This page collects various materials not posted or published on our blogs. It is in chronological order from 2020-2022. 

(1) Kazakh warm-up exercises, led by Dunay Yespaev Amandykovich (CA planning meeting February 2020) 


(2) Staging the Burial of Fidele (aka Innogen) in a Thunderstorm (Cymbeline 4.2)

This is participating director Katie Steele Brokaw's description of her apporach to workshopping this scene at the project planning meeting in Santa Barbara California, February 2020. 

When approaching the scene in which Guiderius, Arviragus, and Belarius bury Fidele (who is actually Innogen, and who is actually not dead), we first considered the way the brothers’ funeral song assures the (seemingly) deceased “boy” that the strife brought on by weather can no longer hurt “him,” now that “he” is dead:


            Fear no more the heat o’th’sun

            Nor the furious winter’s rages…

            Fear no more the lightning flash,

            Nor th’all-dreaded thunder-stone. (259-60, 271-72)


Excesses of heat and excesses of rain are two of the increasingly prevalent weather problems brought on by worldwide climate change. So in order to stage this funeral scene, we considered the way these dangerous weather events might interrupt personal moments: what if the little family was trying to bury Fidele in the middle of a thunderstorm? As a Lit Moon actor suggested, the characters would then be fighting both their grief and the elements. For the characters, the presence of a storm during a burial could at times feel as if the sky were crying too, that the weather was assisting in this lamentable moment. But at other times, rain and thunder would just make an already difficult situation worse: the delicate flowers they pick become soaked; the lightning makes their presence outside dangerous; the water-logged ground becomes difficult for them to dig into; and through it all, they can hardly hear each other over the noise of the thunder.


These were the ideas that actors played with when we staged the scene. I worked with the other collaborators to create storm noise in the background: with our hands and feet, we made a soundscape of raindrops, wind, and thunderclaps. And Lit Moon sound designer contributed to the orchestrated cacophony with piano improvisations, and, at the end of the scene, underscoring to the song.


The result was that as a group, we considered the intersection of ecological grief with personal grief, and the way global changes exacerbate the most intimate of moments.

(3) Dramaturgy Notes for Imogen in the Wild, by Dr Katherine Steele Brokaw, UC-Merced, January 2021  

Cymbeline, written late in Shakespeare’s career, combines many elements from earlier plays: star-crossed lovers, a spunky, cross-dressing heroine, a villain who makes a man doubt his wife’s fidelity. The plot’s twists and turns and the play’s sprawling locations stretch one’s belief, and the rapid series of revelations in the play’s final scene are almost comically improbable.

But at its core, Cymbeline is about a woman who follows her heart, and a man who errs grievously and then suffers for it. “Is it enough that I’m sorry?,” Posthumous asks when he gives himself up to Jailers. How bad do we have to feel, how much must we suffer in order to make up for the wrongs we have done to those we love most?

But the play is about forgiveness, not penitence. In that improbable ending are the reconciliations that mark most of Shakespeare’s late plays. Cymbeline, who has also hurt those he loves most, is reunited with his daughter and his old friend, as well as the children he thought he had lost. But instead of anger, as he says, “pardon’s the word to all.” The villainous Iachimo, at the last, repents for the sorrow he has caused. Instead of punishing him, Posthumous tells him to “live, and deal with others better.”

Our production, set in early 20th century America, begins with storytellers who bring the world of the play alive to entertain a group of children. The bluegrass music we have chosen comments on the play’s most important themes. Echoing Posthumous’s question of sufficiency, the storytellers sing at the start of our play, “throw your arms around each other and love one another for it’s only one life that we’ve got, and ain’t it enough?” Posthumous and Imogen end the play with their arms thrown around each other again: they’ve been hurt and betrayed, they’ve both thought the other dead, but here they are, reunited, and “ain’t it enough?”

