Rex A. McGuinn Conference on Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference will not take place in 2022.

See you in 2023!

This conference was career changing for me. The faculty and leaders were very welcoming and the in-depth discussions thought provoking."
Conference participant

The Rex A. McGuinn Conference on Shakespeare is for teachers who want to share with others the various ways in which Shakespeare can be taught in the classroom. We invite public, private, and parochial school teachers to interact with each other in a five-day working conference that includes academic and theatrical professionals and others who love the Bard.

The conference is limited to 26 attendees.

Teachers from diverse backgrounds are able to share with each other their felicities and frustrations in teaching Shakespeare to adolescents and establish a network of support, advice, and dialogue during the academic year. The goal of the conference is to help teachers help students understand and enjoy Shakespeare for life. Conference activities include small, daily seminar groups conducted in the Harkness style. Besides classroom activities, we explore the ways performance illuminates our students' experience with the play. The focus-play of the week changes yearly. The 2019 featured play will be Henry V.

A Tribute to Rex A. McGuinn

Rex A. McGuinn (1951-2002), a member of the English faculty at Phillips Exeter Academy, established the Shakespeare Conference in 2001. His career was devoted to promoting Shakespeare studies among his own students and collaborating with other teachers to advance the study of Shakespeare. His own professional and scholarly endeavors invariably nurtured his students' perception of literature and of self. Rex's life was a daily celebration of Shakespeare and, in that spirit, we dedicate this conference to him.

In the past, the conference has invited visiting scholars/lecturers Marjorie Garber of Harvard University, Kathy Howlett of Northeastern University, Alan Dessen of University of North Carolina, and Herb Coursen of University of Maine. Actors from Shakespeare and Company have been invited to talk to participants about the on-stage experience of Shakespeare and how that can translate to a classroom situation. Elizabethan dance performances have been highlights in the past. Most recently, the conference featured actors' workshops and round-table discussions led by the award-winning Actor’s Shakespeare Project of Boston.

Professional Development

Participants will earn 37 clock hours toward professional development goals. Upon completion of the conference, attendees receive a clock hour letter and a certificate of completion.

Sample Daily Schedule

Here is a same schedule of how you will spend your day. The final schedule will be published in early June.  

9:00 – 4:30 Registration
11:00 – 2:00 Optional Campus Tours
5:15 - 6:00 Welcome and Introductions
6:00 – 7:15 Dinner
7:30 - 9:30 Featured Film "Othello"
9:30 - 11:00 Evening Gathering
7:00 - 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 - 10:30 Acting Workshop
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 12:00 Harkness Discussion
12:00 - 1:30 Lunch / Free Time
1:30 - 3:00 Harkness Discussion
3:00 - 3:30 Break
3:30 - 4:30 Workshops, Scene Rehearsals
4:30 - 6:00 Free Time
6:00 - 7:00 Dinner
7:00 - 9:00 Casting and Table Talk
9:00 - 11:00 Informal Gathering
7:00 - 9:00 Breakfast and dorm checkout
10:00 - 12:00 Small Group Presentations
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch
1:00 Conference ends.



Todd Hearon, Director

Mailing Address
Phillips Exeter Academy
20 Main Street
Exeter, NH 03833