The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0132  Wednesday, 27 February 2008

From: 		Ralph Alan Cohen<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >
Date: 		Tuesday, February 26, 2008 5:05 PM
Subject: 	NEH Institute: The Study, the Stage, and the Classroom

Dear College Teachers on SHAKSPER,

I am delighted to tell you about our upcoming NEH institute, 
"Shakespeare's Blackfriars Playhouse: The Study, the Stage, and the 
Classroom," from 29 June to 2 August. We have had many enquiries; we 
expect that many on this listserv might be interested in joining us for 
five-weeks this summer, hearing our visiting scholars, working with our 
actors, and seeing our shows. The program - our fourth such institute - 
will provide teachers of early modern English drama access to some 
remarkable resources: the guidance and expertise of eight significant 
scholars in the field, the collaboration of professional actors, and the 
laboratory of a careful re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, the 
Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia. Each day combines the 
presentations of our experts, daily workshops and rehearsals with Equity 
actors, and work on a stage for which Shakespeare and his contemporaries 
wrote their play. We are seeking participants who would like the wall 
between the study and practice of English Renaissance drama to be permeable.

The deadline for the application is 3 March. You can find more 
information and the application on our website - www.ascstaunton.com on 
the education page under research.

The institute has three overlapping goals:

-to train literary scholars in the conversion of abstractions about 
plays into scenes on a stage.

-to provide the acting personnel and the venue necessary for a serious 
examination of the staging conditions at the heart of early modern drama.

-to apply the lessons of early modern staging to the presentation of 
Shakespeare in the classroom.

The idea for this institute came out of my many years of wearing two 
hats as an English professor and as the executive director of a 
Shakespeare company (now the proprietors of the Blackfriars Playhouse) 
devoted to the simple idea that Shakespeare's stagecraft might be as 
good as his word craft and at the very least was connected to it. 
Rehearsing plays on that assumption produced a profusion of discoveries 
about the text, while classroom work created a never-ending set of 
questions to explore in rehearsal. The joy of that symbiosis is what the 
American Shakespeare Center wants to share, and, with the opening of our 
Blackfriars Playhouse in 2001, we now have the ideal laboratory - a 
stage like the one Shakespeare and his fellow playwrights had in mind 
when they created an exit or an entrance. "Shakespeare's Blackfriars: 
the Study, the Stage, the Classroom" puts this re-created theatre at the 
service of your work as a scholar and teacher.

The daily schedule offers participants a mix of theory, practice, and 
product. Participants use the mornings to become familiar with the 
theatres of Shakespeare and his contemporaries and with their staging 
practices, the afternoons to have hands-on experience in directing and 
staging the works, and the evening to see shows at the Blackfriars - 
Measure for Measure, King Lear, and Twelfth Night. The shows stimulate 
discussion of the issues raised by the lectures and the workshops and 
give participants specific models to use.

To give participants as much practical experience as possible during the 
workshops and rehearsals, we will divide into three-person 
"directorates." Each directorate, in collaboration with the actors, will 
work separately on successive scenes from Antony and Cleopatra (actors 
will be "off-book" on the designated scenes). In the final week of the 
institute, directorates will present their finished work on the stage of 
the Blackfriars in a public production. That same week each of the 
institute scholars will present a brief final paper on his or her 
directing projects.

Past participants have been delighted by Staunton. This historic city 
(founded by King George II in 1747), in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley 
forty miles over the Blue Ridge from Charlottesville, is enjoying an 
exciting Renaissance for which the Blackfriars was a cultural and 
economic tipping point. This city of 25,000 is becoming a major 
destination for lovers not only of Shakespeare, but also of 
architecture, antiques, crafts, history, food, cinema, and the visual 
arts. Other great attractions from Monticello, to famous caverns, to 
canoeing and hiking and other recreations in the nearby national forests 
and park, are no more than a 40 minute drive.