Plot Summary

In Britain long ago, King Cymbeline’s daughter Imogen married her lowborn friend Posthumous, going against her father’s wishes. Posthumous was born an orphan and the King had taken him in as a child and raised him as Imogen’s playmate. Imogen’s mother has also passed, and her two older siblings were kidnapped when she was a baby. Cymbeline’s new wife married him for power; the pair of them wish for her oafish son Cloten to marry Imogen. As the play begins, Cymbeline banishes Posthumous from the kingdom and he leaves for Italy, a country that will soon be at war with Britain. Left at court, Imogen must fend off the advances of Cloten.

In Italy, Posthumous meets the smooth-talking Iachimo, who bets him that he can test Imogen’s loyalty, and wagers the ring Imogen gave him that Iachimo can seduce her, a bet that Posthumous takes on. Iachimo makes his way to the British court, where through trickery he is able to sneak into Imogen’s bedroom, take note of its looks and steal her bracelet. Returning to Rome, he makes Posthumous think Imogen was unfaithful. The furious Posthumous writes his former servant Pisanio, who now serves Imogen, and tells him to kill his wife for the misdeeds that she of course never committed. He sendsß Imogen a letter sending her to Milford Haven, a location in Wales where the Roman and British armies will soon be clashing, and where Posthumous is headed.

Imogen, not suspecting anything, takes off for Milford Haven with Pisanio, hoping for a joyous reunion wither her lord. Pisanio reveals to her that Posthumous suspects her of infidelity and wants her dead, but the two devise a plan to disguise Imogen as a boy named Fidele, who can get closer to the armies and keep watch on Posthumous, who they reason must have been misinformed by some villain. Imogen treks on but grows very hungry, and takes food from a cave that is, it turns out, inhabited by a man named Belarius and his children Guiderius and Arviraga, who quickly take to “Fidele,” and look after “him.”

In Belarius’s cave, Imogen takes a potion from the Queen that Pisanio has told her will make her healthy, but in fact it knocks her into a death-like state. Meanwhile, Cloten has come looking for Imogen and runs into the spunky Arviraga, who cuts off his head. When the three cave-dwellers return, they discover the dead-looking “Fidele” and bury “him” alongside Cloten.

Imogen awakes next to the decapitated Cloten, whom she mistakes for Posthumous. The Roman general, Caius Lucius, discovers this “boy” and asks him to join his army and serve him. Posthumous, meanwhile, thinks that he has had his Imogen killed and laments her death. While he came to Milford Haven in the Roman army, he switches uniforms and fights for Britain, joined by Belarius, Arviraga, and Guiderius. When Britain wins the day, Posthumous puts Roman gear back on in hopes of being taken prisoner and killed. Soldiers and prisoners are all brought to Cymbeline’s court for the play’s final scene, a scene featuring no fewer than 24 revelations of identity and plot! 



Ain’t It Enough by Old Crow Medicine Show


Storyteller 1: Show me a river, I'll show you an ocean

I'll show you a castle turn into sand

Oh we rise and we fall, we crash on the coastlines

And only our love could last til the end


Storyteller 2: Fortune is fleeting, time is deceiving

Our bodies are weak, and they turn into dust

I'll follow the wind blindly, but love is like lightning

Strikes only one time, but ain’t it enough


All: Ain’t it enough to live by the ways of the world

To be part of the picture, whatever its worth

Throw your arms round each other and love one another

For its only one life that we got, and ain't it enough?


Storyteller 3: Surely all people are made for each other

Join in together when the days turn to dust

So let the prison walls crumble, let the borders all tumble

There is a place for us all here, and ain't it enough


All: Ain't it enough to live by the ways of the world

To be part of the picture whatever its worth

Throw your arms round each other and love one another

For its only one life that we got, and ain't it enough?


Wagon Wheel/The Ballad of Cymbeline (OKMS, new lyrics by KSB)

Storyteller 1: The king of our tale is a stubborn man

His daughter’s married on and she’s taken a stand,

That made him so mad that he’s locked up his dear daughter.

She’d married a man who was poor but good

Her father said “no” but she thought she should

The boy’s been banished—who knows when he’ll next see her.


