Educational Programs

ARTFARM offers educational programs for young people and adults, from single classes to extended residencies. If you don't find what you are looking for among the listed educational opportunities, contact us to create a program to fit your needs. ARTFARM specializes in four main performative areas:  Ensemble-Created New Works, Shakespeare, Circus Arts and Commedia dell' Arte. We also offer programming in Plant-Medicine and Community Ritual.

Plant Medicine

ARTFARM has had 'Simple Living' in it's mission since our inception in 2001.
One thing became clear to us pretty quickly... Simple Living- aint' simple! 
(It's hard work!)
But our connection to the land, to plants, to mother earth and her bounty is ever-important to us at ARTFARM.
Over the years, we have endeavored to learn about, practice, share and teach about plants and plant medicines. 
ARTFARM Artistic Director, Marcella Trowbridge, practices plant medicine and has taught 'Winter Wellness' classes regionally. We have collaborated with other teachers and practitioners on things like 'Toothpick Gardening', Bread Baking and the Transition Movement.
Marcella is developing strategies for integrating plant medicine practices to serve those in the second half of life- Plant Palliatives: Balms for Being.
Keep in the loop for upcoming sessions and workshops... and reach out and tell us what you would like to learn- or what needs soothing in your life!

#grants4plants (Mountain Rose Herbs)
(3 minute video about Plant Palliatives: Balms for Being):

Shakespeare Acting Laboratory 
with Marcella Trowbridge 

ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge has a special knack for opening actors up to Shakespeare's verse, and for using Shakespeare to help actors discover a deeper level of work. Participants in ARTFARM's Shakespeare Acting Laboratory will get the opportunity to work with her in an intensive, small-group setting. 

Shakespeare Acting Laboratory is open to experienced and aspiring actors age eighteen and over. 

Known as both an exceptional performer of Shakespeare and a challenging acting coach, Marcella will lead participants in a focused exploration of Shakespeare from the actors' point of view. The work will involve text analysis, scansion, developing emotional literacy and accessibility, voice and breath, physical training, and play. Students will work with Shakespeare's text as individuals, in small groups and as an ensemble. Special attention will be given to Scene Study.

Marcella is the co-founder of ARTFARM and a classically trained actress who has appeared in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Key West, Sri Lanka and is currently doing work in Germany. Local audiences have seen her in many roles in ARTFARM's Shakespeare in the Grove, including Cordelia in King Lear, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Katharina in Taming of the Shrew, both Hermia and Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lady Macbeth and most recently Hamlet.

For more information, or to register, contact, call (860) 346-4390.

Photo below by Bill De Kine of Marcella Trowbridge as Hamlet in the 2017 Shakespeare in the Grove production of Hamlet.


ENSEMBLE CREATED NEW WORKS (Subject matter adaptable from fourth grade through college/adult)

Accessing the multiple intelligences, these workshops generate and develop material from students' own life perspectives (including historical and literary resources) as well as foster growth in curricular areas. The group will select a theme and dynamically transfer this material onto the stage.
In a safe, structured environment, we develop skills in and promote:

  • individual work / personal responsibility
  • ensemble work / group responsibility 
  • reading and research   
  • writing poetry, monologues and scenes
  • psycho-physical work 
  • breath and body work
  • speech and articulation
  • improvisation
  • basic stage presentation
  • theme exploration
  • effective communication
  • emotional literacy 

SHAKESPEARE ALIVE! (Adaptable for most age groups)
This is a residency in which an ARTFARM artist works intensively with a group or groups of students to bring the language, characters and world of Shakespeare to life. The residency combines active exercises and scene work with text analysis (examining metrical structure, literary and rhetorical 
devices as tools for revealing plot, emotion and action), leading to an ‘off the page and onto your feet' approach to the work. This is an exciting technique for bringing Shakespeare's language, plots and characters to life for students who might otherwise struggle with the 
challenging language and metrical structure and become permanently turned off to Shakespeare. The ideal “Shakespeare Alive!” residency begins with a performance of ARTFARM's Shakespeare's Argument for the students and
culminates in a Shakespeare performance by the students for the school community.

THIRTY MINUTE MIDSUMMER (Grades five and up)

The characters, language and plot of one of Shakespeare's most beautiful and accessible plays are brought to life in this residency. Over a minimum of six sessions students rehearse and present a thirty minute version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.


ARTFARM's Circus Arts Residencies can offer your straightforward circus training (acrobatics, juggling, balancing, clowning, plate spinning, hooping, slapstick & more), training leading to a group performance, or circus training leading to a performance incorporating curricular goals. RecentResidency performances have
included Mathemagical Circus, Circus History of the World, and Circus of Science.



An age -appropriate introduction to juggling, acrobatics, physical comedy and other circus skills. Can be offered as a 90 minute one-off workshop, or extended into the Instant Circus model described below.
For more extended CIRCUS training, see RESIDENCIES.

We are currently (Fall, 2013) developing a new science-related circus workshop/residency for grades 3 - 8 called The Physics of Circus. Be in touch with us to become a Physic of Circus Pilot Site and get a great rate!


This model involves 3 teaching artists and a stage manager/costumer. It can engage up to 45 young people in an intensive day of circus arts culminating in an Instant Circus presentation for parents and friends. The morning is spent introducing the participants to several circus skills, including clowning and slapstick, acrobatics and equilibristics, juggling and object manipulation. After lunch the participants are divided into three “acts”, which will rehearse first separately, then together in preparation for the Instant Circus.


A non-performance classroom teaching technique that allows for students to explore their curriculum, themselves and their environment through multiple paths of intelligence that are fostered through drama. Locomotion, emotional intelligence, sequencing, story dramatization, and theme-based exercises are cultivated at age appropriate levels.


Physical comedy fundamentals and the creation of personal clown characters combine to open new doors of learning, communication and expression. The liberating experience can be adapted for any age group, kindergarten through adult. 


Taking the characters and scenarios of the Comedia Americana aimed at college students, this age appropriate adaptation is geared for adventurous high school theater programs. (*see University section)


Dig the fertile earth of Shakespeare's world. Play with the rhythm of meter and the dynamic of rhetoric and discover how the use and placement of language reveals psychological and plot shifts, moments of emotional truth and action! Learn how to access resources, analyze text and reveal character. On your feet, into your mouths and off the page; this is how it should be done.

SEEDS OF MOVEMENT (Grades 8-Adult)

A Kinesthetic approach to theater, designed to cultivate organic impulses, nurture trust, communication and spatial awareness as well as develop emotional and physical literacy.