The world's largest youth drama festival

How the Festival works

Simon Bamingbade and Seth Mangundu from St Joseph’s Junior School perform at a fundraising gala in aid of Shakespeare Schools Foundation.

We are proud of our inclusive ethos. Every year we welcome thousands of students and hundreds of teachers from primary, secondary and special schools.

35 students can participate from each school, and we usually work with ages 8-18.

Each school's place in the Festival is subsidised by SSF. To find out more about the cost, click here.

Here's how it works:

  • Welcome to the Festival

    Register your school for the Shakespeare Schools Festival and take your first step to transforming the lives of your students. You will be introduced to your dedicated Festival Coordinator who will guide you through the thrilling months ahead. Before you know it, your young people will be performing on a professional stage!
  • January-April: Pick your play and get your resources

    Once registered, your website login will give you access to the backstage area of our website so you can browse our extensive bank of resources. You can also read our specially abridged scripts, choose your play, share tips in our online Green Room and be supported and inspired by the SSF team and other Teacher-Directors.
  • May-June: Attend your Teacher-Director Workshop

    In this full day of CPD, SSF Artistic Associates provide you with a practical director’s toolkit. Whether you're a total beginner or a drama expert, whatever the age and ability of your pupils, we will equip you to direct a Shakespeare play with your young people in a way that is active, aspirational, fun and inclusive.
  • September-October: Attend your Company Workshop

    We bring together two local schools for a half-day workshop led by theatre professionals. We work with you and your company to develop your performance and to give you more tips and tricks to take back into the rehearsal room. We boost student and Teacher-Director confidence as the excitement builds towards your Performance Day.
  • October-November: Your students perform on a professional stage

    On your Performance Day, SSF staff lead each school in a technical and dress rehearsal and ensure that you feel ready and supported for the evening to come. In a celebratory finale to your Festival journey, you join other local schools as your young people take to the stage and share their hard work and success with your local community.

Interested?

Find out more about how the cost of the Festival is shared between the charity and the school, and more details of everything that is included here.

Ready to sign up? Brilliant! Secure your place now by filling out the registration form.

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