Shakespeare Master Classes for Matriculants

Following its successful launch and popularity of its Othello Master Class for Matriculants in 2009, the ITMSA has again rolled out this master class. In 2010 we include King Lear to our repertoire for those schools that have chosen King Lear as its setwork. This programme has been endorsed by the English Curriculum Advisors of the Metro Central Education District.


To supplement and support the revision strategies of educators and add value to the study of the Matric Shakespeare set work using innovative theatre and drama techniques.

The ITMSA Shakespeare masterclass prepares matriculants to achieve superior results on the English exams by enabling them to:

  • Critically analyze a Shakespearean text in discussion and writing

  • Engage fully with a text whose language has been demystified

  • Gain an insight into the fundamental principles of performing Shakespeare and use this knowledge to enrich their critical readings

  • Understand the historical context and genesis of the texts

  • Realize the enduring relevance of Shakespeare works

  • Draw on their personal experiences to shape rich and dynamic critical approaches to the texts

  • Prepare adequately for the set work examination


The ITMSA has developed a unique integrated module for teaching Shakespeare to matriculants. Using professional actors and director, the ITMSA uses a series of live performances of excerpts from Othello or King Lear to reinforce a critical reading of the text. By introducing students to Shakespearean performance of the highest standards, the ITMSA illustrates how a rigorous critical study of Shakespeare's work can be enriching and engaging for all students. The programme also emphasizes the nuances of Shakespeare's language through a close reading of relevant texts. Beyond the fundamental curriculum, the ITMSA will work with each school to tailor the structure of the programme to the needs of that particular institution.

Content :

In this programme, a director rehearses selected scenes and speeches with professional actors. In doing so, a critical reading of the text comes to life as director and students work together to shape the performances. The students also have the opportunity to “hot seat” the director by asking questions about various characters to which the director responds in character. An extended component on the analysis and performance of sonnets is also available. The ITMSA also works with individual schools to expand on this basic framework in order to meet the needs of each particular institution.

Duration of Masterclass: Approximately 90 minutes (can be adapted to specific time constraints of individual schools).

Cost per student: R50.00 (unchanged from 2009).