Storytellers: And tho’ it seems stra-ange, yet tis’ true-ue

Tho’ it seems stra-ange yes tis true

Oh Cymbeli-ine

It seems strange but it’s a true true tale

To learn from this you cannot fail

Oh Cymbeli-ine.


Storyteller 2: The girl and that boy grew up together

Born a poor orphan, his life got better

His dad died of grief, for his sisters and his mother.

The king took him in and he was raised at court

He proved to be of a noble sort

Just not the kind of man—he’d let his daughter marry.


Storytellers plus kids: And tho’ it seems stra-ange, yet tis’ true-ue

Tho’ it seems stra-ange yes tis true

Oh Posthumous

It seems strange but it’s a true true tale

To learn from this you cannot fail

Oh Posthumous.


Storyteller 3: And our princess has had her share of woes

Her siblings were kidnapped and no one knows

Where they both are, and now it’s been twenty years.

Her mom died at her birth, it’s sad but true

The king her father didn’t know what to do

He found a new gal—but she’ll just bring them new tears.


Storytellers plus kids: And tho’ it seems stra-ange, yet tis’ true-ue

Tho’ it seems stra-ange yes tis true

Oh Imoge-en

It seems strange but it’s a true true tale

To learn from this you cannot fail

Oh Imoge-en.


Storyteller 1: Oh that king of our tale he married that gal

An evil stepmom, she’s no one’s pal

Save for her dear son—she wants him to marry the king’s girl.

Our princess hates that guy plus he’s her stepbrother

And she knows not to trust her bad stepmother

The king’s got a bad gal—he threw away a pearl.


Storytellers plus kids: And tho’ it seems stra-ange, yet tis’ true-ue

Tho’ it seems stra-ange yes tis true

Oh Cymbeli-ine

It seems strange but it’s a true true tale

To learn from this you cannot fail

Oh Cymbeli-ine


Rye Whiskey by Pete Seeger


Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry 
If I don't get rye whiskey I surely will die

Jack of diamonds, jack of diamonds, I know you of old 
You've robbed my poor pockets, Of silver and gold

Whiskey, you villian, you've been my downfall 
You've kicked me, you've cuffed me, But I love you for all

They say I drink whiskey, my money is my own 
And them that don't like me can leave me alone

I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry 
And when I get thirsty I'll lay down and cry

It's beefsteak when I'm hungry and whiskey when I'm dry 
Greenbacks when I'm hard up and heaven when I die

Baby, oh baby, I've told you before 
You make me a pallet, I'll lay on the floor

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck 
I would dive to the bottom and never come up

But the ocean ain't whiskey, and I ain't no duck 
So I'll play the Jack of diamonds and trust to my luck


Afternoon Delight (Starland Vocal Band)

Cloten: Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight

Gonna grab some afternoon delight

My motto's always been; when it's right, it's right

Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night

When everything's a little clearer in the light of day

And we know the night is always gonna be there any way.

Cloten and Storytellers: Sky rockets in flight

Afternoon delight

Afternoon delight

Cloten: Started out this morning feeling so polite

I always thought a fish could not be caught who wouldn't bite

But you've got some bait a waitin' and I think

I might like having a little afternoon delight

Cloten and Storytellers: Sky rockets in flight

Afternoon delight

Afternoon delight

Afternoon delight

Afternoon delight

Afternoon delight


Farther Along (traditional)

Imogen: Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder

Why it should be thus all the day long;

While there are others living about us,

Never molested, though in the wrong.


Storytellers join: Farther along we’ll know more about it,

Farther along we’ll understand why;

(without Imogen) Cheer up, my sister, live in the sunshine,

All: We’ll understand it all by and by.


Imogen?: Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer,

Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow,

When there are many living in comfort,

Giving no heed to all I can do.



Never Grow Old (by James C Moore)

Arviraga: When our work here is done and the life-crown is won,

And our troubles and trials are o’er;

All our sorrow will end, and our voices will blend,

With the loved ones who’ve gone on before.


