FDU students studying at Wroxton College enjoy unique opportunities to experience the legacy of Shakespeare in nearby Stratford-upon-Avon.

There are many ways to get acquainted with Shakespeare, but nothing compares to studying his work in his native land and seeing his plays performed in his birthplace and the center of the Shakespearean heritage, Stratford-upon-Avon. Fairleigh Dickinson’s Wroxton College in England is just 16 miles from the Bard’s hometown, and Wroxton students have numerous opportunities to get intimately familiar with his legacy.

Of course, students can enjoy tourist attractions ranging from his birthplace on Henley Street, his wife Anne Hathaway’s thatched-roof cottage, the timbered schoolroom where he may have studied and his tomb at Holy Trinity Church. But more importantly, they can see his works brought to life in rare form.

Wroxton Dean Nicholas Baldwin says, “Wroxton’s English literature/theater/drama courses are tailor-made to exploit the fact that we are so close to Stratford-upon- Avon, thereby taking advantage of the rich resources on our doorstep.” Academic lessons on the texts are rounded out with guest speakers, chats with Royal Shakespeare Company actors and access to the incredible archives at the Shakespeare Institute. And, most importantly, students can see Shakespeare as he was meant to be seen, in live theater, in any one of three very different Royal Shakespeare Company theaters: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, a “front-on” theater with more than 1,000 seats; the Swan, an “in the round”-style, 450-seat theater; and The Other Place, a 150- to 200-seat experimental theater space.

Students in front of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

“Wroxton seeks to show how the excitements of academic scholarship and theatrical performance are complementary,” says Baldwin. “Being immersed in the plays both on page and stage makes Shakespeare come alive in a very special way.”

He adds, “Wroxton College’s atmosphere and situation provide ideal conditions for appreciating what is best in our literary heritage and most valuable in contemporary drama.”

Baldwin addresses potential students of Wroxton when he cites words written by Shakespeare: “I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips/Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot/Follow your spirit ...” (“Henry V”).

All the World’s His Stage | FDU’s Shakespeare Colloquium
Stephen Hollis | Harry Keyishian | June Schlueter

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