Studying Shakespeare at the University of Melbourne

At the University of Melbourne, we teach Shakespeare from a variety of perspectives, including theatre studies/performance studies approaches, to acting and dramaturgy, and to teaching Shakespeare in high schools. Faculty of Arts students encounter Romeo and Juliet and Othello in the first year subject, ENGL10002 Literature and Performance, then explore Shakespeare's work in modern stage and film adaptations in ENGL20033 Shakespeare in Performance. An Honours subject, ENGL40024 Renaissance Drama, explores Shakespeare's theatrical context by introducing students to the world of Marlowe, Jonson, and others. Applications are welcome for MAs and PhDs in Shakespeare.

The Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) teaches undergraduate courses in music theatre and theatre, where exploration of Shakespeare’s text in the context of embodied performance allows students to find the freedom and energy of playing within structure.

The study of Shakespeare is a fundamental component of the teaching of music theatre and theatre at the VCA, and forms part of the core curriculum of our programs. In 2016, members of our Acting Company 2016 toured Much Ado About Nothing to Germany for an International Shakespeare Festival hosted by Folkwang Universität der Künste. The remainder of Acting Company 2016 students together with our Bachelor of Fine Arts (Production) students presented their performance of A Midsummer Nights Dream here in Melbourne.

The VCA also offers postgraduate coursework programs in voice, directing, dramaturgy, writing for performance and design for performance, as well as research master and doctoral programs.

The Melbourne Graduate School of Education offers a Master of Education which specifically includes 'Teaching Shakespeare' electives, for those who intend to teach Shakespeare in secondary schools.

More information

Faculty of Arts


Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Dramatis Personae (staff bios)

School of Culture and Communication

Dr David McInnis, Gerry Higgins Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies
Expert in Shakespeare and theatre history, especially lost plays; Shakespeare in performance/adaptation; non-Shakespearean drama

Honorary Professorial Fellow Ian Donaldson
Expert in the life and work of Ben Jonson; Shakespeare; the literature and drama of 16th & 17th century England

Associate Professor Paul Rae
Expert in contemporary international and Southeast Asian theatre; performance theory

Professor Denise Varney
Expert in Australian Theatre, Modernism and Modernity, Feminism and Gender

Dr Sarah Balkin
Expert in Victorian and modernist theatre, literature, and culture; theatre studies; genre.

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Dr Richard Sallis
Expert in Arts education (drama/theatre); gender education (ethnodrama, performativity, masculinities)

Dr Christine Sinclair, Head of Drama Education
Expert in applied theatre; drama and theatre practice; drama pedagogy


Professor Mary Luckhurst
Expert in history and processes of acting; dramaturgy; applied theatre and human rights; comedy.

Dr Alyson Campbell
Expert in dramaturgy and applied theatre

Dr Raimondo Cortese
Expert in playwriting and performance texts.

Ms Margot Fenley
Expert in Music Theatre performance and training (acting, theatre, Shakespeare, naturalism)

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