Never grow old, never grow old,

In a land where we’ll never grow old;

Never grow old, never grow old,

In a land where we’ll never grow old.


Angel Band (traditional; new lyrics by KSB)

Our latest sun has sunk and passed

Our trials now are done

But you, our boy, have much ahead

Your race as just begun



Oh come angel band

Come and around him stand

Bear him away on a wave of love

He’s still so much to learn

Bear him away on a wave of love

He’s still so much to learn



Oh brother dear we knew you not

But live and you’ll be free

The love ahead is all you’ve got

And you’ll have victory




High Sierra by Linda Ronstadt



The way I feel, can't explain

So much passion turned to pain

The sun still shines most of the time

Did you know the sun shines when it rains


I've been higher than the high sierra

Lower than death valley must be

I've been right, mostly wrong

Wrong about you, right about me



La La Blues by Pokey LaFarge

Queen: I know that you’ve heard
this old song sung before,

but you ain’t heard it
while I was walking out the door

King: It’s goodbye baby,
honey your time has come,

I’ve turned the tables
and now you’re the one on the bum


All: It’s La La La, singing La La La
I’m so happy got me singing La La La


Iachimo: I’m wet and I’m wild,
honey, I’m short and thin

so I can squeeze out of any position
you try and put me in

Cloten: I’ve got this old thing
called the laughing heart’s disease,

I’m gonna laugh my way to
any old place I please


All: It’s La La La, singing La La La
I’m so happy got me singing La La La


Posthumous: If I was a catfish
in the river down in St. Louie,

I’d be the biggest fish, honey
anyone had ever seen

Imogen: You know I’d never get caught
cause I never bite the hook and line,

all the folks would try and catch me
as I go swimming by


All: It’s La La La, singing La La La
I’m so happy got me singing La La La

(3) La Trobe University company for Cymbeline 2021


(4) Montana Shakespeare in the Parks 2021 Tour Schedule

16-Jun, Wednesday, Bozeman, Cymbeline, 8:00, MSU Grove

17-Jun, Thursday, Bozeman, Cymbeline, 8:00, MSU Grove

18-Jun, Friday, Bozeman, Cymbeline, 8:00, MSU Grove

19-Jun, Saturday, Bozeman, Cymbeline, 8:00, MSU Grove

23-Jun, Wednesday, Bozeman, Midsummer Night's Dream, 8:00, MSU Grove

24-Jun, Thursday, Bozeman, Midsummer Night's Dream, 8:00, MSU Grove

25-Jun, Friday, Bozeman, Midsummer Night's Dream, 8:00, MSU Grove

26-Jun, Saturday, Bozeman, Midsummer Night's Dream, 8:00, MSU Grove

28-Jun, Monday, Hobson, Cymbeline, 6:30, Utica Clubhouse Lawn

29-Jun, Tuesday, Lewistown, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, Frank Day Park

30-Jun, Wednesday, Malta, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, Court House Lawn

1-Jul, Thursday, Wolf Point, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, Faith Home Park

2-Jul, Friday, Sidney, Cymbeline, 6:30, Veterans Memorial Park

3-Jul, Saturday, Glendive, Midsummer Night's Dream, 7:00, Makoshika Park Hiatt Amphitheater 5-Jul, Monday, Beach, ND, Cymbeline, 6:30, Beach Swimming Pool Park

6-Jul, Tuesday, Ekalaka, Cymbeline, 6:30, Dahl Memorial Nursing Home

7-Jul, Wednesday, Miles City, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, Pumping Plant Park

8-Jul, Thursday, Forsyth, Cymbeline, 6:30, Rosebud County Courthouse Lawn

9-Jul, Friday, Sheridan, WY, Cymbeline, 6:30, Kendrick Park Bandshell

10-Jul, Saturday, Birney, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Poker Jim Butte

11-Jul, Sunday, Big Timber, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, Lions Club Park

12-Jul, Monday, Roundup, Cymbeline, 6:30, Roundup City Park

13-Jul, Tuesday, Billings, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, Pioneer Park

