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Shakespeare's Toolkit

Shakespeare workshops with

Rob Clare in Pasadena

July-August 2019

Stay sharp with Shakespeare, this summer!


Acclaimed Shakespeare specialist Rob Clare, whose freelance credits include Steppenwolf and the Royal Shakespeare Company, leads a highly practical series of weekend workshops during July and August 2018, in Pasadena, CA.  Broad-ranging, eclectic, and always tied into the actor’s process, we will focus on in-depth rehearsal of scenes and monologues -  showing that verse form, heightened vocabulary and other sometimes daunting aspects of these rich, complex texts can be viewed as invitations to be individually creative and spontaneously responsive, giving the work new dynamism and life. 


Rob Clare (right) works with Ensemble member Fred Cross

This class is for committed actors, with previous or no previous experience of Shakespeare.  Whether preparing for auditions, to get over any inhibitions, or whatever your interest, get up on your feet - breathe new life into old verse, and get creative!  Pick up on key strategies and fundamentally practical approaches to help empower you, in bringing Shakespeare’s text to vivid, fresh, confident and flexible life onstage.  You are actors. These plays are for you!



“Rob Clare has a profoundly intimate relationship with Shakespeare's characters.  They feel like family.  That closeness combined with some terrific instincts about acting make him an incredibly valuable resource. “ 

(Tony Award winner) Liev Schreiber


"Rob Clare's workshops are practical magic…A weekend with Rob is more incisive and relevant than a semester of Shakespeare."

(Tony Award nominee) Carrie Coon


"Rob Clare fundamentally shaped the way I approach acting - disciplined craft allowing us to unleash a sense of visceral freedom. He changed my life."

(Primetime Emmy Award winner) Riz Ahmed


“If you are interested in loving Shakespeare even more than you already do and you want to learn how to perform his work to top of your ability, get to know Rob Clare.  Even if you can only give him a few hours, you will not be sorry, and you will keep coming back for more!” 

(Tony Award winner) Frank Wood

"Rob Clare occupies the venerable space of great teacher, great artist. His Shakespeare acumen is unrivaled, giving any actor a seamless and confident approach turning text into dynamic performance."
(Obie Award winner) John Douglas Thompson


Participants will initially prepare a Shakespeare speech of their own choice, or (with an agreed scene partner) a short dialogue, or section of a scene.  All will then work on selected scenes and speeches, as agreed and as appropriate.


During our Sundays together, we will survey a range of Shakespearean texts, and differing approaches to them, and especially to working with the verse.  We will take away any fear.   We will explore the issues and the opportunities inherent in working with highly figured language, imagery, and formal elements such as rhyme.  We will also consider the challenges and opportunities inherent in direct audience address, and using Shakespeare speeches in auditions. 

Numbers will be strictly limited, up to a maximum of 16 participants, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

To sign up for workshop please email our workshop manager Catie at

All correspondence will be done via email, however if you do need to talk to Catie please call at 310-901-1014

Workshop dates:

2-6pm, on 6 consecutive Sundays from July 14th through August 18th; and participants can sign up for 2, 4 or 6 weeks at a time


Sunday July 14th,  July 21st, July 28th, August 4th, August 11th August 18th


Workshop location

First United Methodist Church – separate building to church. 

To find the entrance to the space, enter this address into Google Maps:

464 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101


The parking is in the church parking lot, which is entered off Green Street behind the church.  The workshop space is upstairs, and will be signposted


Workshop fee for all 6 classes



Workshop fee for 4 weeks



Workshop fee for 2 weeks



Payment information sent with confirmation letter,

Rob Clare was originally an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), then a Staff Director at the UK National Theatre, and Associate Artistic Director of the major UK touring company, Compass, for whom he directed the first major revival of Amadeus.  He was also one of the pioneers of using drama to work creatively with inmates in the UK prison system.  Becoming increasingly interested in differing approaches to working with Shakespeare, he completed a doctorate in the subject at Oxford University and has since become an internationally recognized Shakespeare specialist.  He has worked in numerous training institutions within the UK, and established the MA Classical Acting course at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, which he also led for its first three years, as well as also teaching at the Globe. 

Since resuming his freelance career he has directed and/or taught Shakespeare in Ireland, Austria, Germany, Australia, China, and the USA.  In India, he directed Hindi productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet.  Before moving to the US, he worked regularly for almost a decade as a freelance specialist verse and text coach with the RSC’s core acting ensemble, leading annual workshops, and working in and alongside rehearsals for productions of Richard III, Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry V and Hamlet.  In the US he has been visiting faculty at The Juilliard School, Brown, UCLA, USC Los Angeles, CSU Long Beach and NYU Tisch (both graduate and undergraduate acting).  He has also directed productions of As You Like It (Antaeus Theatre Company, Los Angeles), Cymbeline (New Orleans Shakespeare Festival), Twelfth Night and The Merry Wives of Windsor (American Shakespeare Center, Staunton VA), Love’s Labour’s Lost and Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Marin Shakespeare Company), King Lear (Luna Stage, Orange NJ), The Winter’s Tale (Hang A Tale Productions, NYC), As You Like It (Kentucky Shakespeare), Richard III (Idaho Shakespeare Festival), Pericles (USC Los Angeles), The Duchess of Malfi (CSU Long Beach), and Richard III (American Academy of Dramatic Arts, LA).  He has worked regularly at the NYC Actors Center, the Academy for Classical Acting in Washington DC, and with the acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater Company, Chicago, for whose ensemble he led Shakespeare workshops, and also provided specialized verse and text work for Tina Landau’s production of The Tempest. 


Current projects include developing a production of King Lear for underserved communities in and around Los Angeles, and Troilus and Cressida for UCLA.  He is married to the actress Reiko Aylesworth, and they now live in Pasadena CA, with their son, Andre.

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