Your completed application must be postmarked no later than 1 March 
2003. Send it to: Sarah Enloe, Project Coordinator, Shakespeare's 
Playhouses, American Shakespeare Center, 13 East Beverley Street, 
Staunton, Virginia 24401. If you have any inquiries, contact Sarah via 
e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or phone her at 540 887 

We are glad of your interest in the institute and we welcome your 

Ralph Alan Cohen
Founding Executive Director,
American Shakespeare Center

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers are 
offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide college 
and university faculty members and independent scholars with an 
opportunity to enrich and revitalize their understanding of significant 
humanities ideas, texts, and topics. These study opportunities are 
especially designed for this program and are not intended to duplicate 
courses normally offered by graduate programs, nor will graduate credit 
be given for them. Prior to completing an application, please review the 
enclosed letter from the project director (or letter downloaded from the 
director's website, if available) and consider carefully what is 
expected in terms of residence and attendance, reading and writing 
requirements, and general participation in the work of the project.

Each seminar includes 15 participants working in collaboration with one 
or two leading scholars. Participants will have access to a major 
library collection, with time reserved to pursue individual research and 
study projects. Institutes provide intensive collaborative study of 
texts, topics, and ideas central to undergraduate teaching in the 
humanities under the guidance of faculties distinguished in their fields 
of scholarship. Institutes aim to prepare participants to return to 
their classrooms with a deeper knowledge of current scholarship in key 
fields of the humanities. Please note:  The use of the words "seminar" 
or "institute" in this document is precise and is intended to convey 
differences between the two project types.

ELIGIBILITY: These projects are designed primarily for teachers of 
American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and 
those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other 
organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively 
advance the teaching and research goals of the seminar or institute. 
Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. 
jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United 
States or its territories for at least the three years immediately 
preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching outside 
the U.S. are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must complete the NEH application cover sheet (see link on 
page 4 underneath checklist) and provide all of the information 
requested below to be considered eligible. Candidates for degrees are 
only eligible to apply if they are employed by an institution other than 
the one at which they are degree candidates and if their participation 
is intended to enhance their teaching of American undergraduates. Degree 
candidates can never use their participation in an NEH seminar or 
institute to meet a degree requirement, including work on masters' 
theses or doctoral dissertations. An applicant need not have an advanced 
degree in order to qualify. Adjunct and part-time lecturers are eligible 
to apply. Individuals may not apply to study with a director of a 
seminar or institute who is a current colleague or a family member. 
Individuals must not apply to seminars directed by scholars with whom 
they have previously studied. Institute selection committees are advised 
that only under the most compelling and exceptional circumstances may an 
individual participate in an institute with a director or a lead faculty 
member who has previously guided that individual's research or in whose 
previous institute or seminar he or she has participated. An individual 
may apply to no more than two projects in any one year.

SELECTION CRITERIA: A selection committee reads and evaluates all 
properly completed applications in order to select the most promising 
applicants and to identify a small number of alternates. (Seminar 
selection committees consist of the project director and two colleagues. 
Institute selection committees consist of three to five members, usually 
drawn from the institute faculty and staff members.)   While recent 
participants are eligible to apply, selection committees are charged to 
give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an 
NEH-supported seminar or institute in the last three years (2005, 2006, 
2007). Recent participation in NEH's Landmarks of American History and 
Culture Program does not negatively affect eligibility or 

The most important consideration in the selection of participants is the 
likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally. This is 
determined by committee members from the conjunction of several factors, 
each of which should be addressed in the application essay. These 
factors include:
   1. quality and commitment as a teacher, scholar, and interpreter of 
the humanities;
   2. intellectual interests, both generally and as they relate to the 
work of the seminar or institute;
   3. special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute 
to the seminar or institute;
   4. commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal 
collegial life of the seminar or institute;
   5. the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant's 
teaching and scholarship; and
   6. for seminars, the conception and organization of the applicant's 
independent project and its potential contribution to the seminar.