14-Jul, Wednesday, Billings, Cymbeline, 6:30, Pioneer Park

15-Jul, Thursday, Red Lodge, Cymbeline, 6:30, Lions Park

16-Jul, Friday, Hardin, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, South Park

17-Jul, Saturday, Absarokee, Cymbeline, 6:30, Fishtail Family Park

18-Jul, Sunday, Columbus, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, Heritage Park

19-Jul, Monday, Big Sky, Cymbeline, 5:30, Town Center Plaza

20-Jul, Tuesday, Driggs, ID, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, Driggs City Plaza

21-Jul, Wednesday, Thayne, WY, Cymbeline, 6:00, Thayne Community Lawn

22-Jul, Thursday, Pocatello, ID, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:30, ISU Quad

24-Jul, Saturday, Pocatello, ID, Cymbeline, 6:30, ISU Quad

25-Jul, Sunday, Salmon, ID, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Sacajawea Center Grounds

26-Jul, Monday, Dillon, Cymbeline, 6:00, UM Western Legacy Plaza

27-Jul, Tuesday, Hamilton, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Sapphire Lutheran Homes

28-Jul, Wednesday, Hamilton, Cymbeline, 6:00, Sapphire Lutheran Homes

29-Jul, Thursday, Anaconda, Cymbeline, 6:00, Washoe Park

30-Jul, Friday, Philipsburg, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Winninghoff Park

31-Jul, Saturday, Deer Lodge, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Old Prison Yard

1-Aug, Sunday, Townsend, Cymbeline, 6:00, Heritage Park

2-Aug, Monday, Helena, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Pioneer Park

3-Aug, Tuesday, Helena, Cymbeline, 6:00, Pioneer Park

4-Aug, Wednesday, Great Falls, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Giant Springs State Park

5-Aug, Thursday, Fort Benton, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Fort Benton City Park

6-Aug, Friday, Sweet Pea Festival, Midsummer Night's Dream, 3:45, Lindley Park

8-Aug, Sunday, Sweet Pea Festival, Cymbeline, 5:00, Lindley Park

9-Aug, Monday, Chico Hot Springs, Cymbeline, 6:00, Main Lawn

10-Aug, Tuesday, Worland, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Sanders Park

11-Aug, Thursday, Cody, WY, Cymbeline, 6:00, Canal Park

12-Aug, Wednesday, Powell, WY, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Washington Park

13-Aug, Friday, Silver Gate, Cymbeline, 6:00, Silver Gate Park

14-Jul, Saturday, Gardiner, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Arch Park

15-Aug, Sunday, Whitehall, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, TBD

16-Aug, Monday, Seeley Lake, Cymbeline, 6:00, Double Arrow Resort

17-Aug, Tuesday, Cut Bank, Cymbeline, 6:00, Cut Bank City Park

18-Aug, Wednesday, Kalispell, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Woodland Park

19-Aug, Thursday, Eureka, Cymbeline, 6:00, Historical Village

20-Aug, Friday, Trout Creek, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Trout Creek Park

21-Aug, Saturday, Sandpoint, ID, Cymbeline, 6:00, TBD

22-Aug, Sunday, Liberty Lake, WA, Midsummer Night's Dream, 5:00, Pavilion Park

24-Aug, Tuesday, Libby, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Libby Elem School Amphitheatre

25-Aug, Wednesday, Plains, Cymbeline, 6:00, Sanders County Fairgrounds

26-Aug, Thursday, Superior, Cymbeline, 6:00, Mineral County Fairgrounds

27-Aug, Friday, St. Ignatius, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Palmer Park

28-Aug, Saturday, Charlo, Cymbeline, 6:00, Good Ole Days Park

29-Aug, Sunday, Choteau, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Skyline Lodge

30-Aug, Monday, Conrad, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Conrad Swimming Pool Park

