MA Shakespeare and Creativity student Nori Fitchett writes about a day in their life studying at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Starting the day

The day was Thursday 23rd November and it was a busy one for me. To begin my day I had a nutritiously questionable breakfast of a cup of tea and a chocolate muffin; which may or may not have been out of date. I then got dressed in a tank top and my most movable jeans, I put on my Richard 3rd themed playlist and made the 20 minute walk to the Theatre Practices seminar at the Shakespeare Institute.


Theatre Practices is by far the favourite of my modules and this week’s focus was on the practitioner Rudolf Laban; who I am now thoroughly obsessed with. His approach to acting and character creation focuses on different movement actions to create emotion; rather than the more well known practice of emotion memory created by Stanislavsky. This was revolutionary to my work to the point where I’m intending on focusing my dissertation on this practitioner.

Once this lesson had concluded I wanted to get my mind focused, in order to process the lesson and work out how it will affect my characterization in our upcoming assessment, so I went to the library. Though our library is rather small compared to most university libraries, it is highly curated with every book you could possibly need for studying Shakespeare. Personally I go there for the calming atmosphere of being surrounded by so many wonderful and old books. My favourite spot in the library is a small tucked away corner on the top floor which houses a relatively comfortable chair and a view of some of the gardens and the car park. It may not be the most perfect spot in the library and it may not have the best WiFi, but I like it the most.

Joining one of the famous Thursday Seminars

At 3pm it’s time for the weekly Thursday Seminar; this is an amazing opportunity to meet new people and learn new things that can inspire your own work. This week it was a round table discussion, ‘Drama and Music Circulation in Early Modern England’, with Dr Elisabeth Lutteman, Dr Katie Bank and Dr Simon Smith. Before this seminar I hadn’t thought much about the songs present in Shakespeare’s plays but it is a truly fascinating topic. My favourite bit of knowledge I learnt is that most of the songs in early modern plays are popular tunes of the day with new lyrics added on top.

Students at a Thursday Seminar at the Shakespeare Institute


That evening several of the Shakespeare Institute cohort went out for an evening meal to celebrate Thanksgiving. The Institute attracts students from across the world and having been British since birth I was excited to be a part of this tradition and to have a wonderful meal out with friends.

All in all, this Thursday in my life as a Shakespeare Institute student was a highlight amongst a great semester.