When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, several 
additional factors are considered: Preference is given to applicants who 
have not previously participated in an NEH seminar or institute, or who 
would significantly contribute to the diversity of the seminar or 

participate in six-week long projects will receive a stipend of $4,200; 
those in five-week projects will receive $3,600; those in four-week 
projects will receive $3,000; those in three-week projects will receive 
$2,400; and those in two-week projects will receive $1,800. Stipends are 
intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, 
books and other research expenses, and living expenses for the duration 
of the period spent in residence. Stipends are taxable. Applicants to 
all projects, especially those held abroad, should note that supplements 
will not be given in cases where the stipend is insufficient to cover 
all expenses.

Seminar and institute participants are required to attend all meetings 
and to engage fully in the work of the project. During the project's 
tenure, they may not undertake teaching assignments or any other 
professional activities unrelated to their participation in the project. 
Participants who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the 
project must refund a pro-rata portion of the stipend.

At the end of the project's residential period, participants will be 
asked to submit on-line evaluations in which they review their work 
during the summer and assess its value to their personal and 
professional development. These evaluations will become part of the 
project's grant file and may become part of an application to repeat the 
seminar or institute.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: This application packet should accompany a 
letter from the project director that contains detailed information 
about the topic under study; project requirements and expectations of 
the participants; the academic and institutional setting; and specific 
provisions for lodging, subsistence, and extracurricular activities. If 
you do not have such a letter, please request one from the director of 
the project in which you are interested before you attempt to compete 
and submit an application. In some cases, directors have websites for 
their projects and the information letter may be downloaded from their 

All application materials should be sent to the project director. 
Sending application materials to the Endowment will result in delay.

CHECKLIST OF APPLICATION MATERIALS: A completed application consists of 
three copies of the following collated items:
  -  the completed application cover sheet,
  -  a detailed resume, and
  -  an application essay as outlined below.

In addition, it must include two letters of recommendation as described 

The application cover sheet must be filled out on-line by clicking on 
the address link below:
<http://www.neh.gov/online/education/participants/> Please fill it out 
on-line as directed by the prompts.

When you are finished, be sure to click on the "submit" button. Print 
out the cover sheet and add it to your application package. At this 
point you will be asked if you want to apply to another project. If you 
do, follow the prompts and select another project and then print out the 
cover sheet for that project. Note that filling out a cover sheet is not 
the same as applying, so there is no penalty for changing your mind and 
filling out cover sheets for several projects. A full application 
consists of the items listed above, as sent to a project director.

Please include a detailed resume (not to exceed five pages).

The application essay should be no more than four double spaced pages. 
This essay should include any relevant personal and academic 
information. It should address reasons for applying; the applicant's 
interest, both academic and personal, in the subject to be studied; 
qualifications and experiences that equip the applicant to do the work 
of the seminar or institute and to make a contribution to a learning 
community; a statement of what the applicant wants to accomplish by 
participating; and the relation of the project to the applicant's 
professional responsibilities. Applicants to seminars should be sure to 
discuss any independent study project that is proposed beyond the common 
work of the seminar. Applicants to institutes may need to elaborate on 
the relationship between institute activities and their responsibilities 
for teaching and curricular development.

The two referees should be chosen carefully. They should be familiar 
with the applicant's professional accomplishments or promise, interests, 
and ability to contribute to and benefit from participation in the 
seminar or institute. They should specifically address these issues in 
their recommendations. Letters from colleagues who know the applicant's 
teaching and from those outside the applicant's institution who know his 
or her scholarship are often more useful than letters from college or 
university administrators.

Referees should be provided with the director's description of the 
seminar or institute and the applicant's essay. If an applicant has 
previously participated in an NEH summer seminar or institute, a 
recommendation from the director or lead scholar of that program would 
be useful. Please ask each of your referees to sign their name across 
the back of the sealed envelope containing their letter, and enclose the 
letters with your application.

applications should be submitted to the project director and should be 
postmarked no later than March 3, 2008.

Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on April 1, 
2007, and they will have until April 15 to accept or decline the offer. 
Applicants who will not be home during the notification period are 
advised to provide an address and phone number where they can be 
reached. No information on the status of applications will be available 
prior to the official notification period.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT: Endowment programs do not discriminate on 
the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For 
further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National 
Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20506. TDD:  202/606-8282 (this is a special telephone 
device for the Deaf).

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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