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About us

We create world class theatre, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.

We perform plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as commissioning a wide range of original work from contemporary writers. Our purpose is to ensure that Shakespeare is for everyone, unlocking the power of his plays and live performance, throughout the UK and across the world.

We believe everybody’s life is enriched by culture and creativity and we: 

  • Train generations of the very best theatre makers and nurture the talent of the future
  • Reach more than half a million young people and adults each year through our transformative learning programmes
  • Create projects with and for communities who have not historically engaged with our work

We are a leader in creative immersive technologies and digital development. With a proud record of innovation, diversity and excellence on stage, we are determined to grasp the opportunity to become an even more inclusive, progressive, relevant and ambitious organisation.

We recognise the climate emergency and work hard to embed environmental sustainability into our operations, creative work and business practice, making a commitment to continually reduce our carbon footprint.

Our history

The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre opened on our site next to the River Avon in 1879, after local brewer, Charles Flower donated the land and launched a campaign to build a theatre in the town of Shakespeare's birth. The theatre was rebuilt in 1932 after a fire, then in 1961 became the Royal Shakespeare Theatre when the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) was founded by Peter Hall.