31-Aug, Tuesday, White Sulphur Springs, Cymbeline, 6:00, TBD

1-Sep, Wednesday, Boulder, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Jefferson County Fairgrounds

2-Sep, Thursday, Butte, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Stodden Park

3-Sep, Friday, Bozeman Family/Grad Housing, Cymbeline, 3:30, Family/Grad Housing

4-Sep, Saturday, Livingston, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, Shane Center parking lot

5-Sep, Sunday, Manhattan, Midsummer Night's Dream, 5:00, Altenbrand Park

6-Sep, Monday, Belgrade, Cymbeline, 3:30, Lewis & Clark Park

7-Sep, Tuesday, Missoula, Midsummer Night's Dream, 6:00, UM Oval

8-Sep, Wednesday, Missoula, Cymbeline, 6:00, UM Oval

(2) Elizabeth Peterson's Teaching Eco-Shakespeare Worksheets for A Midsummer Night's Dream (see Blog 11 Nov 2021)

“And thorough this distemperature we see

The seasons alter…

…the spring, the summer,

the childing autumn, angry winter, change

their wonted liveries that the mazed world,

 by their increase, now knows not which is which”.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2.155-156, 160-163[1]

In these lines above from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania laments the changing weather. All four seasons are so far from their norm that they are unrecognizable to the surrounding world. Her lines perhaps reference the Little Ice Age that Shakespeare and his contemporaries were living through,[2] a period of global cooling that Shakespeare’s audiences might have recognized in Titania’s descriptions of weather disruptions.


Over the past six months, I have connected Titania’s “climate change speech” and its surrounding scene to contemporary environmental issues in a five-day curriculum for high school students. I built interdisciplinary lessons and accompanying worksheets that covered topics in both Environmental Science and theatre to help students find new perspectives in the intersection of the subjects. I worked on this project as part of my MA in Shakespeare & Education from the Shakespeare Institute and University of Birmingham, and the pursuit of interdisciplinary Shakespeare is something I hope to continue beyond my Master’s degree. I began with the core concept of how to teach environmentalism through Shakespeare, and as I was working, my project turned into a defense of interdisciplinary education.


I worked with high school students to test two of the worksheets I developed, and in the article to follow I will discuss how I built these environmental Shakespeare worksheets and how they worked in practice. These worksheets were created to work in a high school science classroom with the help of a facilitator who has been trained to guide students through the interdisciplinary lesson.


I started with Act 2 Scene 1 from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and divided the text into five sections. I split the text so that each section had two speaking characters, and selected the breaks based on character entrances and exits. I spoke with Sandra Friedman, Environmental Science teacher at The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Massachusetts, and we collectively determined five topics that are essential to Environmental Science.[3] To complete my content for the worksheets, I paired each section of A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 2 Scene 1 with a specific environmental science topic. I did not want larger sections because I wanted them to fit cleanly on a worksheet.



A visual for how I formatted each worksheet appears below.

The sheets begin with a title that clearly states the environmental science and the theatre topic that each worksheet will cover, in this case, “Biomes and Set Design”. Then I have provided the students with an introductory section in which they can begin to recall information and brainstorm ideas. The second interactive section is the Shakespeare-Specific part of the worksheet in which students are asked to read the Shakespearean text from the back of the worksheet out loud.


After students read the designated part of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the third section is an immersive activity. This is the section that is designed to help students with collaboration across subjects. One of the strongest benefits to interdisciplinary learning, particularly across English, Art, and Science, is that students can gain “fresh perspectives”[4] on each independent discipline by understanding how they work together. With the immersive activity of my worksheets, students have a unique opportunity to find a new way to apply environmental science to Shakespeare. In the “Biomes and Set Design” worksheet, students are instructed to research a particular biome and to use their research to inspire a set design for the attached scene section. This particular idea was inspired by Butterfly Theatre, a company that makes “innovative eco-theatre”[5] by putting on “site-responsive Shakespeare productions”[6] across the UK and Germany. The facilitator of my Eco-Shakespeare lessons will be able to use Butterfly Theatre’s production of Macbeth on location in Kents Cavern in Torquay as an example of production that takes place in an intentional natural environment.[7]


