top of page

Shakespeare Academy

Autumn Acting Classes

Co-hosted by Speech of Fire

and Seoul Shakespeare Company

King Lear Production Pics 021.jpg
Rehearsing Shakespearean Monologues & Scenes​
Saturdays, 4:00-6:50pm
Gugak: Movement & Voice​
Wednesdays, 7:00-8:50pm
Movement & Ensemble 
Saturdays, 12:00-1:50pm
Acting Shakespeare's Text
Saturdays, 2:00-3:50pm
Acting Shakespeare's Text
Saturdays, 2:00-3:50pm
Autumn Session 1: "Fundamentals"                                      Autumn Session 2: "Language and Action"
Autumn Session 1:
October 26, November 2, 9, 16
Autumn Session 2:
November 23, 30, December 14, 21
Tuition fee per 4-week session: 90,000KRW 
(See discounts on our main Shakespeare Academy page)


Shakespeare's text provides lots of keys and clues to aid the actor in giving their best possible performance. In this class, we will discover key ways to bring out the richness of Shakespeare's writing in order to reveal possibilities in interpreting character, communicating clearly to the audience, and getting at the true meaning and intentions of a passage of text. 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.

Course Objectives:
-develop an extensive toolkit for approaching Shakespeare’s text,
-open up to new and interesting acting choices, guided by the language
Session 1: Fundamentals

This course is an efficient, nuts and bolts approach to Shakespeare's language. In it, we will approach a wide variety of topics related to performing Shakespeare's text 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. ​The aim of this workshop is for actors to develop an extensive toolkit for approaching Shakespeare’s text, and to open the actors up to new and interesting choices, guided by the language.

This course is for actors and directors of all levels who wish to improve their understanding of Shakespeare’s text and performance possibilities. This is more of a "sit down and discuss" class, while Session 2's class "Language and Action," is more on-your-feet.

(This is the same material that we taught in the class "Acting Shakespeare's Text" in October 2018, and we covered much of this material in our early King Lear rehearsals.)

Session 2: Language and Action

Our Session 2 class focuses on "Language and Action"--characters using language to accomplish something: to persuade, to negotiate between complicated objectives, or to work through a problem. Based on the work of David and Rebecca Clark Carey, this class explores seven monologues specifically selected for this month's topic, utilizing physical techniques specifically 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. While we have about five months' worth of material from the Careys (which we hope to get to in future months if there is enough interest), we begin with this topic, "Language and Action," because a character's need to speak, or objective to speak, is key, as is a character's moment-to-moment discovery of ideas. Below is a quick outline of topics and monologues used in this class:


Initial Exploration: Mark Antony


Having an Effect

Joan Puzel

Lady Percy


Negotiating Complications




Solving Problems




For anyone who took our class "Preparing to Perform: Mining Shakespeare’s Text" in 2016, this Session 2 material will have a lot of overlap, but will go more in depth into this specific area, "Language and Action," including monologues that we did not cover in 2016. (This class is a more in-depth look at one specific area covered in the 2016 class.) 
(Location, how to register, discounts for multiple classes, etc.)


Lauren Ash-Morgan and Michael Downey are the Founding Co-Artistic Directors of the new theatre company Speech of Fire, and have been training Seoul Shakespeare Company’s actors through workshops and rehearsal techniques since 2016, serving as SSC’s stage directors and text coaches in 2016-2019 and periodically teaching workshops to the public. In the last year they have incorporated additional techniques learned in Prague Shakespeare Company's 2018 Summer Shakespeare Intensive, where they studied with a variety of master teachers in Shakespeare, voice, movement and ensemble work, clown, original practices, original pronunciation, audition technique, First Folio, etc. For Seoul Shakespeare Company, they have previously taught the classes “Movement and Ensemble Work,” “Acting Shakespeare’s Text,” “Exploring Gugak in Theatre Training,” and “Preparing to Perform: Strategies for Approaching Shakespeare's Text,” and coached many actors in SSC's “Shakesperiments” workshops.

Lauren Ash-Morgan is currently directing The Orderly and playing Susan in Garage, coproduced by Seoul Shakespeare Company and Speech of Fire. She recently directed, designed, and produced Seoul Shakespeare Company's production of King Lear and is the outgoing Artistic Director of SSC, serving as SSC’s Artistic Director, producer, and costume designer in 2014-2019 and actor/board member 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), 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), as well as 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 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, regularly using these techniques in theatre performance. Lauren is now Founding Co-Artistic Director of the new theatre company Speech of Fire.

Michael Downey played the title role in Seoul Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear earlier this year and is currently directing Garage and acting in his solo play, The Orderly, coproduced by Seoul Shakespeare Company and Speech of Fire. He served as Seoul Shakespeare Company’s regular stage director in 2016-2018, directing The Merchant of VeniceGarageThe Winter's Tale and Much Ado About Nothing, and also wrote and directed the short play Trumpus Rex last year 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 has been a leading actor with SSC since 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). Last year 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, and was revived in Seoul in 2013. 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 the new theatre company Speech of Fire.

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be”

Hamlet, Act 4 Scene 5

“The good things in life do not come only through the senses. Some of the most exhilarating experiences we undergo are generated inside the mind, triggered by information that challenges our ability to think, rather than from the use of sensory skills.” 

― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“The ... reason creativity is so fascinating is that when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.” 

― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

Learn about Csikszentmihalyi and other influences here:

bottom of page