Comedy and Shakespeare
Open Air A Midsummer Night’s Dream Workshop


STET’s favourite open-air theatre company Illyria returns for its fifth workshop season to the beautiful grounds of Raadhuis de Paauw in Wassenaar. 

The theme of this year’s workshop is ‘COMEDY’. Shakespearean comedy is the fast-paced, witty banter we see in all of Shakespeare’s comedic plays: clever dialogue and play on words, often delivered in a dramatic manner. We will discuss disguises and mistaken identities, tangled plots and surprising interludes. Some of his characters sometimes only come on stage to make us laugh! Oh the Bard knew his business: from situational comedy to silliness, inappropriateness to slapstick and physical humour!

The company joins in to illustrate key scenes from Midsummer Night’s Dream during this highly interactive workshop. Students participate dynamically, helped by professional actors, moderated by Emmeline Prior. In doing so students gain insight into one of Shakespeare’s most frequently performed comedies and even get a chance to hop on stage if they like. 

Please read below for the programme plan and information on how to book, view pictures of previous workshops and see positive feedback from an enthusiastic teacher.


COST €14 per student (no VAT)
DATE Friday 9 September 11:00-14:00
RUNNING TIME 3 hours (incl. lunch break)
VENUE Grounds of the Municipality of Wassenaar (De Paauw, Raadhuislaan 22)
AGE RANGE 16+ years
PARTICIPANTS Max. 100 students, places sell out fast!
LANGUAGE English. Illyria actors are from the UK
PREPARATION It is advised that students familiarize themselves with the plot of Midsummer Night’s Dream and have some knowledge of Shakespeare before the session. 

Meet Illyria Theatre Company

Illyria was created in 1991, and ever since has delighted audiences the length and breadth of the UK, and in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, the United States and Canada.
Illyria has also won 4 international “Best Performance” awards and attracted numerous “5-star” and “Critics’ Choice” reviews for the lively clarity of its approach to Shakespeare’s plays. Illyria has given more performances to more people across a wider area than any other open-air touring theatre company. Its presence dominates the sector and its standards set the bar high.

Illyria is proud that for 30 years its popularity has enabled it to operate on a fully professional basis.

Meet the moderator

Emmeline Prior is a British actor and freelance educator living in NYC. She worked at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre for many years, among other places in the UK. She was previously a regular actor performing with Illyria during several sunny, windy and rainy summers. This combination of skills make her excellent choice for leading and moderating our annual Illyria open-air workshops.

In fact, Emmeline devised our first ever open-air workshop in Wassenaar and she has experience leading many others, now looking forward to the fifth edition. She is fiery, spontaneous and very well-versed in Shakespeare. She has an eye for movement and coordination and is resourceful to the full meaning of the word. 

Authentic and engaging

Theatre company Illyria has a reputation for the clarity and authenticity of its productions of Shakespeare’s plays.

Illyria performs each play in the open air on an Elizabethan-inspired stage. They achieve the seemingly impossible by performing the plays UNCUT with five actors, the number they believe Shakespeare’s own company had when touring the provinces. Illyria performs the uncut Midsummer Night’s Dream at the same location (grounds of De Paauw) as the workshop, on 8 and 9 September at 19:30. Click here to read more…

Additionally, since we noted throughout the years that teenagers need a little more guidance for Shakespeare’s plays, we designed a workshop that helps them appreciate the experience even more. This workshop is perfectly suited to their age group. It is fun and engaging, inviting them to actively participate.

Outline of the programme

10:45 Arrival of all groups at the grounds of the municipality

11:00 Welcome, introduction and explanation of the theme

11:15 Short scene-based performances that highlight the theme

12:15 Lunchbreak (bring your own lunch)

13:00 Break out into small groups with the actors

13:45 Round-up and Q&A

14:00 Goodbyes

A teacher's review

“Our pupils loved being on stage … SPOT ON! Exactly what we want our pupils to experience.” P. de Koning, 2017, Den Haag

Key benefits to students

  • Language learning in a dynamic, stylistic and entertaining way
  • Learning about some tools that actors use to understand, and perform Shakespeare’s works
  • Empowering students to explore Shakespeare with confidence and affection
  • Historic/cultural understanding – learning about Shakespeare and his time
  • Getting a moment to shine on stage in a fun exercise
  • Mingling with other schools/students in a cool outdoor setting

Booking and information

Please email or give us a call so we can help you make your reservation.
T: +31 6 20 43 1919

Interested about the public performance? Read more here:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream