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Shakespeare Acting Classes

May 2022


Hone your Shakespeare acting skills!

Based in Seoul. Join us online from anywhere!

This month's course:

Acting Shakespeare's Text

Language and Action—Solving Problems

It's the last week to register! (Register by April 30)

woman with the concept of the problems and stress.jpg

Delve deeply into Shakespeare's text, exploring a new speech each week based on the month's theme. This month we experience characters trying to solve complicated problems for themselves, including Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” and Viola’s ring speech.


Thursdays in May, 7:00pm-9:00pm (Korean Standard Time, GMT+9) for 4 weeks (May 5, 12, 19, and 26)

$80 USD

8 hours total instruction

Registration deadline: April 30 at 7pm (Korean Standard Time, GMT+9)

Appropriate for adults and teens age 16 and over, of all experience levels.

Taught in English via Zoom.

Co-taught by Lauren Ash-Morgan and Michael Downey.

Course Description

Acting Shakespeare's Text

Shakespeare embeds lots of keys and clues in his text to help the actor give performances that are complex, innovative, exciting, naturalistic, and action-driven. In this class we explore key ways to bring out the richness of Shakespeare's writing, in a visceral way, in order to reveal exciting possibilities in interpreting character, communicating clearly to the audience, getting at the meanings and intentions of a passage of text, and exploring language as moment-to-moment action. As with all things in acting, the aim is not to find one correct answer, but to find out new, inspiring possibilities for the text. 

“Language and Action: Solving Problems”

This month focuses on "Solving Problems": characters using language to work out complicated problems for themselves. Based on the work of David and Rebecca Clark Carey, this class explores monologues specifically selected for this month's topic (including Hamlet's "To be or not to be" and Viola's ring speech) and utilizes techniques tailored to each monologue to bring out the text’s most salient features, with an eye toward how the discoveries made in these monologues can be applied to other texts. 

This course is for actors and directors of all levels who wish to improve their understanding of Shakespeare’s text and performance possibilities. 


Participants will need:
A room with enough space to move around a bit (nothing fancy, just a space that allows you to walk around a little), and in which you can vocalize. Please make sure your space is reasonably free of background noise.

Details and Registration

Click on the image below to register:

Questions? Email us at

Classes offered earlier this year

April 2022

“Rehearsing Shakespeare: Monologues & Scenes”​—Tuesdays in April

Develop a monologue or scene of your choice and experience our rehearsal processes.

“Acting Shakespeare’s Text: Language and Action—Persuasion & Negotiation”​—Thursdays in April

Delve deeply into Shakespeare's text, exploring a new speech each week based on the month's theme. This month we experience characters using language either to persuade or to negotiate between complicated objectives.

March 2022

“Rehearsing Shakespeare: Monologues & Scenes”​—Tuesdays in March

Develop a monologue or scene of your choice and experience our rehearsal processes.

“Acting Shakespeare’s Text: Nuts & Bolts”—Thursdays in March

An efficient, nuts and bolts approach to Shakespeare's language, including a variety of topics such as language height, meter, enjambment, the significance of "you" vs. "thou", learning from original practices, exploring acting clues in the First Folio, and discovering lessons from original pronunciation.


Lauren Ash-Morgan and Michael Downey are the Founding Co-Artistic Directors of Speech of Fire and have been training actors through workshops and rehearsal techniques since late 2015, first as Seoul Shakespeare Company (SSC), and now as Speech of FireWhile Lauren served as SSC's Artistic Director from 2014 to 2019, both Lauren and Michael served as SSC's stage directors and training coaches in 2016-2019 and have periodically taught workshops to the public, including “Movement and Ensemble Work” (2018, 2019), “Acting Shakespeare’s Text” (2018, 2019), "Rehearsing Shakespearean Monologues & Scenes​​​” (2019), “Exploring Gugak in Theatre Training” (2018), "Gugak: Movement and Voice" (2019), and “Preparing to Perform: Strategies for Approaching Shakespeare's Text” (2016). They have also coached many actors in SSC's “Shakesperiments” workshops, which Lauren first created in 2014. Over time they have incorporated techniques learned in Prague Shakespeare Company's Summer Shakespeare Intensive, the Shakespeare Theatre Association's annual conferences, personal study and research, and rehearsal processes for the productions they have directed and coached. More about their productions as Seoul Shakespeare Company here and more about Speech of Fire here.