The back of the worksheets has the Shakespeare content for each lesson. I cut the text to fit on each page, prioritizing nature-specific imagery and important plot points. For example, in Titania’s climate change speech I cut several references specific to early modern farming that today’s students would likely not understand, such as her reference to “The nine-men’s-morris… fill’d up with mud”.[8] Words that students might not recognize are defined opposite the text in a column to the right of the page. Each of the worksheets also has an A Midsummer Night’s Dream/science-themed border designed by a different artist. These borders are meant to inspire student creativity and to start an interdisciplinary visualization as soon as the students receive the worksheets. There is a photo and a short artist biography at the bottom of the back of each worksheet.


These worksheets present scientific ideas through Shakespearean text. Students will gain an appreciation of how the environment can be understood through A Midsummer Night’s Dream and will ideally benefit from connections not present in a single-discipline study. Although the connection between Shakespeare and the environment is not new, using this connection is a new framework to apply to a high school classroom space. Through distinct scientific topics and a single scene divided into five parts, I provide students with a strong general understanding of environmental science topics as they gain skills in theatre and literature.


This concept had success in practice when I was able to test two of my worksheets virtually in a high school Environmental Science class in May 2021. The first worksheet I tested was “Introduction and Identifying Problems”, pictured below, which helped frame this interdisciplinary study for the students.



The worksheet begins in two parts, with an opening activity asking students to write down everything they know separately about Shakespeare and Environmental Science. Throughout the first worksheet, students began to find connections between Shakespeare and Environmental Science as they worked their way up to identifying problems in the environment and conflicts in the attached scene. They are asked to brainstorm solutions to both. In our class period, students  warmed up to Shakespeare’s language and the idea of connecting this dense text with the environmental context of their class. Although students responded positively to the first day’s activities and commented specifically that they liked the structure, the best evidence for students making interdisciplinary connections was in our second day of class with the “Flowers and Plants” worksheet.


Through the worksheet on “Flowers and Plants,” pictured below, students demonstrated knowledge of all of the concepts involved and were able to create a new learning space in the intersection of theatre and environmental science.



The interactive activity of the “Flowers and Plants” worksheet asks students to create a costume for Puck with the theme of biodiversity. These costume sketches and the corresponding reflections the students submitted were the most exciting part of my project for me; one student designed a costume for Puck out of the acorn-cups mentioned in the previous day’s worksheets and “helicopter” seeds of maple trees. Another student sketched an outfit for Puck made entirely of foliage. Both students used the environment from the corresponding part of the scene of Oberon and Puck and applied it to their costume design. Because of the worksheet formatting, the students were able to build up to inventing their own creations, finding connections across disciplines as they went.


In Act 2 Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dreams, Shakespeare’s characters speak with heightened attention to the interconnectivity of the environment, human beings, and their invented fairy world. The problems that Titania raises reflect real environmental challenges, but in the world outside of A Midsummer Night’s Dream we do not have fairies to blame for these disturbances; Shakespeare leaves the source of conflict in the human world unidentified. With an interdisciplinary lens of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to examine the environmental world, students can begin to make real world connections for themselves. With my project, I have designed a way for students to connect Shakespeare and the Environment in interdisciplinary lessons that would fit in the current structure of single-discipline classes. I am hopeful that I will be able to continue this work by working with students who will be able to explore this creative space further and find new ways to understand the environment and the crises facing the environment through Shakespeare.


For more information about my work and my contact information, you can check out my educational blog at I have written extensively about interdisciplinary and experiential classes I have taught and student trips I have chaperoned while teaching at The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Massachusetts. When it is processed, my full dissertation will be available through the online archives at University of Birmingham.

[1]Shakespeare,William,  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ed. by Sukanta Chaudhuri, (London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2021) 2.1.160-163.

[2] Brian M. Fagan, The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850 (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. xvi.


