Signature Programs


Harlem Academy students study a different Shakespeare play every year in middle school using a performance-driven curriculum. Students are inspired to engage deeply because they are motivated as actors to read closely and grasp the underlying relationships between characters.

The program opens with a workshop developed in partnership with the Classic Stage Company and the graduate Theatre Arts Program at Columbia University's School of the Arts. Actors work with students for one week to explore a play's themes and the use of language to express character and plot. As a final project, students prepare and perform scenes for an audience of parents and peers.
Students can also opt to take our Shakespeare elective, which meets three times a week and allows students to become fully immersed in the work. They study and rehearse specific scenes, with a culminating performance at the Classic Stage Company's and Shakespeare Smackdown, and which is a citywide competition.

Justice, Seventh Grade Student

Taking the elective gives me an extra chance to explore Shakespeare beyond the page. Acting out the literature rather than just reading it is interesting and helps me understand what's going on. That's what we do in class, and it's fun to do more of it when we're not in class.
Harlem Academy
655 Saint Nicholas Avenue
New York, NY, 10030

P (212) 348-2600
F (212) 348-3500

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Harlem Academy is an independent school (grades K-8) that drives equity of opportunity for promising students, guiding them to thrive at the highest academic levels and one day make a mark on the world.