Abouth the Insructors

Lauren bio

Lauren Ash-Morgan most recently appeared in Richard II by The Show Must Go Online, one of the pandemic era's most groundbreaking and innovative Zoom theatre series, broadcast live in 2020. Pre-pandemic, she directed The Orderly and played Susan in Garage, two productions which she produced in rep as a co-production between Seoul Shakespeare Company and Speech of Fire in 2019. That year she also directed, designed, and produced Seoul Shakespeare Company's production of King Lear. She was Seoul Shakespeare Company's Artistic Director, producer, and costume designer from 2014 to 2019, having served as a leading actor and board member with SSC since 2011. Lauren's acting credits include Prague Shakespeare Company's The Two Gentlemen of Verona directed by Ben Crystal at the Estates Theatre (Silvia/Ensemble); Seoul Shakespeare Company’s The Merchant of Venice (Portia), Garage (Susan), The Winter’s Tale (Paulina/Time/Bohemian), Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice), Titus Andronicus (Tamora), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), Hamlet (Gertrude), The Tempest (Alonsa), Macbeth (Lady Macbeth), Shakespeare's Love and Despair (Lady Macbeth, Trinculo, Gertrude, Tamora, Desdemona) and Shakespeare's Gore and Madness (Portia, Queen Margaret, Gertrude); Probationary Theatre Company’s Popcorn (Farrah), Betrayal (Emma), and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Martha);  Eurasia Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Richard III (Queen Elizabeth) at the National Theater of Korea; and the independent feature film Amiss.  She also directed the 2013 Seoul run of The Orderly and the short play Best Interests for Seoul Players' 10-Minute Play festival, and served as movement/ensemble coach for SSC's King Lear and the 10-minute play Trumpus Rex. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (Voice) from Ithaca College and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology, specializing in Korean traditional music and dance, and has studied and performed pansori, Korean traditional dance, and gayageum, in various capacities, since 2005, often using these techniques in theatre performance. Lauren is now Founding Co-Artistic Director of Speech of Fire.

Michael bio

Michael Downey most recently appeared in Julius Caesar by The Show Must Go Online, one of the pandemic era's most groundbreaking and innovative Zoom theatre series, broadcast live in 2020. Pre-pandemic, he played the title role in Seoul Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear in 2019 and in that same year directed Garage and performed his solo play, The Orderly, two productions in rep co-produced by Seoul Shakespeare Company and Speech of Fire. He served as Seoul Shakespeare Company’s regular stage director in 2016-2019, directing The Merchant of VeniceGarageThe Winter's Tale and Much Ado About Nothing, and also wrote and directed the short play Trumpus Rex for Seoul Players’ 10-Minute Play Festival. Other directing credits include A Circular Play by Gertrude Stein and New Year’s Eve by Dave MacGregor. He first joined SSC as an actor in 2010, appearing in Macbeth (Macbeth), The Tempest (Prospero), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Peter Quince), Titus Andronicus (Titus Andronicus), and Shakespeare's Love and Despair (Macbeth, Claudius, Titus Andronicus). In 2018 he appeared as Octavius Caesar and the Soothsayer in Prague Shakespeare Company's Julius Caesar at the Estates Theatre in Prague. Other acting credits in Seoul include Betrayal (Jerry), The Importance of Being Earnest (Algernon), The Real Inspector Hound (Magnus), and Eurasia Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Richard III (Clarence) at the National Theater of Korea. Michael trained as an actor at the Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts and holds an M.A. in Drama Studies from the University of Auckland. In New Zealand, his theatre credits include CoriolanusOedipus the King, and Attempts on Her Life. Onscreen, he has appeared in Power RangersShortland Street, and Xena: Warrior Princess. He co-founded The Rebel Alliance Theatre Company in 2006, their debut production being his solo play The Orderly, which toured New Zealand, was adapted for radio by Radio New Zealand, was revived in Seoul in 2013 and 2019, and is now in Speech of Fire's performance repertoire. In 2007, his play Aroha won the SmackBang PlayRight award and enjoyed a two-week season at the Herald Theatre. Michael is now Founding Co-Artistic Director of Speech of Fire.

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