Magic, Nature and Symbolism in Shakespeare


Four Online Workshops  – March 2022


Curated by Mary Chater 

With Philip Crispin 


Life is about change, the movement from one state to another: a baby growing its first tooth, youth growing to maturity and encountering first love. Nature is in a constant state of flux: water becomes ice, a rose bud opens to full bloom. 

In Shakespeare’s plays, the natural world is ever-present just as it is in ours. His characters change or are transformed by problems they encounter in the story. Where they end up is in a different place to where they began their journey in the play, i.e. they undergo change as a consequence of the situations they encounter and the changing world around them.

Magic, nature and symbolism are elements that feature in their transformation.


  1. Productions, in collaboration with Shakespeare in Italy, is presenting a short 4-week programme of online workshops. Participants will be guided through (and actively take part in) short excerpts from Shakespeare’s plays followed by lively discussion. The selected plays for the sessions are:
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • The Winter’s Tale
  • Macbeth
  • Romeo and Juliet 

All these plays wonderfully illustrate how magic, nature and symbolism play into the transformation of human nature. 


Highly experienced professional theatre practitioner Mary Chater will focus on bringing Shakespeare’s words to life while university drama lecturer and academic Dr Philip Crispin will add depth and context thanks to his extensive knowledge of renaissance theatre. 

Together they will be our valuable guides in this shared learning experience.  

If you are interested in participating in these online sessions (in the English language) they will be held on the following dates:


  • Wednesday 2nd March 
  • Wednesday 9th March 
  • Wednesday 16th March
  • Wednesday 21st March 


From 7.30pm – 9.00pm (Italy) 6.30pm – 8.00pm (UK)


Mary Chater read music at Somerville College, Oxford and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Her acting work includes seasons at The National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company as well as shows in the West End, repertory, London fringe and community companies. She is a co-founder of Shakespeare in Italy –  


Philip Crispin read English at Wadham College, Oxford, studied Renaissance Literature at Sussex and the Nouvelle Sorbonne, Paris, and has a PhD from London. He trained with Jacques Lecoq, Augusto Boal, Carl Heap and several other theatre practitioners and companies. His translation of Aimé Césaire’s Une tempête (A tempest), an anti-colonialist adaptation of Shakespeare’s island play, is published by Oberon Books. He has lectured on Shakespeare at home and abroad.


The costs are Euro 15 per session or Euro 55 for all four sessions. Each session will last 90 minutes. 


Please email to secure your place.