The ASC Theatre Camp hones your skills as a performer while further preparingyou  for the academic rigors of college life and learning… so you might as well earn college credit for it. Enroll in the Companion course to get a head start on your college degree.

Each summer, we choose a theme for Companion course and pursue different lines of inquiry around that theme as a way of burrowing deeper into our knowledge of Shakespeare: his plays, his contemporaries, and his cultural legacy. Previous years have focused on themes like “Collaboration” and “Access.”

The Companion course introduces campers to the upper-level resources available in a university library. By enrolling in the Companion course, you aim to improve your research and writing skills beyond their current level. For attending the extra class sessions, doing the reading, completing in-camp assignment, and turning in a final project post-camp, campers in the Companion course can earn up to 3 college credit hours from Mary Baldwin University, which are transferable to other institutions.

Click here to download the 2017 College Credit Course enrollment form.

For more information about the specific focus for Summer 2017, and to download a copy of the class syllabus and schedule, please keep reading.

College Credit Companion Course, Summer 2017:

Accessing Shakespeare

One of the most common comments (I hesitate to say “compliments” though usually, the comments in question are intended as such) we get at the American Shakespeare Center is that our performances seem to make the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries more accessible. Laying aside (for a moment) the misconception that the word “accessibility” has a single, unified meaning, this particular comment contains multitudinous information about plays, audiences, Shakespeare, the ASC, and humanity.


The Oxford English Dictionary defines the earliest recorded usage of the word “accessible” (at around 1475 AD) as “Capable of being entered or approached; easy of access; readily reached or got hold of.” This summer, we will examine how notions of Shakespearean accessibility have evolved over the last 400 years, and ask ourselves some important questions: what does it take to be capable of entering or approaching Shakespeare? What are the obstacles to access, and can we overcome them?

Click here to download the Syllabus, Course Description, and Tentative Schedule

Click here to download the College Credit Course enrollment form.

Core Components

Performance Master Classes: Learn professional performance skills in classes, such as: voice, stage combat, and movement for the actor. Study the American Shakespeare Center’s unique approach to Shakespeare’s language – the architecture of his verse, the patterns of his rhetoric, and the relationship created between actor and audience. ASC actors, ASCTC directors, or other theatre and academic professionals teach all classes.

Academic Lectures: Participants attend lectures ranging in topic and cover areas like Little Academe
scansion and rhetoric, textual culture in the early modern period, Shakespeare’s theatres, source study of the plays, design technique and theory, and Elizabethan and Jacobean history.

Play Rehearsal: Work with a professional director on language, early modern staging practices, acting skills, ensemble and collaborative work towards the creation of a dynamic and engaging one-hour version of a Shakespeare play to be performed at the Blackfriars Playhouse.

In addition to the camp program, those seeking college credit further enhance the experience through weekly meetings with the course instructor and group-oriented projects to build skills in reading, writing, public speaking, and critical discussion. Students compose a 5-7-page research essay focusing on an aspect of early modern staging practices, textual culture, or theatre history at the completion of the course. The research essay is due two weeks after camp.


All campers who have been accepted to the ASC Theatre Camp for Summer 2017 are eligible to enroll in the College Credit Course. Enrollment does require a few extra steps:

  • Campers and their parents must complete the enrollment form for Mary Baldwin University and send tuition payments directly to MBU
  • Campers must submit a 2-3 page writing sample to Lia before the course begins


  • Weekly feedback from the course instructor
  • Written evaluation of the research essay
  • Written evaluation from the director of the play

Cost: “Accessing Shakespeare” is a 3-credit course, which requires an additional fee. Campers pay a discounted tuition rate of $395 per credit hour, making the total for the 3-credit course $1185. Please contact Lia Wallace at with any questions or quibbles regarding enrollment and/or payment for the College Credit Course.