shakespeare in American history. For more information on Shakespeare for a New Generation, please visit

Additional funding for Shakespeare LIVE! is provided by The Investors Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, The Provident Bank Foundation, and the Turrell Fund.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional major support is received from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, F. M. Kirby Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, CTW Foundation, and Drew University, as well as contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals.