University of Pittsburgh
November 2, 2010

Shakespeare Doesn’t Have to be Intimidating

Annual workshop at Pitt trains educators in teaching the Bard’s writings

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—Sometimes the moans and groans about having to study Shakespeare can come from teachers as well as the students. To help educators make the Bard’s works more relevant and applicable to young people, the University of Pittsburgh’s Shakespeare-in-the-Schools (SITS) program offers its annual teacher workshop—More Shakespeare Alive!—from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 12  in the Stephen Foster Memorial, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 

The workshop fee is $75 and includes a boxed lunch. To register, visit, e-mail, or call 412-624-3459. Last year, 30 teachers from 15 counties attended; this year, the program can accommodate 40 participants. 

More Shakespeare Alive! will be led by Gillian McNally, assistant professor of theater education at the University of Northern Colorado. She will provide hands-on activities that teachers can apply to classroom instruction. They include building confidence in studying Shakespeare, exploring text and vocal techniques, and using movement to better understand Shakespeare’s storytelling. 

A longtime advocate for youth and arts education, McNally has many years of experience in bringing theater to underserved low-income populations. She was a resident teaching artist for People’s Light and Theatre, where she created the Professional Development Program for teaching Shakespeare. She has written extensively about young people and the arts and presented a paper on the connection between youth, theater, and the community at the International Children’s Theatre Conference. 

As a part of Pitt’s Department of Theatre Arts, the Shakespeare-in-the-Schools program works to engage students and teachers with the writings of Shakespeare and other classical authors through touring shows, field-trip matinees, K-12 artist residencies, teacher workshops, talk-back sessions, and study guides. For more information, visit