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2017 production still from Bell Shakespeare's Richard III

Bell Shakespeare

Collaborating with Australia's national theatre company
The partnership between The University of Sydney and Bell Shakespeare unites two uniquely Australian institutions with a shared focus on education and creating positive impact for the greater community.

Bell Shakespeare is national theatre company specialising in the works of William Shakespeare, his contemporaries and other classics. Since its extraordinary journey began in 1990, Bell Shakespeare has shared the timeless beauty of Shakespeare and other classics with young people, teachers, communities and audiences in every state and territory of Australia. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is proud to be the partner of Bell Shakespeare and working in a variety of collaboration opportunities.

HSC Shakespeare Seminars

In these annual Shakespeare seminars, the University of Sydney academics, Professor Liam Semler, Dr Huw Griffiths and Professor Penny Gay collaborate with Bell Shakespeare Resident Artist in Education, Huw McKinnon, to discuss and explore each play.    

Mr Huw McKinnon and Dr Huw Griffiths at Shakespeare Seminar 2022

Mr Huw McKinnon and Dr Huw Griffiths at Shakespeare Seminar 2022. Photo taken by Clare Hawley.

Each session includes in-depth analysis by one of our academics, covering close reading, literary techniques, different interpretations, themes, and character analysis. The Players from Bell Shakespeare will be performing key scenes and soliloquies. Part performance, part interactive seminar, these sessions are designed to directly link to HSC modules and give students the edge in their HSC exams.

Combining rigorous literary analysis with illuminating dramatic insights into the plays, sessions will be presented in an approachable, conversational format showing the interplay between text and drama.

Students and teachers are encouraged to ask and discuss questions live, connecting them with Bell Shakespeare artists, leading University of Sydney academics, and other students completing their HSC.

Richard is one of Shakespeare’s great creations: as funny as he is vicious; as pathetic as he is terrifying. We're looking forward to exploring all of his possibilities through this interactive workshop.
Dr Huw Griffiths, Chair of the Department of English

Upcoming seminars

2023 seminar information will be announced in late 2022.

If you wish to access the digital recordings, you can apply to access the recordings in Term 3, 2022.


Past seminars

  • The Merchant of Venice
  • Richard III / Looking for Richard
  • The Tempest / Hag-Seed

Presented by Professor Liam Semler, Dr Huw Griffiths and Professor Penny Gay, University of Sydney, in collaboration with Huw McKinnon, Resident Artist in Education, and The Players, Bell Shakespeare.

Authentic education for our students

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Bell Shakespeare place a focus on authentic education.  

Read the interview with Alex Stewart, our Master of Art Curating student who recently completed  an internship with Bell Shakespeare.


Banner image: Bell Shakespeare's Richard 3 (c) Prudence Upton.

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