Bard in the Classroom FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How many workshops can we book for a single day?

Each pair of teaching artists can do up to three workshops per day. If you would like to book more than three workshops, we would need to look at either an additional team of teaching artists or an additional day.

What physical space requirements do you have for the workshop?

It's ideal for us to be able to work in a theatre or other large, open room (but not a traditional gym, in which acoustics can be a problem). However, we recognize that such spaces are rarely available in schools. We are happy to work in the classroom; however, we ask that you move all of the desks and chairs to the sides of the room, creating as much open space in the middle as possible. If you're able to do this before we arrive, that will leave more time for our activities. It is also useful for the Teaching Artist to know roughly how much space there will be for the number of students. Limited space may affect the types of activities we will be able to do.

How long does a workshop last?

We adjust our activities to fit your class periods. Our standard fee covers a workshop of up to 90 minutes. We can create a program that lasts longer, but we will have to bill it differently. Please inquire.

How many students can participate?

The workshops work best with a group of students who are familiar with each other, so a regular class grouping is ideal. As with most learning activities, we'll be able to do different activities with smaller groups than we would with larger groups, but we are able to accommodate up to 30 students. If you are creating a group of students just for the occasion of the workshop, the ideal group size is about 16 – 24 students.

May other students watch a workshop?

No. Because some students may be a bit self-conscious doing acting exercises, it's important that all of the students in the room are participating.

Do you have any programs that can accommodate a larger group?

We can arrange a speaker for a larger group. Please inquire.

What materials or equipment will you need for the workshop?

Some workshops require photocopies (no more than a few pages) for each student. If this is the case, the Teaching Artist will discuss this with you ahead of time and provide the documents via e-mail.

What would you like the teacher to do during the workshop?

We ask that our host teacher remain in the room for the entire workshop. You are welcome to participate along with the students, if you are comfortable with that. If not, we ask that you actively observe the workshop. Please do not grade papers, check e-mail, chat with colleagues or do any other work; it sends the message that what we're doing isn't very important or interesting and makes it much harder for us to succeed. Although our workshops may seem a bit disorderly (acting exercises often encourage free expression) we very rarely have discipline problems. Students almost always respond with both respect and enthusiasm. If a Teaching Artist does encounter classroom management challenges, we would like to be able to request your help and support.

Can you do a workshop on a day when there's a Teacher on Call?

Please do not schedule a workshop on a day when you know you will have a Teacher on Call. It's really important for the students to have a familiar teacher in the room. If something unexpected happens and there will be a Teacher on Call on the day of the workshop, please make sure the teaching artist is informed ahead of time, and please arrange to have an administrator or other staff member available to introduce the Teaching Artist. If that person cannot stay for the duration of the workshop, it would at least be helpful if they could check in a few times during the workshop. And of course, we request that the Teacher on Call remain in the room for the duration of the workshop, either participating or observing actively.

Exactly what do you do in a workshop?

All of Bard's Teaching Artists share a common goal: to give students the opportunity to explore Shakespeare's language as actors do. However, we all use slightly different activities and approaches. Different plays also lend themselves to different techniques, and the final variable is the students themselves. Once the Teaching Artist is confirmed for your workshop she or he will contact you to discuss your particular goals and specific strategies to meet them. While we plan carefully the types of activities we will do in a workshop, we sometimes find we have to adapt them in the moment to suit the specific needs of any given group of students.

What if we're coming to Bard from outside the Lower Mainland to attend a Bard performance? Can we add a workshop to our visit?

Yes! We have studio space available in the beautiful new BMO Theatre Centre in the Olympic Village. Workshop fees are the same as they are for those taking place in schools, with no additional fee for space rental. Please book early to facilitate scheduling.

Why can't I pay the teaching artist on the day of the workshop?

The teaching artists don't come to Bard's administrative office on a regular basis, so they aren't able to deliver payment, which must be processed in Bard's business office. Our preferred method of payment is a cheque, payable to Bard on the Beach and sent by post. If that's inconvenient, it's also possible to pay by credit card. Just phone Bard's administrative office at 604.737.0625 during regular business hours.

What if we can’t afford these rates?

Because we are committed to serving our community through affordable programming, we will charge only as much as we need to. The current fees for Bard in the Classroom are lower than our actual costs to provide the program.  However, if the cost is truly prohibitive for you, further subsidies may be available, depending on your circumstances. Please inquire.