[3] Sandra Friedman, interview with E. R. Peterson, Zoom, 20 April, 2021.

[4]Amy Schwartzbach-Kang and Edward Kang, “CSI Verona: Science and Literature Combine”, Edutopia, 6 May 2019 <> [accessed 1 July 2021].

[5]Butterfly Theatre, “Our Mission”, Butterfly Theatre, 2021 <> [accessed 20 July 2021].

[6]EarthShakes Alliance, “Butterfly Theatre (UK): Tracy Irish and Aileen Gonsalves”, YouTube, 25 April 2021, <> [accessed 10 August 2021].

[7]EarthShakes Alliance, “Butterfly Theatre (UK): Tracy Irish and Aileen Gonsalves”, YouTube.

[8]Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2.1.98.

(3) Director interview with Dunay Yespaev Amandykovich, Karaganda, Kazakhstan

One of the original project participants was the Stanislavsky Theatre in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. While a production was in progress in 2022, geopolitical conflicts in the area made it impossible for the performances to proceed. With thanks to the company and director Dunay Yespaev, Cymbeline Anthropocene hopes to preserve the company's profile and blog links on this page.

Translator: Togzhan Amandykov

The history of the theater is unique and dates back to 1930 when, on the basis of an amateur propaganda team in Semipalatinsk, the Mobile Theater for Propaganda and Cultural Work "Live Newspaper" was organized, which was transformed into a mobile theater in 1932 as part of the Turksib political train. 

"Tens of thousands of kilometers by rail, narrow gauge, in cars, on horses, traveled the theater over the years. Hundreds of thousands of spectators watched the theater's performances," wrote the first director, art director and part-time theater playwright, Vasily Portnov, in the Socialist Karaganda newspaper. Portnov's sketches were performed by a team traveling in three train cars, one of which housed the actors, and the other two in which props were transported and rehearsals were held. 

The theater was given its permanent home in the Miners' Palace of Culture in 1951, in Karaganda. In 1963, the theater was named after Konstantin S Stanislavsky.


Director Interview: Dunay Yespaev Amandykovich 

Video Interview: Dunay Yespaev Amandykovich 

(4) List of July 2022 Performance Symposium video titles and companies


Two Cymbeline adaptations: “Gold and Silver Turned to Dust”; “Does the World Go Round?”

University of Exeter Department of Drama students

Director, Evelyn O’Malley




Willow Globe theatre company

Artistic Directors, Sue Best and Phil Bowen



Cimbelino en la Patagonia

Setebos theatre company

Artistic Director, Mónica Maffía



“Once Upon a Time in the Anthropocene”

Cornell University Department of Drama students

Director, Theo Black




Montana Shakespeare in the Parks

Artistic Director, Kevin Asselin

Dramaturge, Gretchen Minton



Imogen in the Wild

Shakespeare in Yosemite theatre company

Directors, Katie Brokaw, Paul Prescott, Billy Wolfgang




La Trobe University Department of Drama students

Director, Rob Conkie

(5) Cimbelino en la Patagonia. Dossier of performance  details, including director, production, and cast biographies. In Spanish. 

(5) "The Ecological Resonance of Imogen’s Journey in Montana’s Parks," New Theatre Quarterly 38.4 (October 2022), 299-318.  

Abstract. In this article Gretchen Minton [dramtaturge] and Mikey Gray [Imogen] discuss an adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragicomedy Cymbeline that toured Montana and surrounding states in the summer of 2021. Minton’s sections describe the eco-feminist aims of this production, which was part of an international project called ‘Cymbeline in the Anthropocene’, showing how the costumes, set design, and especially the emphasis upon the female characters created generative ways of thinking about the relationship between the human and the more-than-human worlds. Gray’s first-person narrative at the end of each section reflects upon her role of Imogen as she participated in an extensive summer tour across the Intermountain West and engaged with audience members about their own relationship to both theatre and the natural world. This is a story of transformation through environmentally inflected Shakespeare performance during the time of a global pandemic.


Collaborating Theatres: