Shakespeare Schools Festival 2019 is here!

We’re excited to say that the 19th Shakespeare Schools Festival has begun!

This year’s Festival kicked off with a sell-out performance at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven, Wales on 10th October - the same theatre which hosted our very first Festival performance back in 2000.

This autumn, over 20,000 young people from over 750 schools will stand on over 118 professional stages all around the UK, soaking up the applause of family and friends.

They’ll be performing abridged Shakespeare plays as part of our flagship project Shakespeare Schools Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our work, former Children’s Laureate Dame Jacqueline Wilson said, “I think the Shakespeare Schools Foundation does a marvellous job introducing our greatest playwright's work to children. If they act in a Shakespeare play they discover the joy and excitement and magic in his stories, and find confidence and creativity within themselves. The audience is in for a treat!”

Right up until 4th December, performances will be taking place in every nation and region of the UK.

Our young performers come from every type of school - primary, secondary and special schools, and Pupil Referral Units.

For these young people, the Festival is a thrilling experience which gives them the skills and confidence to last a lifetime.

Following last year’s Festival, a young performer said, “I thought I’d be so frightened I’d run off the stage. The thought of standing up in front of people doesn’t scare me now.”

In 2018, 98% of teachers said that their students were more confident as a result of the Festival. 97% said students were able to work more effectively as a team.

Taking part in the Festival also helps young people do well at school. In 2018, 82% reported an improvement in students’ academic attainment.

Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s Chief Executive Ruth Brock says,
“Performing Shakespeare on a professional stage opens doors to the future for children across the UK. With Shakespeare Schools Foundation, children do better in class and make new friends. Through a unique creative experience, they grow in confidence, resilience and empathy - they gain the skills they and our society needs for the future.”

This year, we’re asking our schools to embrace a Season of Infinite Variety and put their own stamp on Shakespeare. Is your school taking part this year? Tell us how you are bringing your own unique take to Shakespeare!
Twitter - @SSF19, #SSF19
Facebook - @ShakespeareSchoolsFestival

Do come along and see a performance!

Did you know? Dame Jacqueline Wilson is a big Shakespeare fan, and wears a special piece of jewellery.
Read all about it here.

96%
of teachers said that their students were resilient as a result of the Festival

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
95%
of teachers reported that their students were better able to empathise with each other

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
99%
of teachers said that their students increased in confidence

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
97%
of teachers agreed that their students were better at working together as a team

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
94%
of students are more likely to seek out new opportunities

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
More than
250,000
young people have taken part in the Festival

At our core is our Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our impact

SSF is a cultural education charity that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork - giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

Learn more about us