In Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," Tranio gives this advice to his master Lucentio, a young university student: "No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en. In brief, sir, study what you most affect."

The University of Colorado wants to give Bard buffs a chance to study what they most affect with a new nine-credit graduate certificate in applied Shakespeare.

Students who enroll in the program will take a three-credit, graduate-level Shakespeare survey course, either online or on campus, before coming to Boulder for two weeks during the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. There, they'll earn the remaining six credits needed for the certificate through immersion in acting, directing, stage combat, study of Elizabethan culture and more.

After the two-week summer intensive, students will write a 15-to-20 page paper that's relevant to their professional goals. For high school English teachers, for example, that paper might outline a teaching curriculum.

The certificate program, which requires participants to have a bachelor's degree, is being offered through the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the theatre and dance department and the English department. Campus officials hope it someday turns into a full-fledged master of arts degree.

New push for CU

The certificate and proposed degree are part of a push at CU for faculty to develop new professional master's degrees, or degrees for people in the workforce who need more specialized training.


"You are getting scholarly training, research training and practical on-your-feet training as well," Tim Orr, producing artistic director for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, told CU's Board of Regents earlier this month. "This could be for high school drama teachers and English teachers all over the country who want to liven up their curriculum, get kids up on their feet. It could also be for actors and directors who want a little more classroom experience, want a little more training."

Enrollment opens in August, with the Shakespeare survey course set to begin in January. The first on-campus two-week intensive will be held in June, during the festival's 60th anniversary.

The certificate will cost Colorado residents roughly $6,000. Out-of-state tuition has not been set, officials said.

'Shakespeare as a vehicle'

The certificate program arose from conversations about new ways to connect the Shakespeare festival to CU's academic departments.

"The thing about the Shakespeare festival is it really represents the work of Shakespeare, which is arguably the root of the humanities, but it also represents a wealth of skills — acting, public performance, creative improvisation," said William Kuskin, a CU English professor and the senior associate vice provost for education innovation. "We can use Shakespeare as a vehicle for talking about public presentation, for talking about creativity, talking about writing and an understanding of Shakespeare beyond the undergraduate level."

Kuskin said he was particularly excited about the hybrid nature of the certificate. That is, students can take the main survey course online, wherever they live, and then spend two weeks in Boulder interacting with actors, directors, scholars and their fellow students. He called the certificate a "low-residency" program.

Orr, who in 2013 helped make the festival profitable after many years of losses, sees huge potential for creating new academic connections to Shakespeare, beyond the festival's performances and anti-bullying programs.

With CU's expert faculty members in English, theater and dance, and other departments, he hopes the campus can one day become a hub for Shakespearean study.

"It's my dream that someday, on this campus, we have a center for Shakespeare studies," Orr said. "We have all the ingredients already on the campus right now. We could be the most dynamic place to study Shakespeare outside of London... A place to come study, research, watch, perform Shakespeare."

Sarah Kuta: 303-473-1106, or