Message from the Artistic Director

If, as he crossed London Bridge on his way to the theatre, Shakespeare glanced down into the pool of London he might have seen the many galleons and merchant ships preparing to sail to distant seas dotted with lush green spice islands.

The taverns on the quayside would ring with mariners' yarns and tall tales from faraway places. Shakespeare was clearly fascinated by this brave new world, and America was a place of both mystery and endless opportunity.  

I joined the RSC 25 years ago as an actor and have spent much of that time learning the full range of skills and crafts required to bringing great plays to the stage and witnessing the astonishing scale of Shakespeare's international appeal. Shakespeare's interest in the globe at large means that the universal themes and timeless stage action found in his plays speak to audiences everywhere.  

Our work with American actors, directors and playwrights has allowed us much more than an exchange of creativity, it allows us to celebrate Shakespeare as a precious shared asset between our two nations. Shakespeare is the English-language playwright and poet. It is this belief in his importance that underpins our commitment to his work, whether that is on stage or in the classroom, here in Stratford-upon-Avon or throughout the world.  

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director

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Teaching Shakespeare