Exploring Shakespeare: Hamlet

Dig into Shakespeare's Hamlet from an actor's point of view! In this class, we'll read the play aloud from cover to cover, stopping along the way to discuss plot, character, acting, and production possibilities.
Esther Williamson, MFA
9 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 2 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.

75 minutes

per class

Twice per week

over 6 weeks


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

Skills addressed:
- reading Shakespeare aloud
- mining Shakespeare's language for meaning
- scansion (analysis of poetic rhythm)
- mining Shakespeare's language for clues to character and action
- acting basics: objective, obstacle, relationship, given circumstances
- giving and receiving constructive feedback
I am a classical actor and teaching artist who has performed in Hamlet twice and co-directed it once with high school students. I have taught Shakespeare to high school and middle school students for the past 20 years in many different settings, from single-day workshops to two-week camps to semester-long classes. I have been a teaching artist in theatres around the US, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC, Imagination Stage in Maryland, and others. I was adjunct faculty for two years at Seattle Pacific University, where I directed the University Players, a touring troupe that wrote two scripts per year and toured them to high schools, churches, and community spaces throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Degrees earned: 
BA, Theatre and English, Seattle Pacific University
MFA, Classical Acting, The Shakespeare Theatre Company/George Washington University
Students will be assigned a role for each act in the play. They will be expected to analyze their character's language, looking for clues to meaning and clues to how the character might be played by an actor. This work will take about an hour per class meeting. Throughout our time together, students will be given tools and methods to help them complete their analysis.
- Each learner will need a copy of Shakespeare's play Hamlet. I recommend the Folger Shakespeare Library edition because it provides excellent notes and defines unfamiliar words on each page. It is best to have a paper copy of the play so that learners can easily make notes. 
- pencil
- paper or a notebook to take notes
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
2 hours 30 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
Hamlet is famous for probing the deepest questions of life, and that means grappling with some pretty dark material. Sensitive topics include suicidal thoughts, murder, revenge, loss of a parent, failing friendships, and fractured families. Students will have space to discuss these topics as they arise, though the focus will be on Shakespeare's text and not on personal experience. Please let me know if you have questions.
Each learner will need a copy of Shakespeare's play Hamlet. I recommend the Folger Shakespeare Library edition because it provides excellent notes and defines unfamiliar words on each page. 


Esther Williamson, MFAActor, Musician, Word Nerd
9 total reviews
11 completed classes

About Me

I am a classical actor and teaching artist, and I'm excited to share my love of the performing arts with Outschool’s learners. I live in New York, but I have worked with companies all around the United States, from the iconic Oregon Shakespeare... 
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